Joe Smith’s It’s Your Business column turns 10 this month. Stock image

It’s your business: 10 years of keeping up with trends

Joe Smith

Special to The Record

This column marks the 10th anniversary of it appearing in The Record. Over those years we have seen a lot of predictions and trends that have impacted the way we communicate. Here’s a look back at just a few of those that rose to the top of the list.

2010 – YouTube announces that is has reached 2 billion daily views and Instagram launches as an opportunity for budding photographers to share their photo of the day.

2013 – Integrated marketing and communications will become increasingly important in the development of overall strategies. Consumers now move effortlessly between mediums and communications channels. Companies that develop co-ordinated programs in order to interact on multiple occasions will have a better chance of staying connected with consumers.

2014 – Mobile marketing will get even bigger. It has been predicted by some that sales of smartphones will exceed PC sales and by 2015 tablets will outsell PCs by 60 per cent. Despite the “hype” around social media most businesses need to make sure their website is working well.

2015 – The growth in the ability to develop compelling visual stories, particularly through the use of videos will help companies achieve even greater customer experiences. Not only can videos help explain how a product works through demonstrations but they can help build relationships that have an emotional connection.

2016 – The quest for products that are more natural or organic will heighten the chemical backlash movement and the fight against obesity will continue to preoccupy health concerns. So too will the focus of postponing old age for boomers and the blurring of age boundaries as more and more people place greater emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle.

2017 – A Microsoft study revealed that the average human attention span has declined from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to eight seconds today. Nielsen’s audience report found that in the USA adults devote over 10 hours each day consuming various media … Canadians would be right up there as it has been reported we are above average when it comes to the use of electronic devices.

2018 – With much emphasis being placed on “fake news,” Mintel Research suggests the best way to achieve greater loyalty is to communicate not only with transparency and honesty but with proven facts as well … the operative word, of course, is ‘proven.’

2019 – The word influence has been around for a few years now and it is becoming more of a factor when people are making buying decisions. More specifically, the trend is to incorporate influencers, especially the micro kind, as a key component of a marketing strategy. In fact, studies have shown that 80 per cent of consumers are more than likely to act on recommendations made from people they know.

2020 – According to a number of marcom websites the most common strategies that need to be taken into consideration for 2020 are shoppable posts, virtual and augmented reality, interactive opportunities, personalization, content marketing, enhanced video and the need to work towards SERP position zero.

IBM introduced the first speech recognition tool in 1961 … it could only recognize 16 words. It took nearly 50 years before Apple introduced Siri in 2012. Look how far we have come in just eight years and how many of the aforementioned trends have become key components of marketing strategies. The lesson here indicates how imperative it is that you make sure to capitalize on how technology and trends will help your business.

Joe Smith is a communications consultant and an accomplished fine artist. He can be reached via email at joesmith@shaw.ca

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