Cowling’s Corner: Where’s The Balance?

Nick Cowling - CEO
February 22, 2024
Woman on Bench

In the age of rapid technological innovation, our ability to connect goes far beyond the physical realm. However, I feel like a strong majority of companies lean completely into digital connection channels, preventing them from creating a balanced and more meaningful connection with the audiences they care about. Physical experiences and connections are highly desired across all generations and audiences segments today –  making them paramount if you actually want to align with these important groups. In fact, according to a study we did at Citizen late last year, a staggering 78% still prefer face-to-face interaction, reminding us that the human touch remains irreplaceable and sadly more than 50% felt like they had less IRL social connection than years prior.

What might be expected, specifically among younger generations, is that digital interaction is becoming an increasingly preferred avenue for social connection. It’s easy, and has become a much safer way to express yourself (or the persona you want to express) from behind a screen.  As we navigate the complexities of the Digital Age, the infusion of innovative technology into our communication practices is as crucial as the need to allow our audiences to participate in the intersection of culture and technology. But moreover, we have a huge opportunity in front of us  – as brands, as individuals, as communicators, we need to leverage a new wave of strategies to bridge the gap in social engagement and address the epidemic of loneliness. Let’s harness the spirit of innovation and apply it to how we interact, engage, and ultimately support each other – in the digital AND physical spaces. Digital connection is important – particularly to find niche communities that share specific interests. But, as humans, we desperately need the IRL connections and conversation. The balance is an investment in the life long conversations and connections you want to create with your key audiences, but it’s also an investment in societal resilience.