It’s that time of the year again. The trend augurs are releasing their predictions for the coming year. Except for the analyst firm Gartner, that is, which already shared its "Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2011" in October this year – we shall see if the first-mover advantage will make them more accurate. The best forecast might still be the agenda for Davos, simply because many of the participants have the power to actually make the future happen.
From “marketing in the age of streams” to the “Googlization of media” to “situational awareness” to “location, location, locaton” to “business becomes social” to “private becomes public” – in their latest report, Edelman’s digital mavens Steve Rubel and David Armano provide a solid overview of the six key digital trends to watch.
I attended the Trendforum in Munich last week (frog was a sponsor), a two-day conference that gathered European innovation, marketing, and R&D executives to explore emerging technologies, social trends, and innovative business models. The program was eclectic and the content mostly of high quality. I was particularly intrigued by the opening session that intersected macro-economic forecasting with geeky trend evangelism as well as a humanistic pledge for meaning-driven business (in fact, the other sessions didn’t even come close, including special guest Ray Kurzweil, whose remote keynote, given by way of 3D-holographic projection, remained utterly flat).
Location matters. Black Swan-author Nassim Nicholas Taleb finds "living in big cities invaluable because you increase the odds of serendipitous encounters – you gain exposure to the envelope of serendipity." That's particularly true for romance. People move to big cities not to advance their careers, party, escape, disappear, be a star, and so on. The chick-flick fan that I am, I remember very well that candid line from Sex and the City (the movie): "I came to New York City to fall in love." Exactly. "Anyone who's predicting the decline of big cities has already met their spouse," writes Clay Shirky.
Cees van Dok, frog’s executive creative director in Europe, spoke at the Trendforum 2008 this week, one of Germany’s leading conferences for “trend research, innovation management, and trend marketing,” that brings together corporate decision-makers, creative agencies, trend scouts, and the public sector.
In May this year, frog founder Hartmut Esslinger spoke at the German Trend Day in Hamburg. The Trend Day is an influential annual forum that gathers thought leaders from business, media, and academia to discuss emerging social and cultural trends. This year’s theme was “Identity Management,” and other speakers besides Hartmut included Richard Florida, Danny Choo, and David Bosshart.
Reading WIRED's September issue, I had a William Safire moment: The magazine announced a few design changes, among them "enhanced color in photos and illustrations to increase vibrancy." Vibrancy. There it was. The marketing word of the month. The term du jour that everyone is just so in love with. Consumer brand marketers include it in marcom briefs, B2B marketers use it to talk up their web sites, and now even Wired!