Hey, a new industry has just dropped. You're probably not cool enough to know about it. It's very cutting edge, very cool. Oh, you knew? Well, now I can't be hipster-snobbish about it.
Industry 5.0 is the frontier. Think less iRobot and more Wall-e. Okay, I'm not sure that's a direct comparison. Basically, 5.0 is all about human collaboration with robots, not competition. So, what could this mean for marketing, and marketers? Let's get into more detail.
What is Industry 5.0?
Industry 5.0 is a new production model which focuses on the cooperation between humans and machines. It stands for the recognition that technological advances and human insight and creativity are equally important.
But what makes it 5.0? The previous tier, industry 4.0, emerged with the arrival of automation technologies, IoT, and the smart factory.
These advancements have seen the emergence of the digital industry, which have generated a new type of technology that can offer companies data-based knowledge.
Industry 5.0 comes next, involving collaboration between high-tech machinery and tools, and the innovation and agility of human beings.
According to Gebze Technical University, there are currently two visions of Industry 5.0 which have emerged:
- Human-robot co-working. Humans and robots working together when possible. Humans take the creative tasks, and robots will handle the rest.
- Bio-economy. The smart use of biological resources for industrial purposes, to achieve a balance between ecology, industry, and economy.
During our current phase in 4.0, the goal has been to minimise human involvement and prioritise process automation.
Industry 5.0 aims to reverse this. The goal is to strike a balance where the relationship can offer the highest benefits.
As a result, it aims to be the next level of industrialisation, whereby manpower can bring a human element to factories, automation, and other processes. This might look like distributed production, intelligent supply chains, and hyper customisation, all in order to deliver a tailored customer experience, consistently and reliably.
Industry 5.0 has also translated into processes such as Operating Intelligence and Business Intelligence. This looks like the generation of models which apply technology with aims on making increasingly accurate and less uncertain decisions.
How Will Industry 5.0 Shake up Marketing?
Industry 5.0 offers benefits for a bunch of industries, for workers, and for society.
It provides a vision for the future that aims beyond efficiency and productivity as the main aim, and reinforces the role and contribution of industry and business to society.
Rather than green-washing, Industry 5.0 works to support the environment. It favours circular production models, and supports technologies that make the use of natural resources more efficient. This will build trust with customers, who have increasingly looked for societally conscious 'added extras' in their choice of businesses.
Supply chains have disrupted all types of industries, and have damaged relationships with customers. Revising existing value chains and energy consumption practices can also make industries more resilient against disruptive events, such as the Covid-19 pandemic.
Industry 5.0 also contributes to three of the European Commission’s priorities: "An economy that works for people", "European Green Deal" and "Europe fit for the digital age". This is on top of the following aspects already being part of major commission policy initiatives:
- Adopting a human-centric approach for digital technologies including artificial intelligence (Proposal for AI regulation)
- Up-skilling and re-skilling European workers, particularly digital skills (Skills Agenda and Digital Education Action plan)
- Modern, resource-efficient and sustainable industries and transition to a circular economy (Green Deal)
- A globally competitive and world-leading industry, speeding up investment in research and innovation (Industrial Strategy)
So, the curiosity, design, and understanding of how products are needed, used, and purchased becomes less tied in to the manufacturing process. Think turning how we approach customer experience mapping and audience insight on its head.
Using the automation and cognitive machinery from robot technology, you can produce what you want. Then, on the customer side, they can specify whatever variety of product they want, due to the fact that efficiencies in manufacturing allow for greater flexibility. All of this can mean a greater offering of personalisation, even for the most niche requests, without additional costs or delay.
But the changes Industry 5.0 are making aren't just on the customer side. This change will also require some element of training and a focus on talent. Whereas in the past purely digital skills were pushed, some deal of focus will be put on the more creative side of training.
The changes will also lead to a force of 'empowered workers', who can rely on improved safety and well-being, hybrid working, and even a four-day work week. So, industry 5.0 makes topics in the 'future of work' debates a genuine possibility.
So think: empowered workers, evolved skills, and training needs met. This increases the competitiveness of industry and helps attract the best talent.
Plus, the automation achieved during industry 4.0 will allow workers to free themselves from repetitive, boring, time-consuming tasks, and allow them to focus on crafting more powerful strategies, or applying their creativity.
But how does this specifically apply to marketing? Well, industry 5.0 is shaking up:
Customisation and Personalisation
Previous industry eras focused on mass production. From mechanisation and steam power, to electricity, to automation, it has been all about how much, how quickly, and how cheaply a business can produce their product.
Moving away from that, Industry 5.0 aims to provide mass customisation, in order to create a super-empowered customer.
The digital tools that will stem from the industry will give the client the ability to create their own, hyper-specific items, experience personalised engagement, and enjoy realistic and engaging experiences, from the combination of high tech and creativity.
The customer experience will be improved through the removal of the need to wait for an item to be placed back in stock. If the product is only produced after the purchase, the brand benefits too. This means no dead stock, so no dead money.
Technological innovations alone do not allow for the degree of personalisation that meets the needs of customers. The workers who are part of 5.0 will leverage the potential of technology, but will also find the space to add their own ideas, which will lead to a product which is developed with personalisation in mind.
Customer Relationships and Customer Retention
Industry 5.0 allows marketers to keep their customer in mind at all times, and focus on ways of identifying issues, and improving the relationship. This might look like using:
- Cyber Physical Cognitive Systems. Combining the capabilities of human and artificial intelligence systems to optimise performance and purpose. This means day-to-day tasks are streamlined, so marketers can turn their focus on the customer.
- Transparency. The combination of highly efficient automation, and the human element, can help keep trust high.
- Enterprise Agility. Promoting agility in every area of the business to improve efficiency. With today's rapidly changing customer demands, enterprise agility will help deal with such rapidly shifting situations.
So, Industry 5.0 aims to keep the customer happy. This looks like the faster assimilation of specific needs, and faster and cheaper production.
And from this satisfaction comes a better outcome for the marketer. They'll see increased customer retention and happiness, and through it all, a better customer experience.
All of this can benefit B2B marketers, who have struggled to adapt to the B2C mindset of their customers.
B2B customers now expect the same level of personalisation, care, and relevance that their B2C counterparts receive. So, through these innovations, marketers can use sophisticated digital marketing activity across all channels to connect prospect customers directly to the manufacturing process.
CRM, marketing automation, machine-learning personalisation, AI and VR will all have a more visible and viable role in the new industry, due to the now achievable digital transformation of the entire supply chain, right through to the customer. And alongside the creativity of the human supporting it, customers will receive a customer experience like never before.