What’s Next? Jane Hastings

We asked some stalwarts a simple question. Here’s what Jane Hastings, chief executive of NZME, had to say.

The current buzzwords for the future are personalisation and data, but if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ve been talking about this since the ‘90s.Airline loyalty programmes led the way and thanks to Air New Zealand this is what provided me with my head start in Hong Kong consulting to Cathay Pacific. 12 years ago, I was living in Japan and it was already mobile and personalised. I was being geo-targeted and I was swiping my DOCOMO phone at shops where I was targeted with personalised content. Now, 24 years later, the same topic is still being discussed. The devices have changed but being relevant is not new; in fact even my parents knew their customers well. The challenge of the future isn’t truly known yet because our children are still creating it.

The next generation are all about screens—all screens, not just mobile. They rely on short-form relationships, they have shallow text and direct message chats with their friends often in less than the 140 characters, they constantly use emoticons to express how they are feeling, they snack at content all day, they have short attention spans and they are global consumers not necessarily even aware of who the latest local television stars are. 

Entertainment constantly wins their attention and that is why the future stars are on YouTube right now. They’re not necessarily famous yet but they will become immensely popular because they are funny or an amazing artist or great with hair and beauty products. The footage is not created for them but by them, often in their own homes or backyards on a tablet or mobile phone.

Yes, it is great to be personalised but the true future challenge is how to stand out in a world where the people you are trying to communicate with are on fast forward. Text language, video snippets and ondemand for everything.

The future holds an entirely new creative challenge: how to cut through to the fast-forward generation. But do not panic, it took 24 years to get personalisation on the cards so it’s likely to take longer than we think. LOL, BFN, 

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