Post by Michael Kahn, Performics Worldwide CEO
December is one of my favorite months of the year. It is a crossover month when we take stock of what we have accomplished, catch our breath for a few moments and then re-energize for the year ahead. It is also a time period when we are (or should be!) adding the finishing details to our 2016 strategies/plans and thinking about the future challenges and opportunities we will face. In fact, this is the time of year when thought leaders from all walks of life work to predict the future trends that will define our world.
As I have scoured various readings and writings on this topic, I have realized that predicting the future is becoming less clear, as environmental and technical developments increasingly accelerate in ways we cannot predict or expect.
- The polar ice caps both to the North and South are melting at a measurable rate, but we do not know when and if a tipping point will be reached, dramatically changing coastal life on this planet.
- There is a massive refugee population that presents societal opportunities and challenges that we weren’t even thinking about two years ago, and it may increase over time.
- The very technology that empowers us and brings us together globally is also proving to be a dividing and divisive tool.
And, in the more narrow (and relevant) dimensions of the marketing world in which we operate, we are faced with accelerating demands covering data management, programmatic buying, content production and strategy, personalized experiences, full view attribution and expectations for real time optimization across ALL channels, platforms and screens with the ability to move investments on the fly. Very daunting, eh?
For future forecasting and proofing work as businesses, I believe the first task is to determine where you are today, in terms of skills, expertise, effectiveness, efficiency, scale and performance.
Against this backdrop, determine what 12 month success should look like in the world you know, and define the strategies to get there.
In terms of the farther-out future, that is another story. Perhaps instead of trying to predict it, we should adopt the musician Skrillex’s well-articulated philosophy:
“The future is an accident. It’s an accident because you explore. You have to go through with a machete and just hack away and find it. You can’t see it — you just have to go somewhere you haven’t been before.”
Making sense of what we do not know. Now that’s a future challenge worthy of all of us.
Have a great December and start to the new year!