Andrew Meranus, EVP of Sales at PRophet
Throughout modern history, each era has featured a tech boom in one way or another. Whether the rise of television through the 1950s and 1960s or the introduction of the internet and cell phones through the 1990s and 2000s, breakthroughs in technology have touched every generation, benefitting both businesses and consumers in the process.
However, none of yesterday’s tech booms stack up to the sheer magnitude of the one we’re currently witnessing.
Today, technology is evolving at an exponentially rapid rate, becoming more sophisticated and omnipresent than ever. Emerging tech such as AI and VR are entering the mainstream, continuing to become more accessible and crowd-ready. The same goes for the metaverse, which has become one of today’s most discussed topics. And it would be impossible to touch on tech’s hot topics today without mentioning Web3, the umbrella term for the internet’s next iteration, marked by the overarching concept of decentralization.
Across industries and populations, these advances in tech are proving to be advantageous. AI is being applied to a sprawling range of sectors — helping humans work smarter, not harder — all while creating new job opportunities instead of being the job-killer its critics long feared it to be. Similarly, VR is breaking stigmas, expanding beyond entertainment to assist humans in healthcare, education and many other fields. The metaverse is also moving past its roots in entertainment, serving as the next big venue for business. As it continues to evolve, Web3 is going to be a game changer, with cryptocurrency and NFTs set to revolutionize the financial and creative fields.
Unsurprisingly, brands have been increasingly eager to hop on the bandwagon, hoping to enjoy the benefits of these booming technologies. Consequently, it didn’t take very long for the emerging tech space to become overcrowded with brands and celebrities attempting to establish themselves as early adopters.
From fashion to food and beverage, big-name brands have activated in the metaverse, dabbled in crypto and NFTs, automated through AI and tapped into VR and AR experiences, among other efforts. While Gucci’s art installation on Roblox and Coca-Cola’s NFT collection were successful, brands like Discord, Tommy Hilfiger and MeUndies have flopped while attempting to enter the space.
Often times, failed efforts can be chalked up to brands straying away from their true voice and values in order to keep up with the Joneses. As consumers are able to see right through copycats and half-baked ideas, brands should show up in a way that’s rooted in strategy and purpose, bringing something fresh and exciting to the table, rather than simply being present in the space.
All of this isn’t to say that brands should avoid tapping into today’s tech boom. If anything, brands should be encouraged to stay open-minded to new technology and its capabilities. However, brands also need to be honest and self-aware as they navigate this space. At this moment in time, not every brand needs to be automating through AI (though all PR professionals should be automating media lists with PRophet), nor does every brand need to be involved in the metaverse or the greater world of Web3. If these new technologies aren’t adding value for a brand and its customers yet, efforts in the space could do more harm than good.
In short, the best approach for brands looking to embrace emerging tech moving forward is to have a clearly defined strategy that emphasizes originality over any other objective. Because, as we’ve seen with tech booms of the past, new tools can propel brands and celebrities alike to the next level when utilized in genuine fashion.
About the Author: Andrew Meranus is the EVP of Sales & Revenue at PRophet, the AI-driven DaaS platform that predicts media interest and story sentiment before sending a pitch. In this role, Andrew directs the overall growth, sales and revenue strategy for the company along with CEO & Founder Aaron Kwittken. Prior to joining PRophet, Andrew was SVP, North America at Piano Software, the leading digital experience cloud platform that allows customers to create customized digital experiences and build commercial relationships with end-users.
Andrew has extensive experience in partnerships, alliances and sales having held senior leadership roles at ScreamingMedia/Pinnacor, PR Newswire and Cision.
Andrew resides in Montclair, NJ with his wife, two children and a dog named Cody!
PRophet is the first-ever A.I.-driven platform, built by and for PR professionals, to use a proprietary combination of natural language processing and machine learning to predict media interest and story sentiment before you ever send a pitch.