TECH/DIGITAL TRENDS FOR 2018: ARE YOU READY TO GET DYNAMIC?

TECH/DIGITAL TRENDS FOR 2018: ARE YOU READY TO GET DYNAMIC?

 

Isn’t it amazing how in a relatively short period of time, big tech companies like Google and Amazon have become our favorite “household names” while old guard brands like P&G or Coca Cola have become “lost brands?

But, of course, it makes sense – the internet has become as vital as the air we breathe – at least in my household. If the cable is out, nobody really cares but if the internet is down, my whole building goes ballistic.

Here are some stats to back this up:

  • 21% of Americans say they are online “almost constantly,” 42% go online a few times a day (Source: Pew)
  • 55% would be happy to purchase everything online (including a house!)
  • 72% purchase something online at least once a month
  • 60% buy clothing online in a typical month

Heading into 2018, here are 6 trends I expect to become even more ubiquitous. (Note: I’m not reiterating developments I have recently written about e.g. bitcoin or AI).

Read on below.

Read More >

Share this post on:

Why are My Doctors So Behind the Times When it Comes to Technology?

Why are My Doctors So Behind the Times When it Comes to Technology?

 

Just tried to make an appointment on my doctor’s patient portal and it was DISMAL. I would be more forgiving if my doctor were ancient but she’s in her early 50s.

This is the experience I encountered:

  •  Logged on to her system, expected to see available appointments.
  • The site shows all dates and times – but doesn’t distinguish between those that are available and those already booked.
  • You are literally looking for a needle in a haystack.
  • To find an open appointment, you have to click on every single time/day until you run into an available time. Yikes.

I finally called her office to schedule an appointment (how last century is that?). When I see her later this month I will make a plea for zocdoc, or another similar service.

These are such little things, really minor annoyances, but they make a huge difference in providing efficient, seamless experiences. And they definitely affect my perception of the service provider. Neo-Luddism is not my thing.

Read on below for more on this, along with examples of businesses getting it right.

Read More >

Share this post on:

2018 Instagram Trends: Essentials to Get Your ‘Gram On

2018 Instagram Trends: Essentials to Get Your ‘Gram On

Photo credits: Bella Hadid (left), GaryPepperGirl (upper right), CarmenGraceHamilton (bottom row, middle), TheCatWalkItalia (lower right), Elle AU

 

Elle has identified 12 trends to look out for in 2018 (link here). But there are four already popping up among influencers:

  • WomanSpreading: ‘unladylike’ but super empowering
  • Hi-Lo: LOTS of this (right up your alley, Snaxtime!!)
  • Gaudy/ Opulent Interiors: More is more
  • Glitter & Sparkle: check out the Kira Kira app, makes things even sparklier

Read on below for more on how to use Instagram Stories in tandem with your feed, blog or website. Also, which filters are most popular from a study of over 40 million Instagram posts from influencer marketing company, Relatable.

Read More >

Share this post on:

Millennial Dads Hate Giving/Receiving Gift Cards? Hard to Believe!

Millennial Dads Hate Giving/Receiving Gift Cards? Hard to Believe!

 

According to a new report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers, millennial dads will spend more on their families this holiday than all other consumer groups.

  • 94% say they’re going to spend more or the same as last year.
  • The majority will shop online, using mobile devices – more than any other group.
  • They will pay via smartphone at 3X the rate of other age groups and with wearables e.g. Apple Watches at 4X the rate of others.
  • Millennial dads are 3X more likely than others to shop with smart home technology like Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
  • Retailers like Walmart and Amazon are placing big bets that voice shopping will be the next frontier of e-commerce, hoping it will increase sales and reduce the steps required to make purchases.
  • Millennial dads will spend more on holiday travel than other groups
  • 25% might buy a car if the holiday sales are good enough.

One sour note for retailers: millennial dads prefer to give tangible gifts such as electronics and toys, and hate both giving and receiving gift cards.

Read More >

Share this post on:

Corporate Social Media Is Rarely So Well-Played

Corporate Social Media Is Rarely So Well-Played

 

So this happened a few days ago. Some eagle-eyed twitter user discovered that KFC  only follows 11 accounts on twitter although it has 1.2million followers. And those 11 accounts happen to be 6 guys named Herb and all 5 Spice Girls. How brilliant, subtle and funny is this? Why you ask? Because KFC’s legendary, secret recipe just happens to contain 11 Herbs and Spices – get it?

