I can still remember a time when cell phones weren’t prevalent, when email didn’t exist, and – unlike my experience yesterday – plane rides meant looking out the window, reading books, and maybe catching a flick on the main movie screen in the cabin of the plane, if you could see the screen at all.

In Text-ing on a Jet Plane, Eydie talks about how SMS has infiltrated air travel. My recent journeys have given me even more confirmation that the digital revolution has reached the “friendly skies.” On Virgin America, I experienced “Red,” the in-flight entertainment system, which gives passengers access to their own multimedia entertainment system – with their choice of premium or satellite TV, movies, games, shopping, interactive chat, music, and more.

As I made my way to the back of the plane to the line for the restroom, the flight began to experience a bit of turbulence. This prompted me to brace myself and turn towards the front of the plane, giving me the perfect view of all the individual video screens in the rear cabin. Immediately I noticed that each screen looked different. Each passenger was watching on-demand digital content, and each digital experience was obviously unique.

Virgin America, despite the woes collectively experienced in the airline industry, succeeds in a key area. It expemplifies how to provide multimedia content to a discerning and diverse audience. The resulting effect seems democratic and liberating, at least initially. Like I’ve stressed in past articles, providing customers with this take-away is invaluable in the digital era. This same principle can be applied to marketing your business digitally. Each of your customers is unique and can feel the same empowerment that I felt yesterday on Virgin, provided you master the art of sending the right message using their preferred form of media. Having a platform that provides you a simple way to communicate via multiple channels can make this concept achievable and efficient for any business.

While the lines of traditional and digital means of communication still seem blurred today, this is by no means the way of the future. On-demand, digital, and multichannel – whether the topic is content, marketing, or communications –  are what we will expect from brand operators, content distributors, and any form of commerce. Integrating these concepts in your business today will help you stay ahead of the pack tomorrow.

Shaneli Ramratan, Marketing Manager, mobileStorm