10 Striking 2017 Trends that Will Shape Our Future

Does your business pay attention to business trends that will shape our future? I hope you do, as they can be critical to your marketing efforts. Knowing as much as you can about your market and your customers is a great way to start your marketing strategy.


For marketers today, everything begins and ends with consumers. Understanding consumer preferences and behaviors is essential to developing a successful campaign, brand, and offering. Consumer trends tell us what habits or behaviors are becoming more prevalent. They help us track what people buy, why they buy, how they use products, and how they communicate about brands.


Every year, Pew Research publishes a collection of facts about the important events, issues, and trends we documented in our wide-ranging research over the past 12 months.


Most businesses do not manage change. Change takes them by surprise. Not a good thing. What these businesses do best is manage the conflict wrought by change.


Reacting does not equate to anticipating … you must improve your trend watching and anticipating skills so you can change before you have to. A good thing.


In 2016,  Pew Research Center examined an array of topics in America – from immigration to the growing divide between Republicans and Democrats – as well as many from around the globe.


Here are some of their most striking findings, and our comments on how these may impact our future over the next decade.

trends that will shape our future
Trends that will shape our future.


The shrinking middle class


From 2000 to 2014, the share of adults living in middle-income households fell in 203 of the 229 U.S. metropolitan areas examined in a Pew Research Center analysis of government data.


The decrease in the middle-class share was often substantial, measuring six percentage points or more in 53 metropolitan areas, compared with a 4-point drop nationally. However, the share of adults in the upper-income tier increased more than the share of adults in the lower-income tier in 119 of the 229 areas examined.


What it means for the future

 Marketers will need to do new analysis on targeting and not rely on old data sets. This will be essential if you are targeting metropolitan middle-class Americans.


The reshaping of our political parties

 The Democratic Party is becoming less white, less religious and better-educated at a faster rate than the country as a whole while aging somewhat more slowly.


Republican voters are becoming more diverse, better-educated and less religious at a slower rate than the country.


What it means for the future

Lots on the line for our future. Both parties will need to retool for their future leadership. Are you game?


Millennials are the largest living generation

 Now numbering 75.4 million, the Millennial population continues to grow as young immigrants expand its ranks, and this year, the number of Millennials eligible to vote was about equal to that of the Baby Boomer generation.


This demographic shift is particularly evident among Hispanics: Nearly six-in-ten Hispanics are Millennials or younger, and in 2016, Millennials (those ages 18 to 35) made up almost half of all eligible Latino voters.



shrinking middle class
Shrinking middle class.

What it means for the future

If you are a small businessman, it will require you know all you can about millennials. Why they buy, their interests, and where and how they prefer to shop.


Young people are more likely to be living with their parents than with a spouse or partner

  In 2014, for the first time in more than 130 years, adults ages 18 to 34 were slightly more likely to be living in their parents’ home than they were to be living with a spouse or partner in their household. These new living arrangements largely reflect a shift away from marriage and partnership as young adults increasingly focus on education and the workplace. Partly as a result, a record 60.6 million Americans are now living in multigenerational households.


What it means for the future

Who is influencing the millennial is a critical question to answer. Parents are more likely to be influencers than before, in our opinion.


 Interpreting populace views on five decades of standard of living

new rules for the new economy
New rules for the new economy.

About eight-in-ten Trump backers (81%) said life is worse than it was 50 years ago for people like them, compared with just 11% who said it had gotten better.


Most Clinton supporters took the opposite stance: About six-in-ten (59%) said life for people like them has gotten better over the past half-century, while 19% said it has gotten worse.


 What it means for the future

 The election results of 2016 have put a ‘forever’ stamp on how fractionated the United States populace has become. It will be getting harder and harder to create meaningful solutions to our problems.



Equality in rights among Americans

 About four-in-ten blacks (43%) are skeptical that America will ever make the changes needed for blacks to achieve equal rights with whites. Only 11% of whites express the same doubts about the U.S. making the necessary changes for blacks to have equal rights with whites.


