It’s 2010 and time for reflections and predictions. This January was really busy, so I didn’t get to wrap this up before the 2nd month of the year. So here are my predictions for the rest of 2010 (or twenty-ten if you are so inclined).
- Web 3.0 (it was quiet on the 2.0 front)
- Enterprise Social Media. The c-suite says, you can’t bring your Facebook in here, but we’ll build a better Facebook. With a walled garden, boardroom bingo, and sim-meetings.
- Ubiquitous connectivity leads to better apps (and no breaks). You’ll be working 18 hours per day, with a few hours to turn off and sleep. Maybe.
- Cheap cell phone jammers (there’s an app for that, because we’re annoyed with all of this public chatter).
- “Principled” consumers: locavores, green buyers, fair trade, organic, vegans. Everyone is going to pick one and all consumer behavior will be defined by these tribes.
- TMI (too much information) all the time. From your friends, co-workers, the media and the world
- Facebook family reunions
- The end of free checks when you open a new bank account. Why use a checkbook when you can initiate e-checks? No word if this will be the nail in the coffin for cursive writing.
- Cash as a budgeting tool. Consumers are maxed out. The best way to control your spending is to only use the cash in hand. Literally.
And on a more serious note, here are a few business and marketing predictions for the coming year:
Customer Experiences to Differentiate Solutions and Services
Organizations will finally put customer (and user) experiences first. It is no longer enough to have “good customer service.” Today customers are looking for a great end to end experience. For retailers this means everything from store layout, return policies, checkout and in-store engagement. For software and B2B companies this means UI, multi-modal customer support, sales process, fulfillment and the full lifecycle including ongoing communication and relationship building. In most cases, all solutions will meet the basic requirements, the real differentiators will be how quickly and efficiently organizations can adopt and adapt to the new solutions.
The Proof is in the Reports
2010 will be the year that all marketers will be accountable on proving, and communicating marketing effectiveness with concret metrics. Over the past few years we’ve been skating around the issue, and organizations are getting a lot closer. I think this will move from being required in some organizations and optional in others to a full-on requirement for marketers across all organizations. The closer marketers can get to providing specific examples of revenue generated from campaigns the better.
SMS to Revenue
SMS is the new great hope for marketers. We all want to find a way to use it as part of the marketing mix, and the tools are finally begining to be available. I think this year we’ll see case studies, across multiple segments, of marketers using text messages with success in their marketing mix. And not just for consumer marketing.
The area of advanced personalization is finally here. We have tools to personalize and customize messaging to individual consumers. (See Amazon’s suggestion engine). In all of our education pursuits: professional or in formal education, students will have the opportunity to build a curriculum that is relevant and targeted to their interests and needs. I think this will be most common in professional development and educations, but I am sure it will trickle down to higher education in short order. The next step for University of Phoenix and other online universities is to let “students” build their own programs to enhance their skills and take into account personal interests. The content is available and indexed; now it is time to deliver it to the right audience.