Over the last fifteen years, we’ve gone from a tortuously slow, dial-up version of the Internet to one that can be accessed at incredible speeds from pretty much anywhere. It’s revolutionised our marketing industries, introducing strategies that didn’t exist before and made several older ones obsolete. What do we predict will happen in another fifteen years, where will be in 2044 seen from our agency perspective?
- Universal Internet connectivity will be permanent and automatic. So rather than cumbersomely logging in and out and saving hundreds of passwords, transitioning across networks will be seamless and unnoticeable for the end-user.
- Privacy will become commoditized. The widespread introduction of blockchain technologies will fail to alleviate growing concerns about transparency and trust. Customers who want to remain as invisible as possible will pay for the privilege, and will evolve into their own targetable demographic.
- Non-digital advertising will cease to exist in the form we know it today. Although media like outdoor ads will still be there, they’ll be more targeted towards who’s viewing them and far more interactive.
- Next-generation mobile devices will embed Internet into the real world and reality optimisation will lead to hybridised versions of advertising. This may include physical applications of search optimisation, for example, or digital ways of accessing physical locations, like virtually shopping in a real shop.
- Content feeds will become highly tailored for individuals and anything deemed irrelevant will be filtered out. In the same way that many people today ignore mainstream traditional advertising, unwanted content will not be acceptable in the future, posing new challenges for our communications industries.
- Machines will take over many mundane jobs, and we’ll struggle to find the right balance between working less and joblessness. We’ll have more access to the resources we’d always wanted, but there will be fewer businesses and brands providing them.
- The Internet of Things will fully mature, extending to the vehicles we drive, our wallets, our health and even our currencies. This will give us all more personal freedom, fewer traffic jams and other frustrations, and should help to improve the quality of our lives in many ways.
- Most businesses and many individuals will struggle to adapt to the increasing rate of significant changes that will occur. Businesses who adapt to a new kind of digital navigator role may succeed better than those that don’t.
- Digital profiles will be more closely tied to individuals. So rather than loading content you like onto a page and finding people with similar likes, people will be able to produce and exchange content with one another in more immediate, interactive, possibly even wearable ways.
- Face-to-face interactions will be less common but because of that more valued, and brands who can deliver these kinds of personal experiences will have a chance to get ahead of their competition.
Only time will tell if we were right…