Overall, blacks are much more likely than whites to say black people are treated less fairly in the workplace, when applying for a loan or mortgage, in dealing with police, in the courts, in stores or restaurants and when voting.


 What it means for the future

Just another area that will contribute to fractionated opinions within the American populace. Hard keeps getting harder.



Trends that will shape our future … the growing education gap

 A wide gap in presidential preferences emerged in the 2016 election between whites with and without a college degree. Trump’s margin among whites without a college degree was the largest among any candidate in exit polls since 1980.


Two-thirds (67%) of non-college whites backed him, compared with just 28% who supported Clinton.


What it means for the future

 Does education level impact opinions for the future? It never did much in the past. Not so sure this result will continue to have much impact on the future.



Facebook is by far the most popular social media platform among Americans

 Today, about eight-in-ten online Americans (79%) use Facebook, more than double the share that uses Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or LinkedIn.


About three-quarters (76%) of Americans who use Facebook now report that they visit the site on a daily basis – up from 70% in 2015.


What it means for the future

No surprise here, is there? As a businessman, if you are not keeping us on how to market on Facebook, you will be quickly losing ground.



The growth of the sharing economy

 The sharing economy and on-demand services are starting to weave their way into the lives of Americans. About seven-in-ten Americans (72%) have used some online or shared service, such as the ride-hailing service Uber or the home-sharing service Airbnb.


College graduates, those with relatively high household incomes and those younger than 45 are most exposed to these services. Those with lower incomes and who live in rural areas are less exposed.


What it means for the future

 A new but rapidly growing area of the economy. It will offer more competition for the small business of the future. But it will also offer more opportunity for those with good ideas and initiative.



The public is wary of technologies that could “enhance” human abilities

Majorities of U.S. adults say they would be “very” or “somewhat” worried about gene editing (68%), brain chips (69%) and synthetic blood (63%), while no more than half say they would be enthusiastic about each of these developments.


Some people say they would be both enthusiastic and worried, but, overall, concern outweighs excitement. The biggest resistance is toward technologies that would result in abilities “far above that of any human known to date” or in permanent changes.


What it means for the future

Another one of those results that have yet to play out fully. We are not sure there will be much impact on these results.


game changers
Game changers.


 Need some help in finding ways to grow your customers?  Such as creative ideas to help the differentiation with potential customers? Or perhaps finding ways to work with other businesses?


Call today for a FREE consultation or a FREE quote. Learn about some options to scope your job.

Call Mike at 607-725-8240.


So what’s the conclusion? The conclusion is there is no conclusion. There is only the next step. And that next step is completely up to you. But believe in the effectiveness of collaborative innovation. And put it to good use in adapting to changes in your business environment.


It’s up to you to keep improving your learning and experience with innovation and creativity efforts. Lessons are all around you. In this case, your competitor may be providing the ideas and or inspiration. But the key is in knowing that it is within you already.


All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new lessons.


When things go wrong, what’s most important is your next step.


Try. Learn. Improve. Repeat.




When things are not what you want them to be, what’s most important is your next step. Call today.


Are you devoting enough energy to improving your continuous learning for yourself and your team?


Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he writes about topics that relate to improving the performance of business. Go to Amazon to obtain a copy of his latest book, Exploring New Age Marketing. It focuses on using the best examples to teach new age marketing … lots to learn. Find them on G+Twitter, and LinkedIn


Digital Spark Marketing will stretch your thinking and your ability to adapt to change.  We also provide some fun and inspiration along the way. Call us for a free quote today. You will be amazed how reasonable we will be.


Check out these additional articles on business and its performance from our library:

The Business Intelligence Process Part 3 Competitive Analysis

10 Entrepreneur Lessons You Need to Know

Collaboration and Partnerships Are Key to Business Growth

9 Favorite Work Life Productivity Apps


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10 Striking 2017 Trends that Will Shape Our Future