The Future of Social Media: 50+ Experts Share Their 2013 Predictions

Brian Rice

The world of social media underwent major changes in 2012.

We saw the addition of Facebook Timelines for Fan Pages, the rise of Pinterest, revamped LinkedIn Company Pages, improved Twitter profile pages, and the increasing pressure to prove social media ROI.

As more companies begin leveraging social media for marketing, sales and customer service, it is more important than ever to stay ahead of the curve.

On December 4th, 2012 at 2pm EST, Anthony Leaper, Shep Hyken and Pam Moore will participate in a roundtable discussion around “The Future of Social Media: How Will It Impact Marketing, Sales & Customer Service?”.  We hope you will join us and in the meantime please enjoy the following predications from over 50 thought leaders.

The Future of Social Media: How Will It Impact Marketing, Sales and Customer Service?

1.  Jason Stein, Founder and President of 24/7 Laundry Service – @jasonwstein

Social media has completely blurred the lines between all aspects of marketing. We live in a world where Facebook posts double as paid ads, and people’s tweets are a form of journalism. As a result, in the new year brands will really embrace the concept of “converged media,” and see owned, earned and paid as a unified program. This is the future of B2C communications.

2.  Mike Lewis, VP of Marketing and Sales at Awareness, Inc. – @bostonmike

Small and mid-sized market will be revolutionized by social customer acquisition at scale. Specifically, new social profiling and scoring tools will allows marketers to analyze and apply custom segmentation logic to their social databases to meet specific customer acquisition and conversion goals. As a result companies will see a tangible social marketing ROI – increase in sales and customer retention.

3.  Natalie Bidnick, Account Supervisor and Social Media Strategist at The Marketing Zen Group – @NatalieBid

Social Media will become an essential – not optional – form of communicating with customers. More companies will use Facebok and Twitter to both listen to their customers, solicit feedback, and practice public crisis management.

4.  Zubin Mowlavi, CEO of Lucid Fusion – @ZubinMowlavi

2012 was the year of data and more specifically, data as it relates to the Social Interest Graph. People and companies shared content more than ever, and this data was organized around interests rather than personal relationships. This trend continues in 2013 with the Social Product Graph which highlights shifting the focus to the sharing and serving of actionable content around products of interest. By doing so, social media will become a social stream for product discovery and commerce, thereby driving sales.

5.  Jeremy Goldman, Entrepreneur, strategist, & author of the upcoming book, Going Social – @jeremarketer  

Companies will begin to shift from thinking of “Social Media” as a department, or as a component headed by the same person who heads their E-Commerce operations. Instead, they will begin to shift social media responsibilities into multiple departments. Companies will begin to see social media as something akin to a telephone that can be used in multiple ways by multiple departments.

6.  Mike Wolfe, Founder & President, WAM Enterprises LLC – @WAMGolfs

Social Media will continue to grow in 2013 due to the increase usage of mobile technology, specifically smartphones. We can expect to see visual (images) to be a driving force and I believe an increase in internet video usage too.

7.  Patrick J. Sweeney II,­ featured contributor to Social Media Today and CNBC – @PJSweeney

The future of social media will evolve around the frictionless capturing of precious memories in the real world. When people are skiing, doing a triathlon, at a concert, or doing anything fun and engaging – mobile technology will enable them to capture the moment with very high quality pictures and video and instantly share online without lifting a finger. Brands will pay for or sponsor this infrastructure in order to have “product placement” on social media. See Cadbury at the Olympics for a great example.

8.  Kelby Brick, Esq., Vice President, Regulatory & Strategic Policy at Purple Communications, Inc. – @kelbybrick

In 2013 smart businesses will emphasize using social media for personal interactions and connections with their customers. This is different from 2012 where macro blasts were the norm. Personal connections result in a more loyal and valued customer base.

9.  Mike Bal, Creative and Digital Marketing Director at Baseline21 – @CreativeIthink

The biggest change we will see in the next year is that we are over the main hump on the adoption curve. At this point it’s not a specific demographic, it’s all of them from grandmas to elementary aged children.
Now that the majority of society has adopted social expectations have changed. Those expectations will dramatically affect customer service, marketing and sales.

Customer Service – People know they don’t have to wait on the phone to get help, they can tweet. This makes it easy for the customer to let the brand know about any and all problems. So any company who went ahead and distributed products with minor flaws in hopes that the customer wouldn’t want to deal with the hassle of a return or exchange will have a rude awakening. Many companies have adopted social media as a customer service tool purely for the fact that they can look good in front of thousands of potential customers. This year companies will start adopting it out of necessity. If a customer who doesn’t want to talk to a machine or wait on hold for 20 minutes, they are going to reach out via social. If you
don’t answer and they HAVE to call, they are going to be highly irritated and more demanding, ultimately costing the company more money.

Marketing – Having a presence on social media has become (or will soon) as important as having a website. Not being on social means you’re missing out on big opportunities in search engine real estate and with your customers. More firms will add social media to their offerings and the smartest ones
already have. We should have realized by now that it’s not a stand along media channel, it’s an essential part of a successful media mix.

Sales – Social media has become a powerful tool for both B2B and B2C industries. It can generate leads and drive buyer traffic to a specific product. Sales teams will evolve to include a digital lead generation
specialist and marketing strategies will be broadened as location isn’t as much of an issue when you’re running a powerful social platform.

10.  Joey Sargent, Principal, BrandSprout Advisors – @brandsprout

In 2013, we’ll see more social maturity in both B2C and B2B applications. Business will get “social smarts” and more fully integrate social media into their day-to-day operations across the organization. This means less social for social’s sake, and more focus on social media as a legitimate business tool to facilitate communication, engagement and loyalty.

11.  Beverly Solomon, Creative Director at musee-solomon

People are over saturated with social media. They will gradually remove themselves from all but a few networks, blogs, etc. So many ads come in everyday that they have lost their impact. Most
people just delete them before reading them.  Social media will function more to alert friends of rip-offs than to encourage sales.  Only the most clever sales campaigns will have any impact.  More and more advertisers will be leaving social media and returning to snail mail, print and other traditional ads.  Social media will continue to be a dating hook up, gossip fest and avenue for “gurus” to sell seminars. But real businesses will use social media less and less.

12.  Caroline Kornowicz, Social Media Manager for CliqStudios Cabinets – @CarolineSofiaK

The future of social media lies heavily in images, video and interaction for the user. It is exploring our senses further with sight, sound and touch. We are seeing current trends with infographs and statistics speak for themselves that an image or video provides higher engagement than plain text posts.

