As we are writing this, the world’s attention is currently turned to the threat of a novel corona-virus known as SARS-CoV-2, which can cause severe pneumonia-like symptoms and is extremely deadly for the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. The virus has a stealthy nature where many carriers are asymptomatic, which makes it extremely contagious. Due to the growing threat of a public health crisis, most of the world’s economies stopped or slowed their populations from movement, in a bid to slow the virus. These new ‘social distancing’ policies lead to a massive and abrupt shutdown of businesses around the world and a severe disruption of daily life for billions of people.

As a result, every industry on the planet has been affected. Each company trying to survive in 2020 is being forced into change in some way. Some of these changes will be temporary, and hopefully, the good ideas will persist long after the virus runs its course.

The economic fallout of the virus has been compared to the great depression or worse. Yet, I wish to speak to some optimism and the necessity of constant change.

In his famous book written in 1972, futurist Alvin Toffler describes ‘Future Shock’ as a “sickness which comes from too much change in too short a time; a feeling that nothing is permanent anymore; it’s the reaction to changes that happen so fast that we can’t absorb them, it’s the premature arrival of the future. For those who are unprepared its effects can be pretty devastating.”

Feels like he’s talking about 2020, right?

Many of Toffler’s quotes revolve around dealing with this ‘Future’ Shock’ and the idea of overwhelming constant change.

“Nobody knows the future with certainty. We can, however, identify ongoing patterns of change”

We are all aware of certain patterns that still make sense in good times and bad. The aging Boomer demographic, and preferences of the younger generation to do most of their buying & research online are two great examples of trends that still hold strong with or without a pandemic. These trends will continue, and businesses that wish to thrive in the coming years will be wise to keep their focus on the long-term changes now playing out in a slightly faster fashion.

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read & write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”

This is my favorite quote. We feel that the most important skill in the 21st century is the ability to adapt and learn on the fly. No one person or organization will have all the correct answers, and only hindsight is 20/20. But you can learn to thrive in this environment if you make the effort to build an evaluation process for new information you have learned, adapt to the change in facts and either improve that knowledge, adapt or re-learn a different skill. This will be the difference between those that thrive and those that simply survive.

Conspiracy theories and paranoia are what happens when our brains cannot make sense of rapid change (future shock). Don’t give in to this. Use the new information to update your preconceptions, allow yourself to ‘unlearn’ things that are no longer relevant and mediate on focusing your mind away from it’s need to search for patterns and to ‘make sense of it all’.

“You’ve got to think about all the big things while you’re doing the small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction”

Like golf, business has a short, middle & long game. Each shot you take, big or small, needs to have the same goal in mind, with the purpose of getting you closer to your target. While these times may not be booming in terms of sales, it is a perfect time to optimize your marketing dollars and do the necessary back work to align your business’s processes with the demands of the future.

Digimatiq Marketing, at its core is a company built on change. We have talked about for years the value of being able to pivot marketing dollars into the best form of advertising, based on real results, no matter the platform. So, for us, this time of rapid and unrelenting change is a place we tend to thrive in.

For more information on how Digimatiq can help your business adapt, evolve & grow in the face of ‘future shock’, feel free to schedule a no-obligation discussion with our search marketing experts to discuss your business and what steps your business can take to thrive.