I remember being in the computer lab in grad school when my friend Sue said, “I think I’m going to get an iPod.” I thought, “Why the heck would you want an iPod?”

Then six months passed, and I couldn’t remember what it was like to not have an iPod. It was interesting: at first, a lot of us used iPods as external storage devices as well as mp3 players. That’s because it’s what we knew: small devices that plug into your computer via USB can store your documents. When a new technology is introduced, it takes time for us to explore all the ways it can be used. It also takes time to see what is useful to us and what devices make life easier or what tools and sites help us connect with more people.

Right now, there are all sorts of interesting developments in digital design: new devices are being introduced practically every day; your customers are consuming information in different formats, in different media, and across different channels.

Does your marketing strategy accommodate shifts and new trends in order to reach your target audiences? That’s scary, right? You need to use your marketing budget wisely and get the best ROI. It can be hard when you don’t know what will stick in terms of “the next big thing.” Maybe you should stick with the tried and true… or maybe you should consult with marketing experts who stay on top of these trends, thinking about them day and night.

I think about myself in that computer lab almost a decade ago, thinking, “Why would I want an iPod?” I don’t have anything to lose as a consumer to not be an early adopter (except perhaps street cred in the geek world). However… I hope your company isn’t asking itself the same questions and falling behind the pack on improving your marketing ROI.