13.  Melissa Brodsky, co-founder of Smart Savvy Social – @smartsavvysoc

More and more brands will realize the importance and relevance of social media and begin to grow their online footprint. Also, I believe that Facebook will eventually burn too many bridges and a new network will become dominant, one that WANTS to help brands instead of only themselves.

14.  Brittany Dowell, Director of Publication Relations at Digital Talent Agents

Social media use is not going anywhere but up in 2013. Companies will hire more full-time employees dedicated solely to engaging with customers via Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. With customer service moving to more online interaction, we could see the need for traditional office space steadily decline.

15.  Jayme Pretzloff, Online Marketing Director for Wixon Jewelers – @jpretz

Going into 2013 social media will impact sales more than any other metric because of the continued integration as a marketing platform and the acceptance of users to be marketed to. In 2011, almost 70% of users said that no social media platform influenced their buying decision and in 2012, that was cut in half to 35%. In 2013, this number will be decreased significantly again because these sites have become an integral way to gain access to information on companies, promotions and products.

16.  Amanda Vega – @amandavega

Social media will continue to have direct and indirect impact on sales in 2013. Consumers will continue to expect an immediate response to their needs online, and a lack of timely response will have a hard-to-measure, but certain impact on brand satisfaction and recommendations.

17.  Tom Koulopoulos, Chairman at Delphi Group and Author of “Cloud Surfing: A New Way
to Think About Risk, Innovation, Scale, and Success” –
@tkspeaks

The greatest shift in Social media over the next year will be the maturing of “behavioral business models” that use a deep and comprehensive cross platform understanding of consumer and enterprise
online behaviors as the basis for predictive analytics about their interests and habits. Companies that own the broadest range of platforms such as Apple and Google will be able to track online consumer activity
in ways that create enormous value for retailers. The same is true of enterprise applications of social media where online B2B transactions are being collected and analyzed by companies such as E2Open, which have created a similar capability in projecting future behaviors of markets in order to dynamically alter supply chains in real time to meet the needs of consumers. This notion of using behavior to predict the future will be a critical contribution of social media in an increasingly uncertain world.

18.  Joey Beachum, Digital Content Specialist at Markstein Consulting – @MarksteinChats

As wireless technology advances and smartphones continue to proliferate (they’re projected to form 54% of the total mobile phone market in 2013), consumers will become increasingly tied to social media in some form or fashion. This gives sales professionals even more of an opportunity at something I call ‘mass direct access’: reaching out directly to consumers on an individual level, like with a traditional sales approach, yet on a mass scale. More socially-connected consumers equal more potential touch-points and more sales opportunities.

19.  Kurt Uhlir, Cofounder and Chief Servant at Buzztastic – @KurtUhlir

There is a great wave of un-liking/un-following that will hit brands, at the least we will see people unselect “show in newsfeed” on Facebook. Consumers want higher quality content than what most brands are offering. This is a huge opportunity for brands offering engaging content that know how to activate an audience.

20.  Aalap Shah, co-founder at SoMe Connect – @some_connect

A companies mobile/tablet strategy (or lack thereof will define sales & marketing success for brands and companies in 2013. Consumers can access apps that display social data and activity of their friends anywhere and at anytime and retailers and brands need to have a consistent and clear message to push across social media channels. Without a mobile strategy, most companies will see their sales go to competitors that are where their customers are consuming information.

21.  Ed McMasters, Director of Marketing & Communication at Flottman Company

The future of social media for B2B will be held in the hands of LinkedIn – the new advances of LinkedIn make it a true Business To Business relationship builder. People that have their profiles at 100% and
continue to update them will have the biggest advantages. Knowledge that posting monthly or bi-weekly updates to your profile puts you in front of clients and potential clients is just like advertising only a
lot less expensive. I am a firm believer that LinkedIn will be the Social Media BIG GUY of the future.

22.  Sheryl Johnson, Founder of BD-PRo Marketing Solutions – @BD_PRoMarketing

Social media is here to stay. I predict that social media will evolve into a powerful knowledge management system that leverages virtual connections while capturing valuable information. The biggest challenge moving forward is to create a method of harnessing and connecting this data from all sources in a meaningful, searchable way.

23.  Ty Kiisel, Director of Content Marketing at Lendio – @tykiisel

I don’ think there’s any question that social media has become a relevant part of many brand discussions over the last few years generally, and 2012 in particular. However, more and more marketing leaders are finding that being social just to be social isn’t gaining them the traction in the marketplace they might have hoped. 2013 will see a greater focus on the creation of relevant and substantive content creation initiatives that provide value to customers that will ultimately create greater affinity for those brands that are most successful.

24.  Valerie Jennings, CEO of Viral Bolt Media and Jennings Social Media Marketing – @valeriejennings

Sales and marketing will continue to be impacted by organic SEO and SMO via social media. One major change may be the shift away from exclusively focusing on Facebook as a business sales and marketing tool and moving into more advanced programs including sales and marketing strategies that generate sales on Pinterest, Google+ and even FourSquare. If these platforms do not support sales and marketing strategies, other platforms via social networks will evolve quickly in the marketplace until there is one sold and remarkably profitable solution.

25.  Vickens Moscova, Owner/President of VM Enterprises – @VickensMoscova

I predict more and more people will get focused on utilizing social media to build their own personal brands, while more brands and businesses will realize that the control of their brand has shifted to having consumers having more control over their choices.

26.  Joan Barrett, Owner of The Content Factory – @ContentFac

My prediction is that social media will continue to have a strong impact on SEO, especially with Google
Algorithms becoming more and more personalized. The more social shares an article or site has, the higher it is going to rank.

27.  Tom Corson-Knowles, best-selling author of How To Make Money With Twitter – @JuiceTom

In 2013, we’ll see a lot more companies turning to social media primarily for customer service. We’ve already seen American Airlines cut down their phone service and instead encouraging customers to talk on Twitter if they need customer support. A lot more big companies will follow this trend in an effort to reduce overhead and expand their social media presence.

