Key Predictions for Trends in 2016, Part II

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While we sometimes look at cultural events, we will not discuss the impact of “The Force Awakens” since many have not seen the movie yet (or have not seen it a second time, yet) nor the presidential election.

Here are our second set of marketing and technology trends that we think will have an impact in 2016.

  1. Content management remains king. With traditional media’s downward trend and social media’s continued prominence, companies must continue to promote themselves as thought leaders through social media, blogs, videos, bylined articles, videos and more. And they must do so an ongoing basis to remain fresh and relevant.
  2. More will cut the cord in 2016. There will always be a reason to watch TV on a big screen but too many families watch TV on separate rooms on various devices. Cable isn’t something you need, even for sports – although in some cases you need to have a cable subscription to access programming on your device and you certainly need Internet access to be able to stream. So we expect some people not to cut the cord because it’s more complicated and not necessarily cheaper if you cut the cable cord. Too much good shows to watch.
  3. The importance of a college education will continue to generate media interest. The media will continue to look at whether a college education is worth the student debt loads as well as what kind of education we should provide our students. In an age of instant access to facts, memorizing certain facts may not be as helpful as actually understanding the underlying issues around history, science, literature, etc. and may not be indicators of future career success.
  4. The gig or on-demand economy will continue to grow. For optimists, the gig economy gives people the ability to work when they need to, where they want to, to take on new opportunities and experiences, and to be more entrepreneurial (like the guy who took shares in then-private Facebook to paint its offices and wound up with shares worth $200 million). To pessimists, it means that people won’t have the safety net of company-provided healthcare and benefits. We expect the debate about the gig economy to continue in 2016, as courts decide whether Uber drivers are employees, whether they can unionize, etc.
  5. Virtual Reality won’t go mainstream, yet. The New York Times’ new experiment with virtual reality as an immersive advertising platform – which included a free cardboard VR viewer for subscribers –was impressive, but its cardboard viewer hasn’t sent crowds to purchase more sophisticated and more expensive viewers. That said, others will follow the success (or failure) of what the Times calls “the future of news.” If it is the future, expect it to make reporters’ lives even more challenging because of the additional work it takes to film and edit immersive VR.

We will issue our next set of predictions tomorrow. But let us know what you think of today’s trends.

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