Top Business Trends for 2018
Looking ahead at trends and developments within the business and personal workspace it looks like big changes are in store for 2018.
In other words, what’s hot and what’s not for the coming year?
Here are my predictions for the eight hottest trends that will impact you and your business this year:
DATA: Collecting it is no longer enough
One thing we learned how to do well in 2017 was to collect data. What we didn’t do so well was make valuable use of it when we had it. Many companies didn’t know how to translate the data reports to customer opportunities and growth venues.
In 2018, we will become better at categorizing, prioritizing, and using data to make better business decisions and keep us closer to our clients and customers.
We will see the growth of a whole new team of data management, with titles like chief data officer, chief data engineer and managing data analyst becoming popular.
COMMUNICATION: Language barrier will diminish
While we loved Google Translate and Babblefish in the past, we will move farther and faster into finding useful apps that help us communicate easily with clients who speak different languages.
It will be a reality in the near future that people will speak to us in one language and through our earphones, we will hear them in our own language.
Already there are prototypes in existence and it is just a matter of time until this primary communications tool will be perfected to adapt to a wide range of different situations.
ASKING ALEXA: Vocal requests will surpass typed searches
Whether you ask Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home or Mirosoft Cortena, you will find yourself thrilling to the ease of just asking a question rather than writing a Google search in 2018. These smart devices will be in workplaces, on kitchen counters, and in family rooms and using them will be a natural response.
We were intrigued by them and testing them in previous years; now we are ready to incorporate them into our lives as the wise uncle or aunt sitting on the shelf that the whole family knows could win at Jeopardy if they could just get on the show.
ON-LINE LEARNING: Why go out to take a class?
There will be reasons to seek a classroom situation, of course, but more and more to upgrade our skills or follow our curiousity about a subject we will seek on-line courses.
The world will be full of evening and week-end learners, determined to stay on top of their skillset without leaving the comfort of their home office.
Already there is wealth of useful material to select, and that amount and the depth and usefulness of the knowledge offered will just continue to grow in 2018.
CONTENT MARKETING INCREASES: What do your customers really want to know?
We already know that 90 percent of our customers made the decision on what they want to buy before they approach the store, and that won’t change in 2018.
As buyers turn to on-line purchases in increasing numbers, the need for excellence in content writing and marketing will grow and those who can anticipate customer needs and tell their story best will come out ahead.
ENHANCING SOCIAL MEDIA: Hi, I’m the real person you’ve been chatting with online
In 2017 we learned how to enhance relationships using social media. In 2018, we are going to build on that by occasionally surprising customers with a real-person follow-up.
More and more companies are dabbling with this and recording amazing results. For example, a food company asking readers for recipes gets a great one from a reader with a wonderful little story attached, and the corporate chef makes a personal call saying how he or she appreciated the recipe and asks a few questions about it and its special history.
Or an author gets an amazing review from a stranger and takes the time to follow up with a personal email or call saying how much they appreciate the kindness of the remarks.
The relationship, now already working through social media, is thus enhanced greatly with the follow-up personal exchange.
INCREASED AUTOMATION IN THE WORKPLACE AND HOME: Is there a device for this?
Time is limited and our schedules are all full. We have lost our taste for repeatable tasks that don’t challenge or engage us. So we will turn increasingly to the world of artificial intelligence.
It has started already to a large degree in manufacturing plants and even in the home with self-operating vacuum cleaners and smart devices.
The trend will grow in all aspects of our lives.
SOCIAL LEARNING MORE RESPECTED: Falling back in favour
The hottest trend for human resources practitioners will be the highly effective social learning model where workers learn from each other in social environments as opposed to formal learning in classrooms.
Want to know something? Hang around the water cooler and ask the next person who comes along. Chances are you will get just the answer that you need.
Paula Morand is a leadership building, revenue boosting, strategy expanding keynote speaker, author and visionary. This dreaming big and being bold leadership expert and brand strategist brings her vibrant energy, humor and wisdom to ignite individuals, organizations and communities to lead change, growth and impact in a more bold fashion.
24 years, 27,000 clients, 34 countries, 15 books, former radio personality, 11x award winning entrepreneur and humorous emcee.
Check out Paula’s bestselling books on Amazon: “Bold Courage: How Owning Your Awesome Changes Everything”, “Dreaming BIG and Being BOLD: Inspiring stories from Trailblazers, Visionaries and Change Makers” book series; and due to be released in March 2018 “Bold Vision: A Leader’s Playbook for Managing Growth”.
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