28.  Jeff Browning, Sr Director, Online Strategy at F5 Networks – @jeffbrowning

2013 is the year social leaps beyond projection / syndication and becomes more about listening, understanding, and driving better products and relationships that drive business. Vendors and agencies that provide useful big data analytics (ideally blending the inside and outside the enterprise) will become big dollar rockstars. Over 50% of C-level will finally realize social does not equal Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

29. Jim Caruso, marketing strategist & CEO at MediaFirst PR – @jimcaruso

Facebook will matter more for B2B, as will FB advertising, since stock price matters when you are a public company.  LinkedIn with matter more across industries and new players, like Pinterest, will continue to disrupt the big players in social media

30.  James Medd, Social Media Marketing Manager at Emailvision – @jamespmedd

In 2013, I predict brands will grow their investments in social customer service to better serve customers who engage with them through social media channels – who have been shown to spend 20% to 40% more than customers who are not socially engaged.

As social customer service matures, I expect to see more integration of technology platforms from traditional customer services with social monitoring and team collaboration. This will enable customers to receive the same level of support and information, regardless of their communication channel preference.

31.  Ryan Schram, CMO of IZEA – @ryanschram

Today’s consumer demands a genuine relationship with the brands they love; nowhere is that more apparent than in social, where soft-selling, brand-building, and real-time problem solving comes into the main more and more each day.   Brands are utilizing a diverse array of tools and resources to
maximize their presence on the social web, including the compensation of social influencers to promote products and services (known as Social Media Sponsorship).   The 2012 State of Social Media Sponsorship study indicated that almost 60% of brands have a stand-alone social marketing budget with that amount having increased dramatically since 2009.

32.  Stephanie Ciccarelli, co-Founder of Voices.com – @stephciccarelli

Sales, Customer Service and Marketing departments will need to work together to engage, sell and retain customers who choose to interact with a brand online via social networks. Companies will need to view those managing their social media as being on the “front lines” of a brand’s online customer service efforts. The best way to do this is to have a dedicated social media manager who can share content and engage a community online but also be a means of support to those asking questions.

33.  Dimple Thakkar, CEO and Impresario of SYNHERGY MARKETING – @dimplethakkar

Start planning a serious budget for social media advertising in 2013. Make sure you skip the promotional tone in your ad copy to build trust with followers. Consumers have an amazing radar for bullshit and your brand has a small window to make a good [first] impression.

34.  Caitlin Connors, Social Media Director at Boomtown Internet Group – @boomtownig

Social media is an elusive program for companies because it changes with your goals and with your audience and especially with technology. I predict that companies who use social media correctly, with an outsourced company that understands their brands and goals perfectly, will be overwhelmed with how much it can positively impact leads/conversions/sales.  In 2013, hopefully more people who claim to have an understanding of SMO will be aware of what effects ROI and how to customize SMO for each company. If they don’t (as many don’t know), leads aren’t happening and CEOs and Executives are doubting the effect of SMO. Customer Service could greatly benefit from SMO in 2013 with Twitter API’s for sites to have an “Ask Us Now” option to live chat, and a full-time Twitter manager to answer incoming questions. Google Hangout and new conversation management tools are now all in place to be utilized to find people having products with brands and services and actively seek them out to answer their qualms.

35.  Kevin Ohashi, Founder of Review Signal – @kevinohashi

I think the most important trend is customer service over social media.  Companies are more actively monitoring what is being said about them and consumers will become more empowered to see and react to the ways companies are engaging their customers. Access to information is democratizing and
consumers will be able to make decisions based on company behavior, and customer service is the biggest touch point between most companies and consumers.

36.  Adam Itkoff, Strategist at Fueled Mobile Design, NYC – @adamitkoff

As we look at growing usage trends across multiple social media platforms, we can only assume that these mediums will become more crucial to both business and sales. No longer must we ask, do we participate in Twitter or Facebook, but rather, how can we leverage these platforms best?  Look especially for Twitter and Instragram to keep growing strong.

37.  Flynn Zaiger, Founder of Online Optimism – @onlineoptimism

Social Media will help E-Commerce begin to surpass actual brick and mortar sales numbers. Expect Amazon to team up with either Facebook or Twitter to release an app that allows you to both see if a product is cheaper online, and also if your friends approve of how it looks.

38.  Melinda Janicki, Online Business Growth Catalyst, Internet Marketing Strategist & Implementation Expert – @melindajanicki

As social media moves from a simple networking site into being at the fore front of technology and SEO, I predict social media to be a must have customer services tool. Much like email has brought tech support
and customer service to a new level social media will be a must with apps, groups, Google+ hangouts, even Twitter chat rooms.

39.  Eula M. Young, COO of Griot’s Roll Film Production & Services Inc. – @griotsroll

Social media will replace the business website. If you don’t have a social media page with information on your products, services on your about page you are not in business. People will judge you on how they can get in contact with you through your social media page. Your “About” page will be more important than your website and you better have links to any other social media pages you have.

40.  David Drake, The Soho Loft – @TSLCCevents

US SMEs will start embracing social media strategies and crowd funding will drive this for startups and local business as crowd funding for equity is implemented as a law.  Social media strategies will become more readily available to consulting firms helping small medium-sized enterprises with the winners being local businesses learning the tools to embrace their eco system.

41.  Alex Schenker, President at www.WeRockYourWeb.com  – @WeRockYourWeb

Marketers will need to use fewer words and more voice, video and images to connect with today’s overly stimulated consumer (e.g. Pinterest, Voxer, YouTube).  More filters will allow consumers to better target/find what they are looking for which will lead to more qualified sales’ leads. As we become more inundated with content, it will become more vital to have filters on how we choose to consume the content.  Mobile devices will continue to drive social media communication so the social media of choice may depend on which device you hold and the successful marketing efforts will be customized to that
platform. For example, Google Chat is not directly accessible via an app on an iPhone so they will likely turn to iMessage which allows you to text several people at once, creating your own “social network” for each message you create.

42.  Raghu Bala, Board Member at Fanggle – @raghurambala

Vertical social platforms will emerge to enable people with similar interests to share information (text, images/pictures, video) on topics of mutual interest. The current metrics – ‘Likes’, ‘Followers’, ‘Fans’ – will give way to more meaningful means of measuring engagement. I also see social media becoming more immersed in everyday activity. For instance, with Google Glass combined with voice to text, one can automatically tweet and attach an image more naturally than currently possible.

43.  Ziggi Yaxley, Social Media Specialist at Bozboz, UK. – @ziggidotcom

Social media is instant, personal and available to everyone. It’s the new way to do customer service and it’s a way to connect with current and potential customers in exciting and innovative ways. It’s human.
2013 will see more businesses investing in social media for the first time and socially-equipped businesses allocating more resource to running their social media more efficiently.

