Worth looking at in 2019

Trends picture.png

By Sabine Beck

When trends emerge, they are not always what you expected. And they might touch some ground you do not like that much. If you work in communications, marketing, digital, IT, HR or any related field, find out, if you discover something interesting and useful.

Seven trends in a few words to stimulate your brains

Which topics move minds and/or hearts? What is important to consider? The face-to-face talks in our ConnectMinds meetings, the discussions and sentiments in the wider network are valuable indicators of things to come and go. Here is my take on areas to watch in 2019.

1. Data: Data-strategy and analytics become even more important - also internally

You need data to effectively manage information, content and channels. Moreover: you need to have the skills to handle and deploy the data in a meaningful way. The area of digital analytics; how we collect, handle, measure and use data will grow in importance and relevance for all communicators and marketers. Also for Internal Comms!  A challenge worth considering: numbers are rarely the communicators’ best friend. We should work on that attitude and on how to show comms impact on business goals more clearly and often.

2. Functions, departments and hierarchies are „disrupted“. 3 Examples

Firstly: The number of „Newsrooms“ or newsroom-approaches is growing. The pursuit of good storytelling and genuine employee advocacy requires colleagues from comms, marketing, HR and sometimes other departments to exchange and collaborate.

Secondly: More cross-functional, multi-disciplinary „digital teams“ are established to better manage  the (often poorly coordinated) digital transformation efforts.

Thirdly: Holocracy is emerging as a next institutional level of collaboration. Leadership is big but classical positions in hierarchy are questioned. Do we need both to work successfully?

3. Devices: „Mobile in addition“ will become „mobile only“ for many

A good mobile experience is no longer an optional extra; it is essential. The number of people using mobile devices exclusively or a majority of the time is growing - in- and outside the workplace. This introduces many questions in terms of how we best serve our increasingly mobile audiences: across generations, roles, office/non-office/home-office workers etc..

4. Formats of Content : Information comes  via sound or images

Audio, images and video are the way to spread messages and express yourself. A huge topic regarding channels going out to the public. But: How can this be adapted and handled within daily company life and work?

5. Tools and channels: No longer „one“, but „many“

Choosing the right tool(s)  has become an overwhelming task. Who is the right person to answer this? The most prominent example:  O365 - with all its overlapping options. Customization efforts are diminishing. The timing of updates and changes are determined by providers and factors in „the cloud“ rather than by IT.

6. Collaboration: Hard to manage and no ones baby

Collaboration, Digital Workplace and social Intranets are still massive topics and continue to pose challenges: strategic, governance related and many more. „Engagement“ and „new work“ are big terms in this context. But who is in charge and driving all this? Who is the ultimate decision maker? Increasingly, communications takes a back seat. Who steps in as the leader of this game? HR? IT? The employees themselves? Is a “hybrid” or “joint” ownership possible?

7: GDPR - the long tail and the new focus on personal data

The frantic efforts to get ready for the arrival of GDPR are now behind us. There was a collective sigh of relief (exhaustion) on 26. May last year. But there is still so much to do. The deadline forced organisations large and small to start "getting their house in order". This is a highly sensitive topic with different connotations internationally. The renewed focus has not only resulted in a growing understanding of the mess everyone was in, but is making those working with data (of both customers and employees) realise the potential of having cleaner, better quality data; of being able to make better decisions and have more meaningful interactions with your stakeholders. The cleanup is far from over (will never really end!), but the resulting opportunities are emerging.

Do some or all of these topics correspond to your observations and experiences? Do you miss something essential? Share your views on LinkedIn - we are curious to know.

Further reading on topics for 2019:

Read more from our New Year newsletter: