Every year I write a predictions article based on what I see coming to the web in the not so distant future. These predictions cover the gamut from conventional advertising, to digital marketing, from new tech toys for our homes and personal use,
to innovative game changing technologies that
will alter the world as we know it. Some of my predictions are based on research,
visible trends and the emergence of breakthrough technologies. Others are based
on what I see as missing in a world full of me too products, poor customer service
and blatant false advertising. In this episode of Working the Web to Win, I am going
to go out on a limb (again) and see if I can keep my 98.5% prediction batting average
streak going for another year. So read on and discover what my crystal ball has
in store for 2016 and beyond.
Social Media Predictions – Not long ago I predicted that one of the top social media players would make a misstep and fall from grace. That player happened to be Twitter. Twitter is ripe for a hostile takeover and I predict one of the tech giants will swallow it up. Some say it will be Google, I think it will be Microsoft, since it is one of the few tech giants that does not own a piece of the social pie.
We will continue to see the jostling of the players’ market share as they buy up smaller players and tech companies. I still predict that the social media companies that move to more business friendly practices will continue to grow and stay strong. Facebook which has not been business friendly has managed to grow and stay strong by acquiring other companies and technologies. However, it is my belief that if a company wants to stay the world leader in social media, it has to lead in customer service and be business friendly. At present Facebook is not leading in these criteria.
In the past few years, social media has evolved into a medium that includes pay per click, pay per impressions, pay per acquisitions and e-commerce sales. It is now a broad spectrum medium that covers News feeds, blogging, photo galleries, video and member platforms that produce a rich multimedia experience. It has added video casting and video communications as a centerpiece of their networks. New players like Periscope and others will emerge and be swallowed by one of the big players.
Pay Per Click – as of late, pay per click has been exposed as having a dark underbelly. Some studies have shown that as many as 60 percent of PPC spends are for
bot clicks. As we
move into the era of Programmatics the temptation of cheating is almost too strong
for greedy media marketing companies to ignore. What’s funny is they can easily
get away with it if you understand the math. They don’t have to cheat you for 10%
of your media buy. It doesn’t have to be 5% or
even 1%. They can skim a half of
a percent and make millions, if not billions,
each year without anyone noticing. Another way they make a fortune is on the stop
order on all media buys. Stop orders always seem to go over by a few dollars (i.e.
you set the stop order at $500 and it stopped at $508 instead). If you multiply
this by a million advertisers, you have an 8-million-dollar in overcharges. Now make sure you understand, I am not saying
Google, Facebook, LinkedIn. Twitter or Microsoft are cheating you (even though some
of them have been caught cheating in the past). What I am saying is that they can
cheat in a way that will go unnoticed. This nickel and dime thievery will draw enough
attention to cause someone to mount a lawsuit on their integrity. This trend will
only get bigger, (time to buy big tech giant stocks).
High Tech Predictions – There will be a multitude of old technologies that
of age in the next few years. Many new technologies (like nano tech) that have
debute come d in recent years will change our world forever. 3D printers are entering
the mainstream, now being sold in places Like Sam’s Club and other retailers. All
of the big players will continue to upgrade their cash cow technologies. Smart phones,
tablets, smart watches, health trackers, smart clothing, smart appliances, smart
cars and smart houses will become the norm. From a business and consumer point of
view – people will have to choose sides.
What I mean is, you will have to pick a
family of products to go with. You will be an Apple family, or an Android couple,
or maybe even a Microsoft clan user! Wearables will evolve as all tech does, but
the greatest gains will come when the tech companies shrink the size and triple
the life of the batteries in these products.
Waterproofing will become standard
and devices will also become more rugged, flexible and more ubiquitous. I foresee
Casio becoming a big player by the virtue of their solar charging watch technology
in the near future. They will either sell this tech to other companies in an effort
to catch up or transfer this tech to other smart devices to expand their lines.
Politicians and the Political Process – They say all is fair in love, war and politics – at
least that’s what many politicians would have us believe. In the last several election cycles politicians
have made promises they never intended to keep. Heck, there’s nothing new here.
What is new however, is how politicians can highly target social media constituents
with positive, negative and deceptive messages. This trend began in earnest with
the 2008 election. Enter Programmatic’s and we now have even more highly target
ads bombarding us. And, as stated earlier in this article, automation comes with
the risk of fraud and deception. Politicians have gotten very good at creating political
ads that are designed to persuade or dissuade voters, even though the ads contained
deceptive information. We as a people need to become more informed and active in
the political process if we want to keep our fragile democracy. Elections that are
determined by uninformed voters are a sure pathway to the loss of freedom and the
American way. Believing what is said on the internet is not a strategy for being
Speaking of fraud, I predict that a major scandal will emerge in the voter fraud arena.
to wake up to the fact that many elections in our country are now being processed
by computers. And wherever computers are used, fraud can be used to change the results.
We need to ensure that safeguards are put
in place to make sure elections are not stolen. The most important things Americans
can do is hold the press to a higher standard. In the last 20 years or so, the press
has lost most of its objective nature and now usually reports with the slant of
an agenda. We need to stop this type of reporting by patronizing media companies
that hold higher objective principles and by voting for those politicians who speak
out against bias reporting. We live in a highly automated world. It is becoming
more automated everyday. The last thing we need is an automated political process
picking our leaders. Automation and politics is a sure formula for the destruction
of our democracy.
In this article I have provided a look into nine subjects that are evolving before our eyes. The next four years will bring about vast changes to our world. The near future holds radical changes for conventional and digital marketing. New innovative inventions will alter how we live, work, play and consume things. Most importantly, these changes will affect our political process and the way of life we have as Americans. It is my hope that every American will take responsibility to learn about the automation they are using. We need to take responsibility for what we buy, use, listen to, and who we elect as our leaders. The Internet of Things has vast implications
for the loss of freedoms and privacy. We need to speak out
and elect people willing to take the time to understand the use of these technologies
and to make sure they implement safeguards for our protection.
That’s my opinion, I look forward to reading yours.
If you found this article useful please share it with your friends, family and co-workers. If you have a comment or a different opinion, join the conversation by adding it to the comment section below. I recommend checking out "The Evolution of Social Media Networking & its Imminent Future" or "Are You Prepared for Mobilgeddon?", “New Year, New Internet Rules “ and "Has the Internet Made Us Smarter?". You can also search for other related articles by typing in “Predictions" or “Change” in the search box at the top of this blog.
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Hector Cisneros is a partner, COO and Social Media Director for the award-winning, Internet-based marketing firm, Working the Web to Win, in Jacksonville, FL. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube. He’s also the co-host of BlogTalkRadio’s “Working the Web to Win,” where he and Working the Web to Win’s co-founder, Carl Weiss, make working the web to win simple for every business. He's a published author of three books, "60 Seconds to Success"(available at Amazon and B&N), and "Internet Marketing for the 21st Century," which you can get by filling out the form above. He’s also the co-author of the new book, “Working The Web to Win,” which is now available on Amazon.com.