44.  Vala Afshar, Chief Marketing Officer & Chief Customer Officer for Enterasys – @ValaAfshar

A truly social enterprise is not just about technology, it is about lifestyle. Enterprises that collaborate socially (and not just through social media) with their customers and employees are able to not only grow mindshare, but also their business.  For example, at Enterasys, we believe there is nothing more important than our customers – internally and externally – so if both are delighted, we know we are doing our job socially now and into the future.

45. Marifran Manzo-Ritchie, Director of Corporate Communications at Monetate

For marketers specifically, social media will continue to be a force in driving traffic to websites. Marketers will use social the same way that they’ve used pay-per-click and banner advertising in the past. However,
marketers need to take a careful look at metrics such as conversion rates before dedicating a huge chunk of the budget to advertizing on social media sites.

46.  Bill Corbett, Jr., President of Corbett Public Relations – @wjcorbett

The hype proliferated by “marketing” people about the tremendous business generating benefits of social media for small business will wind down. The reality will set in that social media marketing is only
part of an a comprehensive marketing plan which includes a digital media strategy. Businesses, particularly those in the business to business space, will recognize that they are not getting and probably will not get the ROI they need to continue to focus significant time, energy, effort and funds on social media marketing.

47.  Carrie Peterson, Social Media Director at Internet Marketing Inc. – @CarrieSavvy

2013 will be the year of social media mobile and tablet application for marketers. As consumers become more and more socially savvy and are using their mobile devices for research and purchases, it is imperative that marketers hop on the mobile train with a solid strategy and targeted ad campaigns. These campaigns should integrate behavioral targeting, relevant content per the niche demographic, and social share features to maximize reach and social word of mouth.

49.  Eric Courville, Director of Marketing and Alliances

Social media channels are creating more demand and opportunity for immediate content from brands. To take full advantage, marketers in 2013 will need to have marketing processes agile enough to produce fresh, relevant content at lightning speed and the tools necessary to easily track the use of all digital assets.

50.  Jane Horowitz, Founder of More Than A Resume

Today’s college student and those about to enter college (our next wave into the workplace) will reshape, along with new technologies the workplace over the next decade.  The way this generation, (Millennials) communicate in their social lives will be introduced to the workplace, and then transform it; fostering new ways of sharing ideas and collaborating to achieve outcomes. Goodbye email and PowerPoint presentations. Hello file-sharing, multi-media presentations.  Everything we use and come into contact with will be converted into data that will be available at our fingertips to make informed and therefore smarter decisions. Marketing, sales and customer service professional will need critical thinking, analytical and problem-solving skills.

51.  Ryan Aynes, Founder & Managing Director at EDGE Collective – @ryanaynes

There will be a larger demand to quantify social media impact and how that is impacting business performance. As spending becomes tighter due to the economy and a higher level of financial accountability takes place across organizations, agencies pitching social media will have to come up with their own annotations for “like” value.

There will also be a higher demand for integrating the entire marketing process. This means ad-buying teams will have to work more closely with social. The most effective strategies will be integrated paid, owned, and earned. Consumer analysis from each end educates the other on consumer behavior, which builds better forward strategies.

Mobile strategy will become the norm and not just an additional option. As more ways to reach consumers opens up through mobile experiences, brands and agencies will make the appropriate modifications to add this into their strategy and planning.

52.  Devin Redmond, CEO and Co-founder at Social iQ Networks – @DevinHRed

It’s very common these days to walk into a business and find that different departments all have their own social accounts and social marketing tools to connect with customers, recruit employees, and drive marketing campaigns. That new reality and infrastructure has become a rapidly increasing sprawl that can be disharmonious and prone to risk for their company and their own efforts. This will lead to a push toward greater social infrastructure management as companies try to get a handle on social media sprawl to improve their efforts without having to worrying about mishaps, abuse, and social media mistakes.

53.  Rick Mathieson, author of Branding Unbound and The On-Demand Brand – @rickmathieson

Look for a nascent social media backlash to gain traction among consumers and the brands trying to connect with them. While 20% of Facebook users say they log on once or twice a day, 52% say they plan to spend less time there in the future ­ and that’s an emerging dynamic across the socialsphere. In 2013, look for a new emphasis on quality of engagement versus quantity.  When engaging in social media, look for the emphasis for many brands to finally move away from “How” the mechanics of going social to the “Why”,  by clarifying objectives and building social media strategies to meet them.

54.  Molly Glover Gallatin, VP of Marketing at Compass Labs – @CompassLabs

As marketers we need to stop being hyper-focused on the immediate ROI question around social media (I know, it’s hard!), and instead get our management team focused on another question: What have I learned today from my customers? The future will be best for those who stop marketing and speaking *at* their audience and start creating dialogues instead. Content strategy should include conversations – they are the most critical element of social media – hence, the “social,” and they increase brand affinity and tip the scales in your favor regarding revenue, as well.

Free Webcast:  Join us on December 4th, 2012 at 2pm EST, as Anthony Leaper, Shep Hyken and Pam Moore participate in a roundtable discussion around “The Future of Social Media: How Will It Impact Marketing, Sales & Customer Service?”.

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About Brian Rice

Brian Rice is a Sr. Manager on the SAP Global Social Media Marketing Team. Follow Brian on Twitter @BrianSRice

Amazing Digital Marketing Trends And Tips To Expand Your Business In 2015

Sunny Popali

Amazing Digital Marketing Trends & Tips To Expand Your Business In 2015The fast-paced world of digital marketing is changing too quickly for most companies to adapt. But staying up to date with the latest industry trends is imperative for anyone involved with expanding a business.

Here are five trends that have shaped the industry this year and that will become more important as we move forward:

  1. Email marketing will need to become smarter

Whether you like it or not, email is the most ubiquitous tool online. Everyone has it, and utilizing it properly can push your marketing ahead of your rivals. Because business use of email is still very widespread, you need to get smarter about email marketing in order to fully realize your business’s marketing strategy. Luckily, there are a number of tools that can help you market more effectively, such as Mailchimp.

  1. Content marketing will become integrated and more valuable

Content is king, and it seems to be getting more important every day. Google and other search engines are focusing more on the content you create as the potential of the online world as marketing tool becomes apparent. Now there seems to be a push for current, relevant content that you can use for your services and promote your business.

Staying fresh with the content you provide is almost as important as ensuring high-quality content. Customers will pay more attention if your content is relevant and timely.

