We can’t make any promises, but here are a few digital trends that have people talking, texting, liking, sharing, and snapchatting.
The Internet of Things
This brave new world features the animation of all the objects, and it’s just getting started. Things we can touch—cars, heaters, airplanes, shopping carts, shelves—are getting fitted with sensors that allow them to talk to the Internet and to each other. Will it end with robot revolution?
Consider this your wake up call: 78% of 12-18-year-olds have smart phones.
More and more consumer segments are watching TV while tweeting on their phones and looking up content on their tablets. Smart brands are stepping up by executing multi-screen strategies that optimize the data captured and the unique connections made.
BUT: Millennials go all in on mobile
Consider this your wake up call: 78% of 12-18-year-olds have smart phones, and they are using them nearly all of the time. Why would they engage with a desktop or a tablet? Portable and reliable, their mobile is their source for information, friends, and video. They don’t want anything else.
It’s more than just Google Glass and smart watches. Recent wearable tech news involves fabric-embedded solar panels; “bioreactive” concerts that monitor crowd energy levels; and nano-Wearables that report back on health conditions. If this trend goes mainstream, some say it could be a $50 billion business in five years or less.
Consolidation tools like RebelMouse and lyvefire act as social front page hubs that publish hashtags, posts, videos, mentions, likes, and more, all in one place. Refreshingly simple idea, but will consumers care about this 30,000 foot view of a brand’s social space? Some say it drives higher engagement; others believe it could be a way to discover the real influencers. Stay tuned.
Facebook is dead. Long live Facebook.
At the time of this writing, Facebook organic reach is down nearly 50%. Chatter about “how to deal” has increased tenfold. Some marketers are talking 100% abandonment. Another segment is encouraging brands to re-consider websites. Others want to create a community of their own, with rewards and incentives for the most valuable advocates.
Influencers are the new celebrities.
The headline says it all. Consumers love the advice of content creators and will act on it. No ROI has been proven for influencer-created content, but leveraging these emerging superstars under a paid model is shaping up as a solid bet.
Refuge in digital detox trials. Families on unplugged vacations. The temporary “No Noise” campaign in England. As humans, we will naturally seek more refuge from increasing digital chaos. How much do we really want? And is it too late?
Privacy is the new gold.
Are we craving a retreat behind closed iPhones? Mark Cuban’s CyberDust; a DNA sanitizer called “Invisible;” the newly re-designed Duck Duck search engine suggest it’s true. Anonymous social networks like Whisper and Secret are getting buzzy too.
The Sharing Economy
Why buy when you can rent and organize the whole thing over the Internet? Peer-to-peer sites like Airbnb and Etsy are leading the way, but hiccups have happened. This inherently optimistic economic model requires a lot of trust and common sense for what’s creepy and what’s cool.