It’s 2021! Finally!
While the year is off to a rough start, it has to be better than the year that we just went through.
In fact, there are many good things to look forward to.
And, looking forward is what this post is all about.
Since 2013, I’ve been keeping a list of things to watch that I think will influence how we live in the future.
Many of the things that I thought were important in the past are still important. Some may need to be taken off the list in the future, while others will be added.
This list is published nearly every year because it helps keep me focused and serves as a public record to show whether or not I am watching the right things each year.
The Things to Watch List 2021
This is the list so far [with the year that the items were added]:
1) Rapid advancements in technology 
2) Mobile (user experience and marketing) 
3) Mobile payments 
5) Privacy issues 
6) Emerging markets 
7) The Internet of Things 
8) The evolution of retail (including omni-channel retail) 
9) A global marketplace 
10) 3D printing 
11) Cyberattacks 
14) RFID, NFC, and beacons 
15) Augmented reality (AR) 
16) Virtual reality (VR) 
17) SEO for the Internet of Things 
18) Experiential marketing 
19) Wearables 
21) Machine learning & artificial intelligence (AI) 
22) Voice-activated technology 
23) Business collaboration with the competition 
25) Robotics 
26) Subscription business model 
27) How online communications influence public opinion 
28) Market research techniques for the 21st Century 
29) Influencer marketing 
31) Sustainability brands 
32) Health-conscious brands 
33) Biometrics 
34) Branded entertainment or advertainment 
35) Blockchain 
36) Cryptocurrency 
37) Visual communications 
38) Visual search & voice search 
39) Audio communications & sonic branding 
41) Haptic technology 
43) Big data 
44) Predictive analytics 
45) 5G 
46) How COVID-19 and other pandemics will change the world 
A Few Things to Think About
Looking back at last year’s post, I was optimistic about 2020.
I wonder if anyone could have predicted what we would be living through only a few months later.
COVID-19 changed everything.
This included the way we worked, shopped, and played last year.
Therefore, businesses needed to find ways to adapt. And, many did.
The question now is whether or not these changes will be temporary or will they permanently change the way that we live.
In some cases, things will go back to the way they were prior to the pandemic. Sometimes, the adaptations will be permanent. In other cases, there might be some hybrid solutions or maybe we will find an even better way to do things.
Nobody knows for sure. However, businesses should be watching.
Note: If you think that I missed anything that should have included on my list, please let me know in the comments below.