The number of companies authorised to fly drones had exploded over the last couple of years. Similarly, drone use by consumers is quickly emerging. This once far-fetched technology is in the hands of every early-adapter and quick thinking CMO.
Using drones for photography and filming isn’t really a new idea, but the normalisation of it is giving way to the drone seflie, which I must say is pretty cool.
The drone is quickly becoming the latest must have for extreme sports. Forget GoPro – you need a Lily.
But what I’m interested in is what this means for business.
Drones are opening up big new ideas for companies, that previously may have been logistically impossible. Take for instance, Amazon Prime Air. This is Amazon’s “coming soon” project which employ drones to introduce 30 minute delivery. This is a very practical and non-gimicky use of drones, and one which will become very common (law permitting).
The majority of business licenses granted for drones have been given to companies looking to use them for information collection and photography, so widespread drone delivery might be a little further away. You can bet Amazon are going to be the first to market, however Walmart have also announced their interest.
I couldn’t mention drones in business without touching on the TGI Fridays disaster. Whoever sat in a campaign planning room and thought that this wouldn’t end in tears…was kidding themselves. Basically, TGIs used a drone to hover mistletoe above couples in a lame attempt to seem current. Let’s all guess how it worked out….yep, they cut the end of someone’s nose off. Good job.
The learning from this is only use something if you have a proper plan for it. Is it useful, does it add value? No? Don’t do it.
The reason we’re not seeing widespread business use of drones already is simply that the technology is ahead of the law. Law-makers are scrambling to catch up with all the plans and progression that drones are bringing. For example, Lakemaid Beer Drone delivery (below) was quickly shut down after safety concerns – but really, people just weren’t sure how to regulate it. It is a very complicated issue, as many things have to be considered with safety and air traffic being the main points.
This was something I felt was really clever and ahead of the big boys (who have followed suit in using it for advertising stunts) in terms of execution (Jan, 2014).
I say, watch this space and sooner than you realise, drones will be an everyday thing in your life.
“As drone technology itself becomes more mainstream, drone services will be the next big evolution for the industry….services is the future of this industry” – Fortune Magazine