  1. Mobile assets and paid social media are more important than ever

It’s no secret that mobile is key to your marketing efforts. More mobile devices are sold and more people are reading content on mobile screens than ever before, so it is crucial to your overall strategy to have mobile marketing expertise on your team. London-based Abacus Marketing agrees that mobile marketing could overtake desktop website marketing in just a few years.

  1. Big Data for personalization plays a key role

Marketers are increasingly using Big Data to get their brand message out to the public in a more personalized format. One obvious example is Google Trend analysis, a highly useful tool that marketing experts use to obtain the latest on what is trending around the world. You can — and should — use it in your business marketing efforts. Big Data will also let you offer specific content to buyers who are more likely to look for certain items, for example, and offer personalized deals to specific groups of within your customer base. Other tools, which until recently were the stuff of science fiction, are also available that let you do things like use predictive analysis to score leads.

  1. Visual media matters

A picture really is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes, and nobody can deny the effectiveness of a well-designed infographic. In fact, some studies suggest that Millennials are particularly attracted to content with great visuals. Animated gifs and colorful bar graphs have even found their way into heavy-duty financial reports, so why not give them a try in your business marketing efforts?

A few more tips:

  • Always keep your content relevant and current to attract the attention of your target audience.
  • Always keep all your social media and public accounts fresh. Don’t use old content or outdated pictures in any public forum.
  • Your reviews are a proxy for your online reputation, so pay careful attention to them.
  • Much online content is being consumed on mobile now, so focus specifically on the design and usability of your mobile apps.
  • Online marketing is essentially geared towards getting more traffic onto your site. The more people visit, the better your chances of increasing sales.

Want more insight on how digital marketing is evolving? See Shutterstock Report: The Face Of Marketing Is Changing — And It Doesn’t Include Vince Vaughn.

Learn more about marketing Analytics.

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About Sunny Popali

Sunny Popali is SEO Director at www.tempocreative.com. Tempo Creative is a Phoenix inbound marketing company that has served over 700 clients since 2001. Tempos team specializes in digital and internet marketing services including web design, SEO, social media and strategy.

Social Media Matters: 6 Content And Social Media Trend Predictions For 2016 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Julie Ellis

As 2015 winds down, it’s time to look forward to 2016 and explore the social media and content marketing trends that will impact marketing strategies over the next 15 months or so.

Some of the upcoming trends simply indicate an intensification of current trends, however others indicate that there are new things that will have a big impact in 2016.

Take a look at a few trends that should definitely factor in your planning for 2016.

1. SEO will focus more on social media platforms and less on search engines

Clearly Google is going nowhere. In fact, in 2016 Google’s word will still essentially be law when it comes to search engine optimization.

However, in 2016 there will be some changes in SEO. Many of these changes will be due to the fact that users are increasingly searching for products and services directly from websites such as Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.

There are two reasons for this shift in customer habits:

  • Customers are relying more and more on customer comments, feedback, and reviews before making purchasing decisions. This means that they are most likely to search directly on platforms where they can find that information.
  • Customers who are seeking information about products and services feel that video- and image-based content is more trustworthy.

2. The need to optimize for mobile and touchscreens will intensify

Consumers are using their mobile devices and tablets for the following tasks at a sharply increasing rate:

  • Sending and receiving emails and messages
  • Making purchases
  • Researching products and services
  • Watching videos
  • Reading or writing reviews and comments
  • Obtaining driving directions and using navigation apps
  • Visiting news and entertainment websites
  • Using social media

Most marketers would be hard-pressed to look at this list and see any case for continuing to avoid mobile and touchscreen optimization. Yet, for some reason many companies still see mobile optimization as something that is nice to do, but not urgent.

This lack of a sense of urgency seemingly ignores the fact that more than 80% of the highest growing group of consumers indicate that it is highly important that retailers provide mobile apps that work well. According to the same study, nearly 90% of Millennials believe that there are a large number of websites that have not done a very good job of optimizing for mobile.

3. Content marketing will move to edgier social media platforms

Platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat weren’t considered to be valid targets for mainstream content marketing efforts until now.

This is because they were considered to be too unproven and too “on the fringe” to warrant the time and marketing budget investments, when platforms such as Facebook and YouTube were so popular and had proven track records when it came to content marketing opportunity and success.

However, now that Instagram is enjoying such tremendous growth, and is opening up advertising opportunities to businesses beyond its brand partners, it (along with other platforms) will be seen as more and more viable in 2016.

4. Facebook will remain a strong player, but the demographic of the average user will age

In 2016, Facebook will likely remain the flagship social media website when it comes to sharing and promoting content, engaging with customers, and increasing Internet recognition.

However, it will become less and less possible to ignore the fact that younger consumers are moving away from the platform as their primary source of online social interaction and content consumption. Some companies may be able to maintain status quo for 2016 without feeling any negative impacts.

However, others may need to rethink their content marketing strategies for 2016 to take these shifts into account. Depending on their branding and the products or services that they offer, some companies may be able to profit from these changes by customizing the content that they promote on Facebook for an older demographic.

5. Content production must reflect quality and variety

  • Both B2B and B2C buyers value video based content over text based content.
  • While some curated content is a good thing, consumers believe that custom content is an indication that a company wishes to create a relationship with them.
  • The great majority of these same consumers report that customized content is useful for them.
  • B2B customers prefer learning about products and services through content as opposed to paid advertising.
  • Consumers believe that videos are more trustworthy forms of content than text.

Here is a great infographic depicting the importance of video in content marketing efforts:
Small Business Video infographic

A final, very important thing to note when considering content trends for 2016 is the decreasing value of the keyword as a way of optimizing content. In fact, in an effort to crack down on keyword stuffing, Google’s optimization rules have been updated to to kick offending sites out of prime SERP positions.

6. Oculus Rift will create significant changes in customer engagement

Oculus Rift is not likely to offer much to marketers in 2016. After all, it isn’t expected to ship to consumers until the first quarter. However, what Oculus Rift will do is influence the decisions that marketers make when it comes to creating customer interaction.

For example, companies that have not yet embraced storytelling may want to make 2016 the year that they do just that, because later in 2016 Oculus Rift may be the platform that their competitors will be using to tell stories while giving consumers a 360-degree vantage point.

For a deeper dive on engaging with customers through storytelling, see Brand Storytelling: Where Humanity Takes Center Stage.

