Coming Soon – 2016: The Year of …


As we welcome the onset of fall, so begins the process of finalizing strategic plans, budgets, and innovative initiatives for the coming year. You can see that in the wealth of inspirational, aspirational, and technical pleas embedded with every read.

What we won’t see, at least not until the beginning of next year, when all our strategies, plans, and associated budgets are claimed, is the designation of 2016 as the Year of [Insert “Next” Big Thing]. Will it be any of the previous years contestants? Social, Innovation, Automation, or the ever-eager Mobile?

It doesn’t matter, for 2 reasons. As I mentioned, the plans are already set in motion by then, and while of course any good plan has room for flexibility, opportunistic direction changes, or expansions, the overall strategy and focus should have a solid foundation that keeps  one from veering off course after the promotion of a shiny object. The second reason is … none of this is new, only the packaging is.

My ever-favorite is “The Year of Mobile”. Each year I wait for the announcement that this year will be it, this will be when mobile overtakes all our senses and drives engagement, offering up the chance for unencumbered success, if only we jump on the bandwagon now. It won’t. None of them will. And here’s why.

These articles are well written, researched, and backed with statistics but should have little to know bearing on your strategy. You have your own research, and know where your clients are, how they respond, when they engage, and what they are interested in. Platforms and approaches are tactics, tools, they are not recipes for success. Just as statistics and analytics are not keys to success are keys to understanding and finding ways to success, so are platforms.

Master the basics, so you are always prepared for wherever your customer goes. 

So without further ado, I suggest we join forces and promote 2016 as the Year of Critical Thinking. Who’s with me?

Oh, wait … 2016 is an election year.