It’s becoming virtually impossible to keep pace with the reality of the drivel that’s spouted forth by the information technology industry in its constant quest to convince people from all walks of life to part with their cash in ever-increasing quarter-on-quarter growth cycles.
We are now led to believe that the "convergence" of "virtual reality" and "reality" is about to create a new "Generation Virtual" of customers willing to splurge out hard-earned "moola" on virtually anything and everything that meets their fancy or takes their mood at any instant. And to gratify these cravings by going on-line to make planned or spontaneous purchases.
A well-know firm of specialist analysts (see IT On-line this week) has forecast that within 10 years more money will be spent marketing and selling to "online personas" than marketing and selling "offline" (by which I presume they mean via conventional retail channels to real people).
Quoting an interesting theory of evolution that traces the emergence of new generations of consumers from "baby boomers", through Generation" X" and "Y" to the soon-to-be-reality of "Generation V", the firm predicts that companies will be forced to move away from using demographics to slice and dice their markets to developing "psychographic" insights into nameless and anonymous "persona" in order to address a limitless pool of unknown customers.
The report, in its fanciful flights of theory and speculation, didn’t attempt to describe how any sales organisation could ever hope to receive anything more than Monopoly or virtual money for whatever the "persona’ were flocking to buy. Or how, whatever may have been bought, would be delivered to some nameless "persona" of no known address.
Virtual, by its very definition, will never mean anything more than "implied". So what is being predicted by these so-called experts is probably little more than a giant version of the ever-popular and well-known simulation game.
However, and as usual, the concluding advice given and based on all the virtual bovine excrement sprouted forth, conformed to what every IT vendor hopes and prays for – a warning to companies to start spending money now on all the new technologies, processes, systems and skills needed to take advantage of "Generation V".
– David Bryant