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About Julie Ellis

Julie Ellis – marketer and professional blogger, writes about social media, education, self-improvement, marketing and psychology. To contact Julie follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Why Strategic Plans Need Multiple Futures

By Dan Wellers, Kai Goerlich, and Stephanie Overby , Kai Goerlich and Stephanie Overby

When members of Lowe’s Innovation Labs first began talking with the home improvement retailer’s senior executives about how disruptive technologies would affect the future, the presentations were well received but nothing stuck.

“We’d give a really great presentation and everyone would say, ‘Great job,’ but nothing would really happen,” says Amanda Manna, head of narratives and partnerships for the lab.

The team realized that it needed to ditch the PowerPoints and try something radical. The team’s leader, Kyle Nel, is a behavioral scientist by training. He knows people are wired to receive new information best through stories. Sharing far-future concepts through narrative, he surmised, could unlock hidden potential to drive meaningful change.

So Nel hired science fiction writers to pen the future in comic book format, with characters and a narrative arc revealed pane by pane.

The first storyline, written several years before Oculus Rift became a household name, told the tale of a couple envisioning their kitchen renovation using virtual reality headsets. The comic might have been fun and fanciful, but its intent was deadly serious. It was a vision of a future in which Lowe’s might solve one of its long-standing struggles: the approximately US$70 billion left on the table when people are unable to start a home improvement project because they can’t envision what it will look like.

When the lab presented leaders with the first comic, “it was like a light bulb went on,” says Manna. “Not only did they immediately understand the value of the concept, they were convinced that if we didn’t build it, someone else would.”

Today, Lowe’s customers in select stores can use the HoloRoom How To virtual reality tool to learn basic DIY skills in an interactive and immersive environment.

Other comics followed and were greeted with similar enthusiasm—and investment, where possible. One tells the story of robots that help customers navigate stores. That comic spawned the LoweBot, which roamed the aisles of several Lowe’s stores during a pilot program in California and is being evaluated to determine next steps.

And the comic about tools that can be 3D-printed in space? Last year, Lowe’s partnered with Made in Space, which specializes in making 3D printers that can operate in zero gravity, to install the first commercial 3D printer in the International Space Station, where it was used to make tools and parts for astronauts.

The comics are the result of sending writers out on an open-ended assignment, armed with trends, market research, and other input, to envision what home improvement planning might look like in the future or what the experience of shopping will be in 10 years. The writers come back with several potential story ideas in a given area and work collaboratively with lab team members to refine it over time.

The process of working with writers and business partners to develop the comics helps the future strategy team at Lowe’s, working under chief development officer Richard D. Maltsbarger, to inhabit that future. They can imagine how it might play out, what obstacles might surface, and what steps the company would need to take to bring that future to life.

Once the final vision hits the page, the lab team can clearly envision how to work backward to enable the innovation. Importantly, the narrative is shared not only within the company but also out in the world. It serves as a kind of “bat signal” to potential technology partners with capabilities that might be required to make it happen, says Manna. “It’s all part of our strategy for staking a claim in the future.”

Planning must become completely oriented toward—and sourced from—the future.

Companies like Lowe’s are realizing that standard ways of planning for the future won’t get them where they need to go. The problem with traditional strategic planning is that the approach, which dates back to the 1950s and has remained largely unchanged since then, is based on the company’s existing mission, resources, core competencies, and competitors.

Yet the future rarely looks like the past. What’s more, digital technology is now driving change at exponential rates. Companies must be able to analyze and assess the potential impacts of the many variables at play, determine the possible futures they want to pursue, and develop the agility to pivot as conditions change along the way.

This is why planning must become completely oriented toward—and sourced from—the future, rather than from the past or the present. “Every winning strategy is based on a compelling insight, but most strategic planning originates in today’s marketplace, which means the resulting plans are constrained to incremental innovation,” says Bob Johansen, distinguished fellow at the Institute for the Future. “Most corporate strategists and CEOs are just inching their way to the future.” (Read more from Bob Johansen in the Thinkers story, “Fear Factor.”)

Inching forward won’t cut it anymore. Half of the S&P 500 organizations will be replaced over the next decade, according to research company Innosight. The reason? They can’t see the portfolio of possible futures, they can’t act on them, or both. Indeed, when SAP conducts future planning workshops with clients, we find that they usually struggle to look beyond current models and assumptions and lack clear ideas about how to work toward radically different futures.

Companies that want to increase their chances of long-term survival are incorporating three steps: envisioning, planning for, and executing on possible futures. And doing so all while the actual future is unfolding in expected and unexpected ways.

Those that pull it off are rewarded. A 2017 benchmarking report from the Strategic Foresight Research Network (SFRN) revealed that vigilant companies (those with the most mature processes for identifying, interpreting, and responding to factors that induce change) achieved 200% greater market capitalization growth and 33% higher profitability than the average, while the least mature companies experienced negative market-cap growth and had 44% lower profitability.

Looking Outside the Margins

“Most organizations lack sufficient capacity to detect, interpret, and act on the critically important but weak and ambiguous signals of fresh threats or new opportunities that emerge on the periphery of their usual business environment,” write George S. Day and Paul J. H. Schoemaker in their book Peripheral Vision.

But that’s exactly where effective future planning begins: examining what is happening outside the margins of day-to-day business as usual in order to peer into the future.

Business leaders who take this approach understand that despite the uncertainties of the future there are drivers of change that can be identified and studied and actions that can be taken to better prepare for—and influence—how events unfold.

That starts with developing foresight, typically a decade out. Ten years, most future planners agree, is the sweet spot. “It is far enough out that it gives you a bit more latitude to come up with a broader way to the future, allowing for disruption and innovation,” says Brian David Johnson, former chief futurist for Intel and current futurist in residence at Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination. “But you can still see the light from it.”

The process involves gathering information about the factors and forces—technological, business, sociological, and industry or ecosystem trends—that are effecting change to envision a range of potential impacts.

Seeing New Worlds

Intel, for example, looks beyond its own industry boundaries to envision possible future developments in adjacent businesses in the larger ecosystem it operates in. In 2008, the Intel Labs team, led by anthropologist Genevieve Bell, determined that the introduction of flexible glass displays would open up a whole new category of foldable consumer electronic devices.

To take advantage of that advance, Intel would need to be able to make silicon small enough to fit into some imagined device of the future. By the time glass manufacturer Corning unveiled its ultra-slim, flexible glass surface for mobile devices, laptops, televisions, and other displays of the future in 2012, Intel had already created design prototypes and kicked its development into higher gear. “Because we had done the future casting, we were already imagining how people might use flexible glass to create consumer devices,” says Johnson.

