Venues into the future; the future of Contact Information

The definition and very nature of contact information is changing.

Why is this important?  If you are not able to connect with people, you cannot sell to them, you cannot recruit them, you cannot market to them.   As I talked about in the video intro, things are changing.   If there was a contact information historian, it would be me.

What gets me irritated is when something gets reported as the “next best thing”, when in reality, it is simply, the next, extremely predictable innovation in a continuum.  In this blog, I’m going to play part historian, part reporter and part futurist as it relates to contact information.  When the “next big thing” happens, and I’m including social networks, you probably won’t be surprised.

First, a definition is in order.  What is Contact Information?  I define it as:

“an information venue that facilitates communication with a person”

Why am I spending my time doing this?  My day job is steering the ship at Broadlook Technologies.  Broadlook provides technology that empowers sales and recruiting professionals with contacts at corporations.  To stay ahead, we must innovate.  To innovate, we must research.  To research we must watch, listen, learn, explore and dream a little.

One interesting aspect about contact information is that very rarely does a new form replace an old form.  For example, with the advent of SMS (or texting) people are still using email; perhaps not as much, but they are using both.  Even faxes have not been fully replaced by email.  In some cases, legal wants the paperwork.  Take it a step farther and faxes are not enough and good old paper mail is still being used.   What does that mean?

1. The nature of new venues of contact information is additive.

2. New venues lead to more specialized usage of existing venues.

3. The nature of contact information must be part of system design.

Why is this stuff, in turn, important?  Example:  If you are designing a CRM for holding contact information and you “hard code” (design something inflexible)  to store phone, fax, email and that’s it…big problem. Each time a new type of contact information is created, a hard-coded CRM would have to be updated and reprogrammed.  Some may think that a SaaS model overcomes this, but it does not.   A good CRM will have the changing nature of contact information built into it’s design and not solve it with revisions.

“A good CRM will take into account the changing nature of contact information and  design for that nature from the start and not solve it with revisions.”

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