We already have digital versions of ourselves populating our increasingly digital world: Your Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter profiles, your Amazon and Google footprints are all examples.
For the most part they are not yet autonomous. But it cannot be long before the 'MeBot' - an autonomous and intelligent you - becomes a ubiquitous part of our daily interaction with people, things and data.
All of which strongly suggests that brands and organisations must start developing strategies that place the digital customer at their heart.
Let me be clear, that digital version of you will always be informed by and learning from the real you. But increasingly it will be the digital rather than analogue version of you who will be making the transactions (tilting, as these thing are, to online more heavily by the day).
And if Digital You has got the spends - Digital You is going to be the target.
So what does advertising/targeting/relationship-building/comms/PR/you-name-it look like when it is aimed at our MeBot?
Well - I suspect MeBot's will rapidly learn which lies to ignore, which content sources to trust, which deals are for-real. They may even be less swayed by the Herd mentality humans find it so hard to resist (think of the impact on the Stock Markets...).
This is likely to starkly expose some of the realities and truths of relationships of trust - such as...
- Customers are not inhabitants of your omnichannels waiting to be managed from one to the next. They live in a 4D world with limitless touchpoints. The analogue digital combination will evidence that by the truck-load. Map that!
- Customers are not waiting to be engaged, made your friend, or have anything else 'done' to them. They need a reason to interact with you... which leads us to point 3.
- Customers are not loyal. Forget loyalty - focus on proof of value. Unless you are offering a good enough value proposition your wheels will just keep on spinning.