Since 2001, Deloitte has been reporting on and predicting yearly technology, media, and telecommunications trends that may have significant impact on companies in many sectors. Something that seems to be the “coolest” gadget for the market may not be the greatest hit whether due to its functionality challenges, or how it’s marketed to the intended audience.
Predicting hits and misses each year for game-changing trends for technology, media, and telecommunications can “be tricky” according to Duncan Stewart, Director of Research TMT for Deloitte Canada. Attendees of yearly networking and professional development events in London, Ontario can find out about upcoming and past predictions thanks to the partnering hosts: London Economic Development Corporation and Deloitte.
NOTE: The takeaways outlined below are more about what technologies are failing and what’s gaining popularity (hits) as opposed to which of Deloitte’s predictions failed or succeeded. From a marketing point of view, it’s more important to know what technologies companies to consider using and those to abandon.
2016 Report – event on May 17, 2016
The change in predictions from 2015 to 2016 has not been drastic, and the emphasize remains on what millennials are doing i.e. how they are using technology and driving what is popular. For instance, TV viewing is dropping overall but very little change except when it comes to the younger generations, which are “dropping TV viewing at the same rate they stopped reading newspapers in 2000.”
— Colleen G McCauley (@CGMcCauley) May 17, 2016
So what changed in one year? First, one of 2015 hits, the 3D printer, became a miss in 2016. Cognitive technologies and virtual reality are both growing though in niche markets. On the other hand, print book sales are still rising compared to e-books.
“Imagine throwing a printed book in the garbage or recycling it. People like print books – how we think, they feel, and makes us look smarter.” ~ Duncan Stewart
Other growing hits are touch commerce, which will attempt to address the problem for retailers of shopping cart abandonment on mobile. Filling out forms on a phone is too cumbersome, so it’s a really good idea for marketers to make sure they have a follow-up process to recapture that lead and establish the purchase, such as an e-newsletter that features the item.
Next is the PC really dead? On the contrary, PC time is increasing and has not been substituted with tablets and phones. Millennials, in particular, tend to have a phone in one hand and a laptop in the other, but rejecting tablets, which are being perceived as a child’s device and as they don’t have third hand.
What’s key to note is what millennials are using their phones for, which is mainly social media with the exception of LinkedIn as it’s viewed as a business tool.
— Earth2Business Mrktg (@Earth2BizMrktg) May 17, 2016
Last but not least, it was not surprising to hear that in one year the issue of fewer women in technology still remains. Diversity is necessary in technology as it is in many industries to ensure female consumer needs are considered appropriately during design. Yet, it will take time to overcome as certain “behaviors are tolerated in IT that are not tolerated in other industries”.
— Colleen G McCauley (@CGMcCauley) May 17, 2016
Updated June 2, 2016
Photos of event attendees (including Colleen G. McCauley below left) were featured on LEDC’s Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LondonEDC/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10153775387924403 and others were featured by Snap London online at https://london.snapd.com/event/939843#/.
2015 Report – event on April 15, 2015
Failed predictions (misses) for 2015 included smart glasses, Wifi kettles, and e-books. The first two both seem to be pretty “cool” innovations, and marketing messages reflect them as such. In regards to the kettles, Wifi isn’t always reliable so a regular kettle on a burner might just work better. Smart glasses also seem to be facing other challenges that haven’t made it the hit as predicted. And what about ebooks? “Print sales up and ebook sales are down.” said Duncan. When he asked his daughter why buy a print copy over digital for her favourite book, her response was simple “Something this good deserves to be in print.” Books not only have a smell to stimulate the senses and memory, but also have covers, which can add to one’s status apparently.
Trends that are making the mark (hits) include the increase in mobile payments aka tap-n-go and 3D printing, which is really making its mark since time to market is fast. Duncan stated
“Mass customization of goods is spreading to services. Customization is modernization.”
Imagine how quickly a customized product such as hearing aids, toys, or wedding rings can be brought to market that addresses the need for individualization with the simple use of 3D printing.
One main point in the presentation that really caught the attention of Earth to Business Marketing owner, Colleen G McCauley, was the noted difference that women and diversity in general can make for a business. Getting an organization away from the trap of groupthink is a challenge, but when it happens… more ideas, innovation and money.
Update May 29, 2015
Photos of event attendees (including Colleen G. McCauley below left) were featured by Snap London on page 17 in the print version and online at https://london.snapd.com/event/832945#/.