The Digital Society is Coming…

As headline news continues to report on the advancing digitization of banking and other industries on a regular basis, I thought I would put a few thoughts down on what I’ve discovered thus far in my readings on the path to a digital society.

In the past, individual thought leadership was essential for a society to advance concepts that moved the society forward. And although it is hard to change the opinion of an individual, the behavioral change of a society moved to action through a herd mentality. So, when a phenomenon such as social networking presented itself as able to drive the herd’s behavioral change on a global scale, it’s time to take notice.

After considering the historical significance of this change, it’s necessary to ask the question: What else is possible? Recent governmental studies indicate that to establish a successful digitization of an industry or society that three essential elements are required: Identity, Trust, and Functionality.

In addition to these fundamental elements, certain conditions are needed to drive the success of the process. The two most visible drivers today live within one significant change in society currently underway, the demographic shift.

Inside the engine of the demographic shift exists two main proponents driving the change: the retiring baby boomer population in the United States, and the aging populations in Asia. This somewhat stealth metamorphosis coupled with evolutionary technology is creating the perfect storm for the ascension of millennial behavioral to shift global advertising and marketing affecting billions of investment and consumption dollars.

There is no magic formula to advertising. And a course adjustment for every generation is expected by the large multi-national firms, but the millennials are proving this time it’s different. This time there’s a required shift in strategy that’s not cyclical, but structural and fluid.

The millennial generation’s core behaviors are being affected by three phenomena: social networks, crowd sharing, and increasing risk appetite. These three categories more than anything else are not only accelerating the transition from analog to digital but also keeping the transition fluid as constant connectivity allows trends to appear and disappear before a company’s management team can change tact.

As the millennials graduate university and enter the workforce, whether starting their own businesses or revolutionizing traditional industry through various avenues, one thing is for certain; they are affecting rapid global change. And this change, whether we agree or not, is pushing us into a full-fledged digital society.