We have little faith in crystal balls when it come to predicting the future. We prefer thinking like a futurist even though the intent is not to predict the future. It is about observing the clues under your nose, and conjuring conditions and events as possible outcomes. The old adage, “when you want to hide something, the best place to hide it is in plain view”, is applicable.
What is in plain sight is often ignored such as gut feelings, anecdotal evidence, and trends. To be a futurist you have to develop the skill of observing the obvious, and let your imagination soar. You also have to be willing to destroy your construct, let go of it, and begin again. And, it helps to have a mastermind of similar minded individuals to explore with. So here are our thoughts on 2017.
Based on our observations and experiences, we think that psychographic branding and marketing is finally making sense to more marketing professionals. Some of the top Madison Avenue agencies are realizing that one size does not fit all and are opening satellite offices in smaller markets.
Print marketing is alive and well in the right marketplaces. Net-A-Porter, one of the most successful online luxury retailers, now publishes a glossy magazine. Even though this seemed like a “backward” move to some, the magazine premiered in 2014. It includes relevant articles on travel, fashion, and advice of what to buy. They understood that “women prefer to read about fashion on glossy pages as they shop online” according WSJ. The magazine sells on newsstands for $9.99 per issue or $48 annually for 6 issues.
Social media will continue to wane as a primary marketing influence in some areas of the country. People have pitch fatigue from online ads, and are tired of leading their lives in a virtual world. The majority of people we talk to do not spend significant time or energy on social media. At most, they may have a business page that one of their assistants monitors. Instead, they are re-discovering the joy of being present with others and the business benefits of meeting someone for coffee or lunch.
For some it is definitely easier to gaze at a crystal ball when it comes to predicting the future. However, the rewards of futurist thinking are much greater!
Wishing you all a great 2017!