At the Detroit Media Partnership, we do a significant amount of trend watching and future forecasting — we want our products to meet users in the future, not be chasing after them where they were.
The slides included here come from the biggest, most recent session rallying everyone from the newsroom to marketing to advertising around the digital trends that will gain steam in the coming year. Not only will they affect us—they’ll affect the business partners we support.
So, what are these trends you should be thinking about? Here’s a quick recap:
1. Wearable technology — More and more tech is making its way into our wardrobe. We’re planning for a future that has fewer screens and more feedback data.
2. Ecommerce — Used to be, people were afraid to put a credit card number into a website. Not anymore. Now people can pay with their smartphones. Is your company well positioned to transact with users across digital platforms?
3. The social web — Social media has rapidly become the way many people discover news and new businesses in their neighborhood. Brands have used these networks to broadcast, but they’re only beginning to understand how to participate effectively. Do people tune you out on social channels, or have you figured out their psychological motivations?
4. Smart devices — More and more devices are wi-fi enabled, offering amazing new potential. If your products were connected to the web would that benefit your customers?
5. The environment as technology — It isn’t just devices. Sensors are being built into everything: bridges, buildings, cars, you name it. What advantages can you imagine in making your products part of the Internet of Things?
6. Unbundling — Value is often created in the bundling together of products, but our old bundles — the newspaper, the cable channel package, the record album — are getting broken up. Is your business exposed to unbundling? What could you bundle to create new value?
7. Commoditization — The web is growing like crazy. This means the content and ads out there have more and more competition, and their value is falling. How do you stand out in the ocean that is the Internet?
8. Search — It’s the single most dominant behavior on the web and it continues to evolve. Search will likely move from giving you articles to giving you answers. Is your web presence prepared to evolve as search technology changes?
9. Context and anticipation — More and more, users expect their digital products to know where they are and the specifics of what they want, often without asking. Significant technical advances are making this a reality. How well does your product know its user?
10. Privacy and security — Edward Snowden and the NSA put this on the forefront of the public attention, and concerns over privacy and security will persist, even generating new digital products in the market. Does your product foster users’ desire for privacy or the need to keep their data secure?