2015: Some Trends! Mike | December 8th, 2014

It is totally that time of year again. Decorations are everywhere, strains of holiday music can be heard in every Starbucks in the land, delivery truck drivers are straining under the weight of gift-laden cartons, and annual lists of trends are popping up on blogs everywhere.

So, thinks I, why shouldn’t I jump in on this trend of trends-lists? Everyone else is doing it, right? Maybe I have some insight that the others don’t? Maybe I can come up with a trend that everyone else missed? Maybe I can leverage my superior perception and share with you a trend or three that nobody else has? Well, maybe not, but perhaps a slightly different approach. After reading dozens of these posts over the past few days, I thought it might be interesting to look at 5 different sectors (digital marketing, social media, manufacturing, SEO, and energy) and find one or two really good ones for each. How’s that sound? Well, here ya go:

1. Digital marketing. Many are predicting the rapid rise of a new c-level position at lots of businesses: The Chief Digital Officer. Business News Daily, says that the CDO will be tasked with developing “effective strategies for mobile and digital platforms.” Well considering that many businesses are already deeply engaged in doing just that, it makes a great deal of sense that a senior executive should take the lead. As digital marketing becomes de rigeur  for companies large and small, the responsibility for the success or failure of strategy should be taken by someone whose salary reflects its relevance.

2. Social media. One of the most intriguing trends reported in the SM sphere comes via Entrepreneur.  The ubiquity of smart devices and the sensors embedded in these will allow the sharing of reams of personal data across all of your favorite platforms. Your refrigerator could tweet about how many calories you’ve consumed while your fitbit posts how many you’ve burned to your Facebook page. In the meantime, your Nest thermostat will be posting how many therms you’ve used heating your home through the 2015 polar vortex while your bathroom scale shares your weight with the world. Is there no decency left?

3. Manufacturing. Industry Week reports the rise of “next-shoring” as a strategic opportunity. A cousin to the concept of Just-in-Time manufacturing where suppliers locate close to producers  as a way to manage inventory efficiently, with next-shoring a manufacturer locates it’s facility close to where they will be sold. By reducing the time between factory, shipping facility, and store shelves producers bring their goods to market faster and cheaper. The winner? Well, it’s the consumer of course!

4. SEO. Inc published several, but the most compelling may be their contention that  long-tail search traffic may be where the best ROI is to be found. For many on-line advertisers, one and two-word key phrases are ridiculously expensive instruments for ranking success and that smart marketers will leverage the higher rates of conversion in long-tail search.

5. Energy. Jane Weissman posts that power grids will be recognized for what they are: an amalgam of wires, sure, but the best new grid designs recognize that must also take into account everything from system reliability to customer engagement to rate setting and energy efficiency. ,In other words, the trend is to recognize that modern grids are made up of so much more than simply towers and cables.

Illustration: Brian Solis and JESS3’s Conversation Prism, Wikimedia Commons

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