Predictapalooza 2016

It is that time of the year for annual lists of marketing and technology predictions.  Based on the volume of posts in my feeds over this past month, we may have reached ‘Peak Prediction’ where the number of ways that the world may change through technology has now been outstripped by the number of people actually blogging about it.  In an effort to separate the wheat from the chaff, here are highlights from a few strong reports that I read between sips of eggnog that present interesting digital strategy questions to ponder this year.


Trend Watching: Consumer Predictions for 2016

One of the 5 trends outlined by Trend Watching is ‘Contextual Omnipresence’, along with some recent research and examples that involve deriving new insights from data.

“In September 2015, Barcelona-based Telefónica Research published a report showing researchers are able to tell from a smartphone user’s mobile activity whether the user is bored with an 83% accuracy rate. Participants were then sent notifications recommending content on Buzzfeed.” 

Q: How can marketers start to use data to more finely target customers based on their current emotional state?


Frog Design: Tech Trends 2016

In addition to being a beautifully designed publication, Frog has a great write up on ‘The Open Enterprise’ (think Uber). 

“As companies seek to transform around the principles of human centered design, they need to plan for the reality that most human work extends beyond the boundaries of their business model…While there is a very real threat of market share loss to companies who miss how to design and build for this trend, the market opportunities for those who embrace it will be profound.”

Q: How can companies better adapt their business models to how customers naturally behave instead of forcing customers to adapt to how their business operates?


Fjord: Fjord Trends 2016

Another well-designed publication is from Fjord, who has a provocative write up on the trend of atomization.

“Atomization is widespread in music streaming apps like Spotify, which now transcends environments (think: your living room to your car to your workspace) and is delivered through various branded partnerships. The atomization of Spotify is part of a much bigger transition we’re now witnessing.”

Q: What is the ‘smallest’ and most shareable format of a service from a brand that has value and can be distributed throughout other platforms and contexts?


Contagious: The Most Contagious Ideas of 2015

Always an inspiring read, the latest Contagious report has a very insightful dissection of what makes Snapchat such a unique platform that is positioned to become a real force in modern media.

“Did the platform shift the paradigm, or did the paradigm shift inform the platform?  This chicken and egg discussion is indicative of how Snapchat has hit its stride at just the right time, making platform advancements indistinguishable from consumer behaviour shifts. Indeed, Snapchat seems to be perfectly positioned for 2016, with user habits and platform mechanisms dovetailing perfectly to create an unstoppable force in media.”

Q: Should Snapchat move from curiosity to legitimate channel for marketers, with the same attention and investment as the major social platforms?


social@Ogilvy: Key Digital Trends for 2016

This is a fun deck on social media with a lot of personality.  The authors provide useful advice around measuring what matters in content marketing:

 “Marketers are obsessed with content but oddly only measure effectiveness by website statistics.  Yet when it comes to [arguably one of the world’s best content marketer] Buzzfeed, of the 18.5B impressions it receives every month only 2% of those are on its website.”

Q: How can marketers finally evolve measurement capabilities to be able to effectively understand the impact of content beyond owned properties?


Hopefully some interesting food for thought as you start your new year.  If you have any additional links or predictions you would like to share, I would love to hear them.  Finally, I wish—make that predict—that you all will have a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2016.