We live in a time when marketing is changing at a rapid pace. Social media, PPC campaigns, and mobile phones (to name a few) changed the way we think and deliver messages. But technology’s exponential growth is consistently ushering in new innovations. The virtual world — Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), in particular — is offering new possibilities and marketing potential.

But let’s face a harsh reality: technology has always been a fickle beast; some trends stick and some don’t. Often, two (or more) competitors will arrive on the scene at the same time, and competition can force one player out.

The question then becomes: which technology will make a difference, and which will you invest your valuable time and money into?

At HighRock, we strive to be on the cutting-edge of new marketing technology, so we are constantly evaluating new technology and opportunities. While there is no infallible method for making the right choice, I can offer some basic guidelines to follow:

SPEED TO MARKET: Often, when a new technology is announced, multiple parties will be working on very similar devices. While the first to market is not always the best, you certainly don’t want to make a choice if that company is going to lag significantly behind. Development delays always kill interest, especially when readily available alternatives are already on the shelf.

REACH: A piece of technology may be the most exciting thing you have seen, but interests always vary. Evaluating the reach of technology leads us back to key questions: How many people will be using this? How often will they be using it? Does it have the ability to convert new users? Before you invest, it’s always best to know who you will be talking to.

ADAPTABILITY: One hit wonders are the bane of any industry. Yes, you can make money off of them, but your investment will quickly deteriorate if — and when — interest dries up. Adaptability will often translate into longevity, which tends to pay off in the long run against your initial investment.

STORYTELLING: As marketers, this is probably the most important thing to remember. Our job is to communicate: quickly, efficiently, and compellingly. If a product or a piece of new technology is incapable of “speaking” in a way you need it to, then it is most likely not worth the investment.

These are just four criteria. You could argue for more, you could argue for less… and probably make a great case for either. But the simple truth is this: technology can help you innovate and push your capabilities, but if it doesn’t work for you then it’s probably not worth the time and effort.

This post provided by Len Sullivan, principal at  HighRock in Greater Baltimore.  HighRock has been using technology to craft compelling stories for over 10 years.  Want to learn more? Visit highrockstudios.com.

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