Digital Visions: Ten Ideas for the New Decade

In the video below I outline the big themes in the paper. My full introduction follows.

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During the last decade, we’ve seen social and digital media move from being purely the domain of tech-savvy types into a mainstream phenomenon. All you need to do is consider one statistic: Twitter was mentioned on television nearly 20,000 times in 2009, according to SnapStream. As a result, companies are investing in it and – slowly – seeing results.

Given the hype, much attention has turned to guessing what will become “the next Twitter.” It’s ample fodder for tech and marketing pundits, the media and clients – especially at the beginning of a new year and a new decade.
However, in many ways this is the wrong question to ask. Where once it was hard to sleuth out emerging platforms like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook before they grew, now they just seem to surface out of nowhere. You’ll know the next Twitter when you see it.
The bigger opportunity for clients, we believe, is to identify the global societal and technological trends that are reshaping how we think, act and buy – and to pivot into them early. Trends today tend to develop more slowly and are harder to see, allowing clients to take a more thoughtful, thorough and systematic approach.
In the following pages you will find 10 essays on such trends written by some of the smartest thinkers in digital marketing. These ideas, when looked at together, reveal four key themes:
  • The shift to digital technologies by both consumers and marketers is now global and pervasive across all aspects of our life and growing daily.
  • Our engagement with each other is migrating rapidly from computer to handset.
  • Companies (and organized interests) are just beginning to wake up to the engagement imperative – and how to fund and develop it over time.
  • And finally, the future is about carefully using the data people generate to make smarter decisions, while adhering to concerns over privacy.
We hope you enjoy our 10 ideas for the new decade. We welcome you to challenge us on our thinking. After all, that’s the only way we can grow.

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