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[Trends 2015] Avoiding 'Infobesity' and harnessing opportunity

"No one will see the next big thing coming."
When asked if I have a crystal ball, my response would be: "No, it's just the way I walk." Predictions may not make us walk funny, but we certainly need to know where we're going. The problem with life is that you can't live it backwards, so we need to have some idea of what's waiting for us down the road. These are 10 twists and turns that may greet us in 2015:

1. The next big thing

No one will see the next big thing coming. Not even the person who invented it. Facebook and Twitter both began as something else - the end result was an evolution of circumstance and opportunity.

2. The out-house remains

Contrary to popular opinion, there will not be a move away from digital agencies to in-house departments. It's still about ideas and production values - and that resides with the experts. In-house people just aren't weird enough.

3. More DIY for social

There is already a trend towards harnessing employees with employee advocacy programmes gaining traction, so the outsourcing of social media as a percentage will probably decrease as this function goes DIY, with numerous vendors supplying the required software. However, there will always be place for focused outside expertise.

4. More three-letter words

Acronyms will get a whole new lease of life. We'll see a whole bunch of new titles, like the CDO (Chief Digital Officer) and DCO (Digital Communications Officer), amongst others.

5. Page 1 of Google... Yeah, right!

Organic SEO will still remain somewhat of a challenge. Everyone seems to have a theory about 'how to get on page 1 of Google'. Brands want some certainty, so we'll see more direct methods to attract traffic, which will boost the PPC market (like they need it).

6. Data fundis to the fore

With the proliferation of available data, we will need people to decipher it and get the numbers to tell a story. So if you're a digital analyst or data fundi, increase your asking price by 20%. Trust me.

7. You need to pay to play

Social media reach will become (or maybe it is already) a common goal for brands. With organic social platforms like Facebook tweaking their algorithms, many have started to turn to paid social and content marketing.

8. Google a plus?

Google+ could go either way. Going against it is the fact that it is somewhat of a ghost town compared to the Big 3. Going for it is that Google can increase the SEO score on all G+ posts. If that's the case, then I think we can expect Google+ to experience a gold rush. It also helps to have parents with very deep pockets.

9. Infobesity

No one seems to have noticed the fact that if everyone is delivering content then we're going to see exponential growth. That means there's going to be a lot of stuff out there that won't get consumed. When last did you read the Encyclopaedia Britannica? That's infobesity for you.

10. Get the picture

Because of infobesity, we need to consume information in the easiest and quickest way possible. Visuals, whether static or moving will be the de rigueur of online communication. We have had explosive growth in social media in 2014, and fast growth often hides things, so it will be interesting to see what happens in the year ahead. Crystal ball notwithstanding.

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About Sid Peimer

Sid Peimer is the executive director of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is the author of 'The Clear Win - the strategies that work; the myths that don't' available on Amazon


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