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We live in the golden age of technology. Computers are faster than ever before, storage is a commodity, processing speeds boggle the mind. With quantum computing right around the corner and the cloud enabling scalable deployment and processing capabilities to spur development we ask ourselves why the reluctance to use digital channels to actually understand the individual.

We have innovated hardware, why is it so challenging to innovate our thinking?

Geoffrey Moore stated: “The point of greatest peril in the development of an emerging technology-based market lies in making the transition from an early market dominated by a few visionary customers to a mainstream market dominated by a large block of customers who are predominantly pragmatists.”

This thinking has manifested itself in the technology adoption curve shown below.

The problem of innovation is so pronounced that companies have been forced to create a new C-suite position, the Chief Innovation Officer (CINO) or Chief Technology Innovation Officer (CTIO) to overcome the “chasm.” In these organizations the institutional barriers are such that we have had to designate a person responsible for managing the process of innovation and change management.

One can hypothesize that the most reluctant organism to change is the human. This trend was recently highlighted by BuzzFeed who has begun a move away from demographics  to  psychographics. To this end they highlight that “both marketers and content creators have been segmenting audiences into demographics for some time, and that shouldn’t be discounted, but the behavioral- and interest-based targeting methods are incredibly successful. Why? Because people appreciate being individuals.

The concept of individual activation is one espoused by behavioral scientists which eschews psychographics for actual individualized understanding. A recent post by Darko Lovic of Incandescent Ventures which highlights the importance of individualization as a means of understanding and activating people.

Through a deeper understanding of people we can improve financial health, education outcomes and population medical well-being. Organizations can drive deeper ROI with more human, personal and individual interaction.

At DA we applaud the move away from demographics and towards a new thinking about people. The technology is here, now we ask will the human mindsets follow ?