If 2020 taught us anything, it was the sheer pointlessness of trying to predict the world ahead. A global pandemic was probably quite low on a lot of media, tech and cultural predictions, although smarter people than me would have been monitoring the new flu-like virus that was emerging in China a little over 12 months ago.

So given few of us can say with any confidence when this pandemic will start to truly recede, it seems a little trite to be making predictions. And yet here we are. Ten ways the world will change. Here’s why retailers are dead…

Typewriter with the words Write Something on the paper
Typewriter with the words Write Something on the paper
Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Newsletters were, on the face of it, an unlikely candidate to be 2020’s hot new medium. They’ve been around pretty much since the internet was invented and are possibly one of the least sexy formats available, partly because if you make the design too fancy, you’ll probably break a few inboxes.

And yet, here we are. Journalists and thought leaders are setting up their own subscription services, firing off regular emails with long hot takes. Publishers are doubling down on email subscription over social media. …

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It seems somewhat superfluous to write about marketing issues in a time of Coronavirus. LinkedIn is a depressing mixture of friends and acquaintances who have seen projects cancelled, jobs vanish, and everyday bills become a real problem, mixed with pseudo-struggle bros who are telling us to hustle harder because that’s what struggle bros do at times of crisis.

But throughout the sheer madness and unpredictability of the past weeks, I keep coming back to one key tenet of the working world I inhabit: tone.

The world is a confusing place at the best of times, before you throw in a…

Trend articles can be strange beasts. Often they fall into breathless hyperbole, extreme optimism or absolute certainty that disciplines and roles will die out unless you pivot to the latest shiny tool (hint: your business probably won’t be dead in a year if you don’t have a Tik Tok strategy).

Photo by Alina Vilchenko from Pexels

When I first started writing thoughts for the year ahead near the start of the decade, there was a lot of optimism and excitement. It focused on social media because that was going to change the world, right? …

Et tu Instagram? As the influencer industry comes under attack on everything from engagement rates through to faked metrics, the platform of choices decides to do away with likes in selected countries. Depending on who you listen to, this will either kill off the discipline completely or make no difference whatsoever.

But the naysayers who declare influencers the end of civilisation and the cheerleaders who will evangelically preach that your brand will die if it doesn’t shift all its budget into influencers are both wrong.

And if both sides really want to understand how to get the best out of…

If cosmetics company Lush viewed success solely through the prism of hot takes in the marketing trade press then, by any measure, their recent announcement that the brand was quitting its main social accounts (or switching up, to use their terminology) would have paid for bonuses for all of its store staff and then some.

Lush’s original statement

For example, over the last week, I’ve had the following headlines from The Drum and Marketing Week respectively delivered to my inbox: “Lush is the new anti-social gangster, and for good reason” and “Lush’s social media exodus is a risk too far.”

Congratulations Lush, you…

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If there’s one sure-fire prediction in media and marketing, it’s the proliferation of predictions for the year ahead. Never one to break a trend, here’s a few thoughts of my own for 2019. I’ve written content and social predictions for the year ahead for several years now, but this year it seems quite limiting to just talk about these two disciplines: they’re part of bigger conversations and have been for some time now.

So without further ado, prepare to be well and truly whelmed by the predictions.

Plus ça change

If there’s one thought for 2019, it’s that it won’t…

Photo by Ben Wiens on Unsplash

If you were offered the opportunity to be President of the World for 24 hours, what would your first act be? My answer’s always the same: build a statue of Hal Robson-Kanu scoring that goal in Euro 2016. Ideally outside the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, but I’d happily extend it to versions in Cardiff, Reading and anywhere everyone’s favourite cryptocurrency-investing footballer has played to date.

When it comes to favourite or best goals ever, two years and a lot of thinking has passed, but absolutely nothing can eclipse Robson-Kanu’s Cruyff turn in the penalty area that took three defenders out of play…

At the end of 2017, I suggested that the main focus for publishers this year would be a “pivot to readers”, as publishers attempted to extricate themselves from an over-reliance on one platform for traffic. Thanks to Facebook, that focus has been sharpened a lot earlier than planned. Publisher and brand content will be deprioritised in favour of posts and conversations from friends and family on the platform. Facebook’s News Feed in 2018 promises to look very different from 2017.

While it’s going to mean a stressful start to the year for many social strategists, at least Facebook have had…

Each year, I make a stab a what the digital marketing and social landscape will look like in the year ahead. Some of my predictions don’t come to pass, some are a little too early, and some are sort of in the right area. It’s probably a little more pessimistic than previous years as well.

You may disagree, or may want to expand on what’s written below. Either way, please do leave a comment about any of the ideas expressed.

Readers first, video second

One phrase that has been bandied around a lot towards the end of 2017 has been…

Gary Andrews

Marketer. Content, social, and podcasting specialist. Ill-informed occasional freelance writer. Professional tea drinker. Occasionally has an opinion.

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