Because future planning relies so heavily on the quality of the input it receives, bringing in experts can elevate the practice. They can come from inside an organization, but the most influential insight may come from the outside and span a wide range of disciplines, says Steve Brown, a futurist, consultant, and CEO of BaldFuturist.com who worked for Intel Labs from 2007 to 2016.

Companies may look to sociologists or behaviorists who have insight into the needs and wants of people and how that influences their actions. Some organizations bring in an applied futurist, skilled at scanning many different forces and factors likely to coalesce in important ways (see Do You Need a Futurist?).

Do You Need a Futurist?

Most organizations need an outsider to help envision their future. Futurists are good at looking beyond the big picture to the biggest picture.

Business leaders who want to be better prepared for an uncertain and disruptive future will build future planning as a strategic capability into their organizations and create an organizational culture that embraces the approach. But working with credible futurists, at least in the beginning, can jump-start the process.

“The present can be so noisy and business leaders are so close to it that it’s helpful to provide a fresh outside-in point of view,” says veteran futurist Bob Johansen.

To put it simply, futurists like Johansen are good at connecting dots—lots of them. They look beyond the boundaries of a single company or even an industry, incorporating into their work social science, technical research, cultural movements, economic data, trends, and the input of other experts.

They can also factor in the cultural history of the specific company with whom they’re working, says Brian David Johnson, futurist in residence at Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination. “These large corporations have processes and procedures in place—typically for good reasons,” Johnson explains. “But all of those reasons have everything to do with the past and nothing to do with the future. Looking at that is important so you can understand the inertia that you need to overcome.”

One thing the best futurists will say they can’t do: predict the future. That’s not the point. “The future punishes certainty,” Johansen says, “but it rewards clarity.” The methods futurists employ are designed to trigger discussions and considerations of possibilities corporate leaders might not otherwise consider.

You don’t even necessarily have to buy into all the foresight that results, says Johansen. Many leaders don’t. “Every forecast is debatable,” Johansen says. “Foresight is a way to provoke insight, even if you don’t believe it. The value is in letting yourself be provoked.”

External expert input serves several purposes. It brings everyone up to a common level of knowledge. It can stimulate and shift the thinking of participants by introducing them to new information or ideas. And it can challenge the status quo by illustrating how people and organizations in different sectors are harnessing emerging trends.

The goal is not to come up with one definitive future but multiple possibilities—positive and negative—along with a list of the likely obstacles or accelerants that could surface on the road ahead. The result: increased clarity—rather than certainty—in the face of the unknown that enables business decision makers to execute and refine business plans and strategy over time.

Plotting the Steps Along the Way

Coming up with potential trends is an important first step in futuring, but even more critical is figuring out what steps need to be taken along the way: eight years from now, four years from now, two years from now, and now. Considerations include technologies to develop, infrastructure to deploy, talent to hire, partnerships to forge, and acquisitions to make. Without this vital step, says Brown, everybody goes back to their day jobs and the new thinking generated by future planning is wasted. To work, the future steps must be tangible, concrete, and actionable.

Organizations must build a roadmap for the desired future state that anticipates both developments and detours, complete with signals that will let them know if they’re headed in the right direction. Brown works with corporate leaders to set indicator flags to look out for on the way to the anticipated future. “If we see these flagged events occurring in the ecosystem, they help to confirm the strength of our hypothesis that a particular imagined future is likely to occur,” he explains.

For example, one of Brown’s clients envisioned two potential futures: one in which gestural interfaces took hold and another in which voice control dominated. The team set a flag to look out for early examples of the interfaces that emerged in areas such as home appliances and automobiles. “Once you saw not just Amazon Echo but also Google Home and other copycat speakers, it would increase your confidence that you were moving more towards a voice-first era rather than a gesture-first era,” Brown says. “It doesn’t mean that gesture won’t happen, but it’s less likely to be the predominant modality for communication.”

How to Keep Experiments from Being Stifled

Once organizations have a vision for the future, making it a reality requires testing ideas in the marketplace and then scaling them across the enterprise. “There’s a huge change piece involved,”
says Frank Diana, futurist and global consultant with Tata Consultancy Services, “and that’s the place where most
businesses will fall down.”

Many large firms have forgotten what it’s like to experiment in several new markets on a small scale to determine what will stick and what won’t, says René Rohrbeck, professor of strategy at the Aarhus School of Business and Social Sciences. Companies must be able to fail quickly, bring the lessons learned back in, adapt, and try again.

Lowe’s increases its chances of success by creating master narratives across a number of different areas at once, such as robotics, mixed-reality tools, on-demand manufacturing, sustainability, and startup acceleration. The lab maps components of each by expected timelines: short, medium, and long term. “From there, we’ll try to build as many of them as quickly as we can,” says Manna. “And we’re always looking for that next suite of things that we should be working on.” Along the way certain innovations, like the HoloRoom How-To, become developed enough to integrate into the larger business as part of the core strategy.

One way Lowe’s accelerates the process of deciding what is ready to scale is by being open about its nascent plans with the world. “In the past, Lowe’s would never talk about projects that weren’t at scale,” says Manna. Now the company is sharing its future plans with the media and, as a result, attracting partners that can jump-start their realization.

Seeing a Lowe’s comic about employee exoskeletons, for example, led Virginia Tech engineering professor Alan Asbeck to the retailer. He helped develop a prototype for a three-month pilot with stock employees at a Christiansburg, Virginia, store.

The high-tech suit makes it easier to move heavy objects. Employees trying out the suits are also fitted with an EEG headset that the lab incorporates into all its pilots to gauge unstated, subconscious reactions. That direct feedback on the user experience helps the company refine its innovations over time.

Make the Future Part of the Culture

Regardless of whether all the elements of its master narratives come to pass, Lowe’s has already accomplished something important: It has embedded future thinking into the culture of the company.

Companies like Lowe’s constantly scan the environment for meaningful economic, technology, and cultural changes that could impact its future assessments and plans. “They can regularly draw on future planning to answer challenges,” says Rohrbeck. “This intensive, ongoing, agile strategizing is only possible because they’ve done their homework up front and they keep it updated.”

It’s impossible to predict what’s going to happen in the future, but companies can help to shape it, says Manna of Lowe’s. “It’s really about painting a picture of a preferred future state that we can try to achieve while being flexible and capable of change as we learn things along the way.” D!


