Note: One of the advantages of self publishing is the ability to express unfiltered and unmoderated content. One of the priviledges afforded to those in today’s digital environment is the right to pontificate once a year. We get to break the shackles of building understanding on what should be known and venture out into the unknown. What the future may bring, no man knows. However, that will never keep me from trying. Plus, like others in digital marketing, I’m often asked the same question – “What’s next?” Here is one man’s opinion of what to expect in 2009. Why nine? It matches the year nicely, and I don’t think I have the time to get ten in by the end of the year. Thus, one by one, I’ll look at nine trends we should see significantly in 2009.
2008 was no doubt a banner year for digital technology adoption. The iPhone/iPod Touch, Google Android, Nintendo Wii and Amazon Kindle made technology commonplace. No longer is the internet restricted to a computer or a generation. It has become a part of everyday life. With public wifi enabling near ubiquitous computing, we will begin seeing a blurring between traditional outdoor marketing and digital marketing. As more of our devices become internet capable, adoption of digital technology will continue to soar through 2009.
This trend will start early. The most significant event for the beginning of 2009 will be the inauguration of President Elect Obama. While his campaign was largely strengthened by adoption of digital media, he has shown no signs of letting up. Today’s announcement of ‘You Tube’ chats reminiscent of ‘Fireside’ chats demonstrates the government’s savvy (necessity) when it comes to digital media. Combined with the worldwide economic crisis, more users will be drawn to digital media for their news than ever before.
Another impact of the financial crisis that will increase digital adoption will be the disappearance of many manufacturing jobs. With every recession comes a renewal of education. Community and technical colleges across the United States are currently filling up with students looking to further their careers. Recent budget cuts in education across the country have resulted in the creation of online curriculum for many of these schools. New students will increasingly be taking all or a portion of their classes through online tools. While many of these students will have already been familiar with today’s digital world, a number will not. They will learn by fire and will discover tools they never knew existed.
The success of the iPhone has not been a great surprise. Apple seems to do no wrong these days. As with any success, copycats are expected. A new generation of phones are coming out/soon to come out with a new 3G network. Regardless of the phones or network, the most impactful finding from iPhone users has been their increased use of the mobile internet. Given a device that works (no partly functional pages), the internet is now a value on a mobile device.
Gaming systems are no exception. Much of the criticism on gaming devices now comes when there is no online connectivity. These devices, once reserved for playing games, have become hubs for all sorts of entertainment and commerce. Add other entertainment devices like television and radio to the mix and we are beginning to see a large shift in favor of digital.
Overall, we should expect 2009 to be another banner year for digital adoption. Whether through mobile phones, laptops, gaming systems or other devices, users are beginning to adopt digital technology wherever it can be found at alarming rates. With a dire outlook on the economy and a new government coming into power, everything points to more time and attention going to digital mediums in the coming year. Expect this to happen early and continue growth throughout the year.