Devil’s Advocate or Durge? Debating the Predicted Trends of 2015

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My children love to argue. They like to argue with each other, and they especially love to argue if the purpose is to prove me wrong. And that’s OK. I get it. They have a need for power and control and this is their way of exercising that.

Adults are really no different. We agree to disagree because we want to reject the objective reality of the situation and hopefully replace it with our own. I find this is especially true when I read about future trends. I approach trend material with a critical eye.

Is it because I’m playing Devil’s Advocate, or because I’m a durge (think slang, not Star Wars)?

It’s actually neither. I’m critical, not because I entirely disagree with what’s projected, but because I often fear the change that is to come.

So, in the spirit of a good discussion, debate, or what have you, a few friends and I decided to discuss a few of the “What’s In What’s Out” trends identified for 2015.

TED Talks Are Out vs. Medium Post are In

a. I don’t believe TED Talks are out. TED Talks are like the Little Black Dress, they’ll always be in style. I think what will change is the medium in which TED Talks are shared and recorded. I think we’ll start to see a balance of audio with video. I also think they’ll get shorter than the 15-20 minute presentation.
b. Well I had to look up Medium of course. Interesting, really nice, but I think the “anybody contribute” model could/will lead to a lot of noise that TED won’t deal with. There is value in the expert curation. I don’t want to wade through more of anything. I don’t think Medium will ever get the penetration overall that TED talks have. I agree that they have to get shorter and more mobile friendly. I’ve seen many that didn’t benefit from visuals and might as well just be audio anyway.
c. Throwing my hat in the ring for TEDx. Those are definitely not going away. There are hundreds of new TedX events signing up to use the license per week. But they can definitely benefit from a podcast format, which is making resurgence as a platform. It’s intriguing.
d. Does the fact that there are hundreds of TedX events dilute and detract from it? I used to subscribe to the video podcast but it was too much information and the files were too big. In any event, I don’t see medium getting near the interest because anybody can do it. I’ve always been big on podcasts. A best of TED podcast might be interesting. Maybe a channel that makes it easy to combine audio with graphics that look well done is needed.

PR Pitches via email are out vs. PR pitches via Twitter are in Man and a smart little girl playing chess

a. I’d have to see a Twitter PR pitch. I don’t pitch so this one’s hard to comment on. I can see Twitter as a platform to build a relationship, but I’m not certain about pitching a story without a firmer foundation.
b. Not at all. Email pitches won’t be replaced. You can touch base on Twitter, but you can’t pitch a story – let alone a research-heavy story – on Twitter. I don’t think that many journalists actually glean many stories from Twitter. It’s a way to see trends and briefly talk to potential sources, but it’s definitely not the replacement that everyone was claiming back in 2010.
c. Yeah I see only downsides comparing twitter to email and phone calls to pitch a real story. I could see junk being lobbed out on a twitter handle or # like a second rate newswire for anybody to pick up spam.

Lunch meetings are out vs. Breakfast meetings are in

a. I’d prefer a lunch meeting over a breakfast meeting. My new “thing” is at events if people (vendors and colleagues, not customers) want to meet then they can join me for a run or meet me in the gym. I don’t like having “those” conversations over drinks and my other free time is for customers.
b. I see morning meetings picking up. I see more in our office doing it and I’d rather do mornings. They don’t seem to get bumped as much and I can always recover the workday from a late start, more so than mid afternoon. Lunch time seems busier with errands and things for a lot of people, if they actually eat lunch.
c. I host one breakfast meeting once a quarter for social communicators on campus. I take them to the best breakfast spot in town and it’s always a great conversation. I’ve found it’s a wonderful time to exert my authority as the central communications office because a breakfast meeting at a restaurant is a bit more formal than a lunch meeting since there are less people in the establishment. Aside from that, I hate morning meetings because I’m so not a morning person. 9:15 am and beyond is good unless there’s breakfast food involved.

Disrupting is out vs. Delighting is in

a. This one I LOVE! I’m burned out on the disruption message. I also like delighting because it places emphasis back on the customer and improving the customer experience. Less disrupting the market and more delighting the customer. Besides, customer delightment will ultimately lead to market disruption.
b. Agreed. I’ve already begun incorporating this one into our marketing messaging. Disruption was never focused on the end user as far as I can tell. It was a way to focus on a product in a marketplace, but like you said, if we can delight a customer it won’t matter how we’re doing so and the disruption follows naturally.
c. We can hope that it this pans out. And hope that disruption takes “transformation” with it on the way out.

Agency Newsrooms are out vs. Agency Incubators are in

a. Agencies often don’t have a lot of “news” that they want to talk about, know how to talk about or are allowed to talk about. So most of their newsrooms suck, especially small and midsize groups. But they can’t appear that they’re doing nothing and want to prove how smart and creative they are. Instead of the newsroom with one entry a month, they make up a “lab” where they can put spec type work, or just general ideas that don’t necessarily have dates attached to make it look like they’re doing something. Ideally, they’d create something that they can go sell to a market. It likely started with these guys and has spread to places like this. So I’ll say that from a web navigation standpoint you’ll see this pop up a lot in the future and probably less newsroom. But most will do it wrong or it won’t be any better than their old newsroom.

So what do you think? Do you agree or disagree? What other trends would you contest?

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Marilyn Cox

Marilyn Cox is the Director of Marketing for Second City Works - the B2B division of the famed Second City.

You know the buzzwords; inbound, outbound, content, demand gen, lead gen, martech, social media, account-based, advocacy, customer success, sales enablement, and analytics.She studies it, plans it, executes it, experiments with it, and loves it.

Through discovery, creation, and innovation she's learned to say "Yes, And".Like business, her career is one big improvisational act.

She leads all aspects of the brand and culture, developing and executing a clearly defined, integrated marketing communications strategy.Marilyn is responsible for planning, organizing, staffing, training, and managing all marketing functions to achieve objectives of growth, awareness, customer success and making work better.

Marilyn exists to empower sales and support the customer. When not geeking out over marketing analytics, she can be found daydreaming about her unrealized dream as a professional wrestler with the WWE.
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