Monday, July 27, 2009

What is a Gateway Economy -- and why you should know about it

According to George F. Colony, CEO, Forrester Research, we're in a gateway economy -- "a portal connecting two very different eras."

In an article on the Huffington Post, "Beyond the Gateway Recession: What CEOs Will Face Next," Colony argues that "Those who can speak digital will thrive, and those who cannot will finally get the message and retire."

For PR functions, here are some of the highlights of Colony's thesis:
  • Digital will be mandatory, not a choice. I think we can all agree about that. After all, there's very little left that comes into the home that's not digital. Probably water is the only thing not digital other than our food.
  • Brand loyalty will be limited. This is because customers will have the ability to easily change their purchase decisions (because, in part, of digital delivery).
  • You will sell differently. Just as social media has changed the way people interact online, it has already changed they way companies sell and compete. Colony expects this to continue, and he's right. Though I do wonder that at some point this may change because of a bottom-line need to hard sell. As it is, clients who are interested in social media are also wondering what benefits they'll receive if they start to engage via social media. The soft sell is harder to quantify.
  • The way you innovated is dead.I thought this was one of the more interesting points Colony made.
Check out the full article, and let me know what you think about Colony's predictions.

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