By Bert Wolfs, Ph.D.
Academic Dean SBS Swiss Business School
Welcome to 2019. How was your binge watching over the holidays? Did you also see all the episodes of ‘Sex in the City’ from the last years in three days? If so, you were not the only one as it is a growing trend!
The worst is to be in the middle, in 2019. Let us start from a geographical perspective: Europe, is between USA and China, it will realize this year even more its significance fading away in the world. Moreover, the middle class of our societies will continue to burden heavy taxes in the advanced economies and it will continue to grow in the emerging markets.
For retailers, be either cheap or think on how to become cheaper or yet still be pricy and wait for the luxury moment of potential consumers… we all have such moments in our life, don’t we? Those, who offer mid-range prices, will not survive. There is hope for shops in centers of cities and towns that the customers want to go to an “experience-oriented shop” feel the goods and yet visit the plug and play shops where they can see and feel how things really work or look like. There is a clear shift from an “Omnichannel” strategy towards an “Optichannel” strategy. As a shopper, businesses do not need to be only offline and online, they need to be on the right device at the right time. Context is the driver. Overall, things are getting more complicated to reach the consumer!
Additionally, the trend of increasingly digital loneliness is not going to stop anywhere. Lonely citizens walking in centers with the headphones connected to their mobile phones could be a very big danger for every traffic user. People tend to be part of various social networks and have 100s of online friends but they were alone on New Year’s Eve. In 2019, we will continue to use our mobile phones less for phoning, but instead for more of all kind of other activities. Yet, this will be sad news for mobile phone producers since we are not willing to exchange our mobile phones as often as before, rather we will be all waiting for the G5 network.
If you are yet in advertising, it is all happening online. About sixty percent of the ads market is online and this is something to continue growing. On the other hand, there is still thirty percent of all Internet users, who would be using an advertising blocking tool. If we yet search for any kind of information nowadays, this is something done much more via voice search instead of typing through a keyboard. Consequently, this clearly tells us something about what marketers we need, how marketing should be done and the people who know where and how to find customers in the most creative way!
Goodbye Fake News, Welcome Viral Deception. The reader will understand what the reliable sources of news are and what is not. The branded news and sites will be trusted more. Yet the term needs to go broader and consumers likewise will be disappointed from the fake branded-products they bought, fake entrance tickets to concerts, and fake friendships they made online.
Watch out for your password. Increasing hacker attacks, cyber security issues and online shops loosing their own customer data will be likely common news in 2019. Not sure if a good insurance always helps for these issues. Trust is good, but control is better… is the old adagio! Those who believe that AR/ VAR will have a breakthrough this year, will have to wait another year…we are still developing the apps!
The year 2019 is the first year that more millennials will be at work than baby boomers!
The biggest risk for 2019 remains the political uncertainty: The USA-China trade war, will president D. Trump solve the issue in Davos 2019? What will be the outcome of the European parliament elections? What will be the outcome of the Swiss national elections this year? And oooh yeaah, for those, who will still believe that Brexit will happen, sorry there will be no one… The real outcome of what 2019 upholds will be only known after March 29 this year. Happy New Year!