Goodbye 2016, and hello 2017! I can’t say that I am sorry to see 2016 go for many reasons, but the predictions I have for 2017 are fun and encouraging.
In response to the racial, political, cultural and environmental divides, I am certain that the charitable giving rise we saw at the end of 2016 will continue. And of course, as technology is put to good use, we will see new ways of giving on the rise. Apps like Share The Meal make it so easy to give multiple times. The difference in this app is that the creators took the data from both donors and recipients and combined it a way that encourages app users to donate again and again. The data is actionable! But the creators of Share The Meal did not stop there. They facilitate engagement….making it easy to share your actions and encourage your friends to do more.
In 2017, this trend of social media engagement may finally translate to the business-to-business world. In business-to-business or B2B social media, winners are emerging, and not surprisingly, the winners are the companies that actually learned to hold a conversation and engage with their audience. To the pundits that say the new generation doesn’t know how to communicate and that social media is a worthless expense, we have seen the opposite to be true on a consistent basis. From solidifying community relations to helping customers innovate, to opening doors and actually facilitating sales, social media engagement is the new critical component to marketing.
Technology advances are also changing our lives for the better. One of our favorite pieces of technology this year was expansion of smart devices and digital assistants. While Siri has been a part of our lives since 2011, we only recently discovered the range of capabilities of Amazon Echo, Dot and Tap. So why did we fall so hard for that technology this year? Amazon mastered two things: flexibility of teaching Alexa new tricks and communicating the possibilities to users.
Of course we have seen the downside of all this technology in the large-scale hacking of smart devices, computers, email servers and more. Cybersecurity, as we predicted last year, is a concern for everyone — even politicians. In 2017, corporations will struggle to secure digital assets and intellectual property as their employees run ahead of IT with implementation of the digital tools that keep them ahead of the competition. One of our goals is to stay abreast of changes and work closely with our clients’ IT departments to protect their digital assets.
We are all excited to start a new year — the possibilities are endless. Hopefully our work will make the world a better place.