About the Authors

Dan Wellers is Global Lead, Digital Futures, at SAP.

Kai Goerlich is Chief Futurist at SAP’s Innovation Center Network.

Stephanie Overby is a Boston-based business and technology journalist.


Read more thought provoking articles in the latest issue of the Digitalist Magazine, Executive Quarterly.

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About Dan Wellers

Dan Wellers is founder and leader of Digital Futures at SAP, a strategic insights and thought leadership discipline that explores how digital technologies drive exponential change in business and society.

Kai Goerlich

About Kai Goerlich

Kai Goerlich is the Chief Futurist at SAP Innovation Center network His specialties include Competitive Intelligence, Market Intelligence, Corporate Foresight, Trends, Futuring and ideation.

Share your thoughts with Kai on Twitter @KaiGoe.heif Futu

About Stephanie Overby

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Future Of Work 2018: 10 Predictions You Can’t Ignore

Steven Hunt

The start of winter is often referred to as the “holiday season.” But it might also be called the “prediction season.” When it comes to human capital management (HCM), most predictions tend to be variations of the same things.

A colleague and I even created a scale to rate HCM predictions based on whether they are new or just “old wine in new bottles.”  The reason HCM predictions do not change much over time is because the “H” in HCM is about people. People do not evolve as fast as technology. Consequently, the basic challenges of HCM are constant: getting the right people in the right roles and providing them with the right work environments while complying with employment laws.

The following are my “top ten” predictions about how these will change in 2018.

Workforce agility will become the most critical concept in HCM. It is often said that the only constant is change. It is now more accurate to say the only constant is an ever-accelerating rate of change. The only way companies can survive in the modern economy is to excel at adapting to changing markets, technologies, and business landscapes. This requires tapping into people’s innate capacity for learning, growth, and innovation.

Staffing will reach new levels of complexity. For over 100 years, most people interpreted “staffing” to mean hiring employees to work onsite in full-time or part-time roles.  This concept is changing due to shifting skill shortages, global labor pools, and a massive rise in virtual work and contract employment.  Staffing no longer means hiring employees.  It means finding the right mix of skills and matching them to business demands by tapping into an increasingly global, virtual, and contingent labor force. Companies will be forced to redefine workforce planning, recruiting, staffing, and management to work in this much more complex labor market.

The experience of work will greatly improve.  Technology has made a lot of things about our lives much easier and more enjoyable. Finding our way around a city, buying products, staying in touch with our friends, watching movies, and hundreds of other life experiences have been transformed by social and mobile technologies leveraging artificially intelligent interfaces and machine learning algorithms. We will see exponential growth in the use of artificial intelligence, chatbots, intelligent services, machine learning, mobile solutions, and social platforms to make work more enjoyable, simple, and engaging.

Performance management will become a solution, not a problem. People have hated performance management for decades.  This is changing thanks to companies rethinking performance management to focus on ongoing coaching and team based decision making.  We will soon reach a tipping point where the dreaded annual review will be nothing more than a painful memory, having been replaced by mobile technology enabled continuous performance management solutions that employees and managers both appreciate and like.

Re-conceptualizing compensation. Companies spend billions of dollars each year on merit increases, bonuses, and other form of compensation.  Yet few of them can confidently answer this question: “What is the return on investment you get from the money spent on compensation in terms of increased employee engagement, productivity, and retention?” Companies can tell down to the last penny how much is spent on compensation, but they cannot tell if that money is being spent wisely. The future of compensation will involve more continuous processes where employees receive different types of rewards throughout the year from different sources.  And analytics will be used to link investments in compensation to returns in workforce productivity.

Intolerance of inequity. For too long, companies have viewed inequity as a problem, but not a problem worth solving. With the workforce becoming increasingly diverse, particularly the rise of women who now represent 50 percent or more of the employees in many fields, society is reaching a long-awaited tipping point where inequitable treatment based on non-job relevant factors such as gender, ethnicity, and age is being openly acknowledged and addressed. Smart companies will proactively redesign their talent management practices to ensure bias is identified and addressed before it happens.

The rise of well-being tech. People are not meant to live in an “always on” 24-7 world.  The pace of work is literally burning people out.  Companies need employees to be highly engaged, creative, and service oriented.  But this is impossible to do if employees are tired, stressed, and distracted.  In the coming year, companies will continue to make more well-being tools available to their employees. With the explosion of well-being technology at the consumer level, such as smartwatches and fitness technology, many employers will be looking to bring these tools into the workplace.  However, successful organizations will be those who make such technologies accessible, enjoyable, and cultural for their employees.

Org charts will begin to phase out. There is a lot of talk about updating businesses for the digital age, and yet companies continue to manage work forces using a tool that has changed little since the Roman Empire: the hierarchical organization chart (“org chart”). Relying on org charts to guide workforce management decisions is both foolish and dangerous in a digitalized world. And while 2018 will not be “the year the org chart died,” some progressive organizations will begin to phase out traditional org charts for more modern, digital approaches.

Companies will ditch all-or-nothing retirement. 2018 will bring about a major shift in workplace dynamics with regards to older generations. Today, individuals are living longer, and thus working longer – past 60, 70, and even 80.  Forward-thinking organizations realize the need to keep this skilled talent in their organization, particularly as many industries face increasing skills shortages. However, this transition will also force companies to rethink jobs; for example, many positions that used to be full time will become part time.  In the coming year, organizations will begin to move away from the traditional, all-or-nothing view of retirement.

Growth in HR cybersecurity threats. Ransom ware made its main stage debut in 2017 with the WannaCry and NotPetya attacks.  In 2018, ransom ware threats will continue to proliferate.  HR systems have not historically been a major target of cyber criminals.  Unfortunately, this will change.  There will be a growing number of attacks against human resources departments, with cyber-criminals posing as potential applicants in the hopes of infecting the larger organization.

We should feel confident these trends will continue to evolve over the coming years. If there is one thing psychologists have proven over the years about predictions, it is that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

For more on technology and HR, see Why (And How) Technology Is Bringing HR And The CFO Together.

This article originally appeared on Forbes SAPVoice.

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Steven Hunt

About Steven Hunt

Steven Hunt is the Senior Vice President of Customer Value at SAP. He is responsible for guiding the strategy and deployment of knowledge, tools and process improvements that increase the value customers receive from SuccessFactors & SAP Cloud software as a service solutions.