Here we are at the start of another year. The first week of January is one of my favourite times, full of freshness and opportunity. Yes, I am very aware that it is just another week but it holds a sense of excitement of what is ahead that no other time of year can match.
Look across social media and the internet in general and you will be inundated with New Year, New You posts and predictions about what 2018 has in store for us. In fact, as early as 1968 there were predictions of what the next twelve months will bring. In the May of 1968 the Foreign Policy Association (FPA) celebrated its 50th anniversary by holding a 3 day conference titled “Toward the year 2018”. A wide variety of experts were gathered to look ahead over the next 50 years.
Some of the experts came with a view to predicting the future but many came with a view of creating it. Perhaps that is why amongst the many misses, there are some predictions that have come to fruition. 3D televisions, pocket computers, and satellite communications all feature in the book published after the event. Were these items ‘predicted’ by those working to bring them into existence, placing the concept in peoples minds as something desirable? Or were they just a far fetched idea of what the future would look like?
With so many businesses predicting what they think will happen in the twelve months ahead are they influencing the way people view their industry. Furthermore are they making predictions that are beneficial to themselves? If I predict that bespoke content will become key to business’s relationships with their clients in 2018 (which I think it will by the way) am I doing this for my own business benefits. Not entirely, there is some evidence to support my claim, however, would I mention it if it wasn’t complementary to my business offerings? Probably not.
Of course, we need predictions to plan ahead. To give us some insight into what might be around the bend. Especially when it comes to marketing, having an idea of what the next big thing might be can help inspire some really great campaigns. But it is always worth remembering that none of us have a crystal ball and predictions are purely what someone thinks will happen in the future. So use them to your benefit but don’t rely on them too heavily!