The pace at which technology is moving is causing a state of mass confusion. Large and small companies alike are undergoing change at an exhaustive rate. The daily lives of individuals are rapidly evolving to keep pace with the inventions of the modern world. Many people have compared this current state of affairs to the Industrial Revolution.
According to Leonard Brody, the founder of GrowLab, this comparison is unfitting. Revolutions of the past took a long time -- nearly centuries. Today, as Brody explains, revolutions take no longer than 10 to 20 years, which is causing a rapid cultural transformation he calls the "great rewrite." Brody believes we are in a transitional period and in a mere five years the world will look completely different.
During his insight presentation at the iMedia Breakthrough Summit in Austin, Texas, Brody detailed the conditions of the great rewrite and explored its implications for marketing. The result is an actionable roadmap for success in the new marketing frontier.
According to Brody, historically, "most change occurred from the top down." The difference today is that revolutions find their origins at the fringe of society. He continued, "Everything is being rewritten today with one key difference: It is being rewritten by entrepreneurs." As such, it is crucial for brands and marketers to partner with those on the fringe, for it is impossible for corporations to keep pace with innovation on their own. In fact, Brody believes marketers should spend 10 percent of their time and money on the fringe.
So, how exactly does the great rewrite manifest today? Brody provided a few concrete examples. The first was the Khan Academy, a non-profit educational website created in 2006 by Salman Khan. Its mission is to provide "a free world-class education for anyone anywhere." Broody explained that by the end of 2013, "36 percent of high school students will drop out." This is not the result of student laziness, but rather the consequence of traditional education being a house built that doesn’t fit those within it. As such, the Khan Academy is taking part in the great rewrite by redefining education on the fringe.
And human behavior is greatly changing as well. Brody detailed this notion by explaining the ways in which global conflict is being rewritten. For instance, invasions of countries and military conflicts are being announced and shared through social media. In fact, certain killed targets are being posted on Facebook. In addition, although online dating seemed absolutely bizarre in the past, Brody explained that by 2015, "more than 50 percent of Americans who get married will have begun that relationship online." The major reason why behavior has greatly changed is what Brody explained as the development of both "the physical self and one's virtual identification." As such, it is important for marketers to recognize the presence of both identities and understand that an individual's virtual self is more trustworthy than their physical self – a very important notion.