Published on September 14th, 2017 | by Guest0
The 10 Social and Tech Trends of the Next Decade
Marty McFly in “Back to the Future II” planned to make his fortune by bringing back a sports almanac from the future that listed all the winners from 1950 to 2000, and betting on them. If you could predict the future in digital marketing, you could probably do the same thing. However, it isn’t necessary to have a time machine to cash in on future marketing trends. You just need to look over these 10 social and tech trends for the next decade, and plan your strategy accordingly.
If you doubt the accuracy of these predictions, just check out these predictions made by Bill Gates in 1999, at least 15 of which are true today. Knowing what is most likely to happen in the next few years will allow you to take a proactive stance in marketing your brand, rather than reacting to market forces as they happen. Take heed, ye of little faith, and your rewards will be great.
Women are coming into their own in the digital age, more so in the next few years where their bigger numbers will serve to tilt the balance in their favor in the online market. Since women are the ones that still hold the purses, they decide on what to buy and when. It is important to have women in key roles in industry to gain insights into the female demographic. It won’t hurt their reputation as an equal opportunity employer, either.
Online and offline
There is an existing divide between “brick and mortar” and online retail businesses, but that line is rapidly being blurred. With more than 5 billion people connecting on the Internet, retail stores cannot afford to stay off the grid. By 2020, most retail businesses, either B2C or B2B, will be pitching their products and services online so people will come to their physical locations. Online retailers will also see an increase from $2.197 trillion in 2016 for global B2C retail sales to $4.3 trillion in 2025. If you are not yet on the grid, this is the time to get cracking!
Uber and Lyft are just among the first carsharing companies to go global, but more service providers are expected to step up to the plate. The idea is to make traveling easy and convenient for consumers or personal as well as corporate transport using apps and geolocation technologies. Car sharing also appeals to the social and environmental consciousness of many people.
Autonomous or driverless cars are also going to become more commonplace as initial trials in controlled environments wind down in preparation for mainstream distribution. This will have a significant effect on companies offering auto insurance and liability coverage, as well as car sharing drivers. Will this signal the obsolescence of drunk driving laws?
Connected living or IoT
The Internet of Things or IoT has attained some notoriety, what with scare stories about machines taking over the world. However, it has not stopped people from wanting and producing products that keep us digitally connected to each other and to our stuff. This trend will only continue to flourish in the next few years, enabling us to turn on lights by just thinking about, and moving our music seamless from the home to the car. Technology-enabled services and “smart” products will define our everyday lives.
This connectivity provides data miners a wealth of information in the cloud, as our toasters talk to our refrigerators, and our cars upload data on where we go and when. Savvy entrepreneurs can use this “big data” to be the first to innovate and customize products and services that address customers’ needs, wants, and behaviors.
Wide and open spaces may just be a dream by the end of 2025 as cities expand into mega-districts so massive that the cities themselves become a key focus for business investments rather than countries. This is interesting news for business owners, as marketing strategies can focus on location as a major factor in the buyer persona. People in the same location tend to share common characteristics. It also makes it easier to rank for location-specific searches.
There will be a continuing shift from treatment to prevention in healthcare, as costs skyrocket out of control. According to the K-wave (Kondratieff Wave) concept, this could be a trend in keeping with the 50-year cycle characteristic of capitalist economies. The current wave is believed to be the Sixth Kondratieff that specifically affects health and well-being, and began in 2010. If you are in the health industry, you need to start thinking in terms of holistic and preventative offerings. If you are already doing that, you should start marketing it aggressively.
The concept of zero
Zero for us today does not mean naught, but innovating technologies for a more sustainable future. The focus of scientists and engineers today is the continued pursuit of zero—zero carbon, zero emissions, zero accidents, and zero waste. Cities are racing to be the first in being zero, such as Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, which aspires to be the first zero-carbon city in the world.
The zero concept is strangely alluring, and doesn’t necessarily have to be about the environment. Consider innovating products or services based on zero maintenance or zero calories, it is sure to attract followers.
The rise of the middle class will continue to burgeon globally, fuelling the impetus for affordable products for the masses. Designer brands will still have their niches, but the real profit will be in accommodating the middle class, such as no-frills air travel and generic pharmaceuticals. Online businesses are particularly poised for this type of business model, as it can reach markets in both developing and developed countries.
We already see alternative sources of energy in use for homes and cars, but hardly on industrial levels. The future paints a different picture, with the energy industry converging with other industries to develop environmentally friendly solutions to energy needs. One trend is the use of smart grid technology, which primarily makes the distribution of electricity from whatever source more efficient. The Energy Internet or “enernet” brings it one step further down the socially responsible road by using only renewable and clean energy. These two trends go hand-in-hand, and neatly dovetails with IoT and smart cities.
Industries have to be sensitive to how consumer behavior evolves with the technology they use. Technology shapes the behavior, but people still make the decision to buy. Content marketing plays a big role in persuasion, especially if the content is expertly created by a professional essay service, but the value of the content relies heavily on the right SEO strategy. With rapid changes in technology creating new markets, businesses have to be on their toes. Businesses that can anticipate the changes in behavior and prepare for it will gain the most market share in the future.
Trends may come and go, but they always leave their marks on the market. Social and tech trends are the biggest players in the arena, so businesses and industries have to keep a close watch on them to anticipate what will happen in the future. Predict them correctly and you can make a killing.
Laurа Buckler holds an MA Honours degree in Marketing and a Masters in English Language. She has taken a variety of roles, starting from media and pr, to campaigning and public affairs. At this point, Lauren holds 6 years of experience working in marketing and communication, including blogging and web copy. Follow her on Twitter.