With things moving so fast as they have been in the mobile, online and social media spaces, we’d all like to know what to expect – at least a little in advance – for next year to help with planning. So Marian Salzman, president of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, North America and renowned trendspotter, issued her list of top trends for 2011. With her background in PR, marketing and sociology—and personal interest in cultural monitoring—Salzman creates her annual list by digging deep to look for social patterns, then applying everything to where the future is headed, in cultural, political and economic matters.
Over the past 15 years, Salzman has forecast companies making money on the Internet, the graying of issues important to baby boomers, and the ideas that we now know as corporate social responsibility, the iPad and Facebook, among many others.
“This year, we’ve seen some broadening in different directions of my hyperpolarization trend from last year, which said we’d see more voluntary segregation by religious affiliation, party affiliation, nuance of opinion,” said Salzman. “The midterm campaigns and elections proved that more people are leaning toward political extremes than ever, and anger will continue to grow based on that sphere and others. But we’ve also seen many people react to this anger, segregation, and perceived or real loss of control by doing a 180 and becoming even more interested in relationships than possessions and learning how to be more self-sufficient.”
Salzman’s 2011 list provides an in-depth forecast of the following trends (because social media is a key driver in much of what is happening today and in the future, these are tweet-version summaries of each):
Mad as Hell—and Only Getting Madder. Always many reasons for anger (but 2010 upped the ante); today’s 24/7 news & blogosphere amplifies the hottest people & topics, adding fuel.
Talk to the Hands. As world reboots, people reassess worth of selves & things. Feeling loss of control & desire for simple life, they yearn to be practical DIYers.
Net Gain. Americans losing trust in institutions are gaining faith in tech & looking more to digital and social media networks to meet their needs.
Public Mycasting System. Broadcast news: dead. Mycasting emerges. People curate interactive content, expressing their worldview in images, shared links, tweets.
Booting Up. Watch out for the return of skin-thickening boot camps to toughen up kids and employees for the rigors of the 21st century.
Yes, We Can…Reinvent Ourselves. “Change”: Slogan no more, it’s becoming a way of life for many. Volunteering or forced into it, boomers+ are tapping the U.S. can-do spirit.
Reinvention, Part II. Even with loads of anger, as regular Joes reinvent, they’ll allow egregious stars & corporations to do the same. (Dare we say even BP?)
Separated at Worth. Pay & compensation are now confused & big $$ smells rotten. Emo (emotional) bling—friends going the extra 10 miles—will replace cash wealth.
Gender Bender. Masters of all they survey no more, men will have to adjust to treatment women have long endured: shown as sex objects or selfless homemakers.
Who’s in Control? Demand for greater control unites Americans; what will soon divide them & raise passions is what should be controlled, how and by whom.
Tapping Minitrends. On our radar: the rise of African consumers, small-scale solar energy, cellular money-transfer services & a smarter way to read on mobile.
RBR-TVBR observation: A few of these trends emphasize what we have already been dealing with: Institutionalized, traditional media news and content presentations are losing ears and eyeballs and are being replaced with social media and interactive content. Many media outlets have already addressed this trend, employing many local video bloggers and neighborhood reporters that give a personalized view of any event or happening they’re at. Of course, Twitter feeds are being incorporated into newscasts on an ongoing basis as well.