As a Partner at Red Rocket Ventures, I am exposed to hundreds of startup ideas each year. Below is sampling of the key digital trends that are getting the most investor attention in 2015 (in no particular order):
- Big Data Becoming Big Insights–Predictive & Prescriptive Analytics. So it is less about the firehose of data, and more about the the three bullet points of actionable insights that will help you predict and fix problems with your business.
- Cloud-Based Everything–SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, etc. It has gotten to the point that if you can imagine an enterprise solution going into the cloud, whatever system that may be, it will.
- CMO’s Evolving Into CTO’s. CEO’s are no longer looking as their marking success based on branding and creatives. It is all about making smart data driven marketing decisions with drive a clearly attributable ROI. Forcing CMO’s to leverage technologies in ways they never previously imagined in their role.
- Omni-Channel Customer-Centric Focus. Enterprise brands are trying to break down internal silos, to get disparate systems to better integrate around one holistic customer-focused experience. Think digital, mobile, social, CRM databases all merging into one tracking users across the user experience.
- Digital Currency–From Bitcoin to Beyond. World currencies beware, new digital currencies are being developed which will reinvent how monies move around globally in the future.
- Mobile Payments. Needing your wallets and credit cards will be a thing of the past, as your mobile apps via your phone will replace that need.
- The Internet of Things. With each turn of the innovation wheel, old-school products are getting smarter, connected to web. From thermostats to refrigerators, entrepreneurs are reinventing most everything.
- 3D Printing. Once an incredible dream, and now a reality which is revolutionizing many manufacturing sectors, helping them to lower costs compared to original techniques.
- Wearables. Glasses, watches, apparel, you name it. If it is not already here with players like Google Glass and Fitbit, it is coming in many new ways for you . . . and your pets!!
- Drones. Drones are no longer being used by governments. They are now being used by private companies. Watch out Fedex & UPS, Amazon is coming by air to a home by you.
- The Sharing Economy Booms. From AirBNB to Uber, it appears this newest generation of users no longer want to own anything (or can’t afford to), and the sharing economy is in full swing.
- Entertainment Consumption Evolving. From cutting cable, to new streaming players beyond Netflix, to new content creators beyond traditional studios, the entertainment space is in full upheaval.
- Digital Advertisers Shifting to Programatic Marketplaces. Publishers beware, you are losing control of your ad sales efforts to third party computers. And, the need for big teams of media planners will soon be a thing of the past.
- Mobile Marketing More Hyperlocal. Onsite discovery or communication, in-the-aisle shopping offers, and iBeacons are tracking mobile users every step of the way. Scary to some, but very useful and relevant to others.
- Marketing Mediums Merging. Content marketing, SEO, PR, social media all blending into one skillset. No longer is the need for numerous boutique agencies, as these named disciplines are all inter-dependent upon each other with today’s techniques. Look for agency consolidation here.
- Next Generation Social Networks Proliferate. It seems every year is a new crop of social networks exploding (e.g., WhatsApp, SnapChat, Tinder). That will put pressure on the big boys, like Facebook and Twitter, in years to come.
- Social Commerce. Think Amazon meets Facebook, with executions like one-click ordering from Instagram. It appears this generation of shoppers prefers to do it with their friends for recommendations and reviews. No suprise compared to the offline analog of going to the mall with your friends.
- Social Intelligence. Many innovative companies are taking social data to the next level, “listening” to the billions of conversations on social media, to bubble up actionable insights for companies to make better decisions around their brand, marketing, product, etc. I would be very worried how budgets will shift in this direction, if I was a traditional market research firm.
- Crowdfunding Hitting Its Stride. Access to startup capital has never been easier with growing success of crowdfunding (e.g., AngelList) and crowd donations sites (e.g., Kickstarter). Traditional venture capitalists are starting to change they way they do business to compete with these new channels.
- Cannibis. Not digital, but smoking hot (pun intended). With the legalization of marijuana in states like Colorado and Washington, and the economic boom it is creating for those states. Expect other states to follow in short order. And, enterpreneurs of all shapes and sizes (e.g., manufacturers to retailers) are trying to get their piece of the pie.
So, whether you are looking to launch a new startup, join one as an employee or invest in one, you can follow these hot digital trends right to the bank.
George Deeb is a serial entrepreneur and growth consultant at Red Rocket Ventures, and author of “101 Startup Lessons–An Entrepreneur’s Handbook”.
This article was written by George Deeb from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.