The landscape is changing rapidly in consumerism, giving marketers a host of new challenges in the new year. As retail stores revolutionise the shopping experience for their customers – with the introduction of personal shoppers via live video chat, facial recognition and so on, we are expecting to see a rise in visual search through the likes of Pinterest as consumers seek ways to shop looks that they are unable to define in words.
At home meal kit services that have taken off in 2017 will grow exponentially with the introduction of Amazon’s offering expected to change the face of the market. However, we believe there’s still a way to go to convince a large proportion of the western population to even consider a meal box, presenting a challenge for creative marketers.
It’s no surprise that AI is set to expand across all areas of life next year as driverless cars, smart home assistants, automated stock trading, and customer service chatbots all grow in prevalence.
Gender neutrality is another 2017 issue that will grow and grow in the new year. A rising awareness of gender fluidity is impacting all areas of public life, and we expect more organisations and individuals to follow suit – though also expect plenty of controversy and pushback from more conservative quarters.
In the workplace ageism will become the new discrimination, as the impact of the fight for gender equality is felt more and more widely. With employers openly preferring digital natives over digital immigrants, institutional knowledge has started to count for less in favour of energy and innovation. However, as the age of the population naturally increases we expect HR departments to create and enforce hiring and employment policies to reduce ageism.
Gamification in business has been growing behind the scenes for a while but in 2018 it is likely to take off, with the application of game-based mechanics to workplace training drives motivation and encourages competitiveness and engagement, especially as more Gen-Z workers enter the workforce.
Elsewhere Bitcoin is expected to continue its rapid ascendency into the mainstream, while the social FOMO epidemic will continue apace, with the ‘always on’ mentality among teenagers continuing to have a devastating impact on youth mental health.
Grassroots activism will continue to take hold as people find their voice amid their disillusionment with global politics. Socialist activism will become a major force in the UK and US in response to the divisive governments in each country.
What else will be hot in 2018?
What the World Needs Now – Seeing good breaking through collective rage and numbness of the post-Weinstein era
Compassion Fatigue – As the newspapers are full of mass shootings, terrorism, celebrity deaths and political name calling, we will see the rise of ‘scandal envy’ where being involved in a scandal seems the only way to make headlines.
Lonely Hearts Club – A Mintel poll found 61% of women are content when not in a relationship, vs 49% of men. For women, being single has never been so alluring.
From Stem to Steam to Stream – As Art and Reading join the core subjects STEM subjects in the spotlight we will see a rise in the fight for the Arts to be recognised as a worthwhile field of study.
The Side Hustle – An increase in the “gig economy” as people look to supplement their income and develop new skills, balance time and gain control of lives.
Hope in Cities – The agility of cities over countries is seeing the rise of “smart cities” which are using technology to provide real-time issues.
Overtourism – The UN World Tourism Organisation has called for overtourism to be managed “sustainably, responsibly and intelligently” to the benefit of local communities.
New Attitudes on the Body – Gene-editing, 3D printed organs, microblading, ingestible collagen, designer vaginas… Transhumanists, who believe in augmenting the body however they can, will take on the ‘movement culture’ which wants to tap the body’s intelligence through martial arts, dance, sports, acrobatics, theatre and yoga.
Personalised Medicine – Tailoring drugs and treatment pathways to individuals such that a patient’s own immune system can be primed to directly target their own cancer cells, for example.
Where there’s smoke – A WHO report claims 2.5m Indians died of pollution in 2015 alone. In 2018 countries will need to pull together to take action on this unprecedented environmental emergency.
Impact Living – Investing for maximum social and environmental benefits as well as financial returns, with ‘impact’ taking the promise of ‘making a difference’ to a whole new level, implying action can be seen, heard and felt.