My eldest son started high school this year, and boy has it been an eye-opener. We all know that technology is evolving at a break-neck pace, we see it daily. Improved phone models are released faster than we can keep up with, TV screens are becoming bigger and flatter (and bent?!), payments in most places no longer accept cash, and we can all snuggle up on the couch in the evening with a plethora of literally hundreds of TV shows to chose from.
Here are a few interesting statistics: The number of tech startups around the world is now estimated to be close to 1.35 million. As of January 2024, the global internet penetration rate is a whopping 65,4%. The amount of data produced by the world is expected to exceed 463 exabytes by 2025. The number of internet users is around 5 billion and is increasing exponentially.
When I went to high school we had no phones, important information was (mostly) communicated to our parents, and we walked around with real (heavy) books and printed timetables that you kept in your shirt pocket until it was crumpled and illegible. Afternoons were mostly spent doing sports and homework usually meant a lot of writing and reading.
My son is thirteen, he now has access to a school portal where he can find his timetable, assessment schedule, sports schedule, emails from teachers, calendars with important school events, reports etc. His guitar lessons are done playing music to a background track on an iPad, musical notes are all sent in digital format, and more emails. So not very different from my first corporate job in my twenties. We have come SUCH a long way in 3 decades with how we communicate and absorb information. This is all incredible you must be saying, and yes in many ways it is, but have I mentioned that he just turned thirteen?
I don’t know about you, but my experience is that many grown-ups struggle to keep up with the data and information overload we live in (myself included), never mind organising and processing all this information. Imagine doing it as a young adolescent. Luckily my wife is very organised, so she spent 3 hours this weekend helping him put about 100 reminders in his phone to help him manage his time and keep up with the schedule.
This is the world we live in now, and we have had to evolve to keep up – our children have had to evolve. Like Darwin said, it’s not the strongest or most intelligent of the species that survives, but the one most responsive to change. Now in its 12th year, AdMarula has also had to evolve. As technology advances, our industry keeps changing and so we have to be responsive to that change to remain relevant. We have launched several new products (re-targeting, re-marketing, cart abandonment) in the last 18 months to continue to drive revenue for our advertisers. It has proven extremely effective and more and more clients are taking up these offerings to drive their online growth.
I am optimistic about 2024. As an industry, we have never been in a better position to seize the opportunities that transparent data, access to technology and a competitive online landscape can offer.
Wishing you only the best for 2024. Onwards and upwards!
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