Of course, we’ll next find out that eagle-eyed @Edgette22 who posted this last Friday, is a KFC plant – but whatever, still a brilliant PR/Social Media stunt.

But that’s not the only clever and astute use of social media I’ve come across.

Read on below for more examples (including from real estate and banking) as well top social media trends to anticipate for 2018 (including for PR, and for content meant to go viral).

Read More >

Share this post on:

Betting on the AI Revolution in Business and Government

Betting on the AI Revolution in Business and Government

 

I’ve been reading Ray Dalio’s brilliant new book Principles. What a genius that man is. Not only smart and an absolute original but also quite an eccentric. His company, Bridgewater Associates, the most successful hedge fund in the world, has been an innovator in algorithmic decision-making since its inception. Data, AI and algorithms provide the company with the tools to make decisions unencumbered by emotion or swayed by internal politics (this is a huge deal for Ray Dalio, he talks about it frequently in the book).

But now, finally, AI is being touted as the technology of our age. As big a deal as electricity was 100 years ago.

  •  AI is a huge market. The global artificial intelligence market had an overall valuation of US$126 billion in 2015. The market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 36.1% through 2024 when it is expected to reach an overall valuation of US$3,061 billion.
  • Fingers crossed, we’ll see AI replacing much of the government. Can you imagine how much more streamlined and efficient governing would be? No more gridlock, brinkmanship and general craziness when it comes to things that matter to all Americans: infrastructure, education, health care.

Read on below for more examples of how companies and industries are using AI for greater efficiency and competitive advantage. It’s a MUST READ.

Read More >

Share this post on:

Cashless is Where It’s At and I Couldn’t Be Happier

Cashless is Where It’s At and I Couldn’t Be Happier

 

Are you using cash less often these days? I definitely am. Since May (when I started using Venmo), my ATM visits have dropped from once every 2 weeks to once every 2 months!

  • My credit card usage has not changed but I am using Venmo constantly both to pay and receive money.
  • Even my cleaning person now accepts Venmo which has been a huge plus (and the biggest reason for the decline in my ATM usage).

I only need cash now for my forays into Chinatown to do my fruit and vegetable shopping. Street vendors are keeping it real and staying cash-only – at least for now.

But cash’s days are definitely numbered. Even restaurants which have historically preferred to be cash-only, are now going cash-free.

Read on below for more on the trend to cashless and the brands and countries leading the way.

Read More >

Share this post on:

Social Media Trends for 2018: Real-Time Selling Is the Most Intriguing

Social Media Trends for 2018: Real-Time Selling Is the Most Intriguing

 

I’m currently tracking and evaluating several trends for the coming year but livestreaming as it exists in Asia is absolutely fascinating. It is worth watching because it is creating a new online culture and disrupting how consumers and brands use social media as a marketing tool. The U.S. is lagging far behind.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs have predicted that China’s livestream video market will grow from $2 billion in 2015 to $15 billion in 2020.

  • Livestreaming is creating a new online culture and producing new modes of real-time selling, as well as spawning new on-air personalities.
  • Livestreaming video is monetized by real-time consumer purchasing, virtual gifting, and ads vs. on-demand video which is monetized primarily by ads.
  • Top livestreamers attract over 100,000 viewers per session.
  • They generate money through purchases of virtual stickers and filters as well as through micro-transactions e.g. small gifts and donations by fans in real time during the livestream.
  • Livestreaming creates new opportunities for fame as Asian millennials broadcast their everyday lives equipped only with smartphones and selfie sticks
  • Marketers are taking advantage of this phenomena too.
  • 70% of over 100 beauty brands with operations in China use livestreaming as a marketing and advertising tool for product launches, fashion shows, and real-time buying links.
  • Maybelline sold 10,000 lipsticks within two hours by livestreaming its products using a Chinese influencer (Angelababy, pic above)
  • Alibaba’s Taobao and JD.com, two of China’s biggest online shopping sites, have both launched their own livestreaming platforms
  • The stage is set for livestreaming in the US as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and other channels enable livestreaming across their platforms.

Source: ZDNet

Read on below for three additional social media trends.

Read More >

Share this post on: