Here is our final list of ongoing trends that we predicted would be significant in 2020. (Part one is available here and part two here.)There's not as much description of the trends because we think, since they're ongoing, they need no introduction. Our point in highlighting them is that some trends don't immediately fade away. Obviously some trends disappear. But just because a trend went mainstream one year does not mean it goes away the next.
These ongoing trends can continue to be relevant in subsequent years. That's why we always identify ongoing trends, and why we think it's worthwhile to look at which ones made a difference.
Here are grades for 21 ongoing trends.
1. Robocalls won’t go away. Grade A.
2. More home exercise equipment will offer at-home streaming classes. We didn’t anticipate the huge growth in the sector but we were right about at-home streaming classes. Grade: A.
3. News fatigue. Even reporters complained of being overwhelmed by too much news. Grade: A.
4. Short news cycles. In Oct. alone, there was so much news that there wasn’t enough time to process everything before being overwhelmed by some other news item. That happened all year. Grade: A.
5. Fake news and disinformation will continue, probably increase in 2020. We shouldn’t have hedged our bet by including the word “probably.” Grade: A.
6. The credibility of news media is under attack. This remains a problem for marketers. And also for the hope of bringing people together to heal our country. Grade: A.
7. Social media will continue to undergo scrutiny and it won’t look good. We expect more scrutiny in 2021. Grade: A.
8. Cord-cutting will continue to attract the media's attention. Not sure it did. Grade: C-.
9. Most tech reporters at newspapers will continue to focus on FAANG: Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google. They also discussed Zoom and accessories to help you work from home. Grade: B+.
10. Elon Musk and Tesla will continue to attract undue amount of media attention. Probably true. Grade: B.
11. Driverless cars still won't be ready. True. Grade: A.
12. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality still won’t be everywhere. But the pandemic may accelerate adoption. Grade: B.
13. Blockchain and bitcoin will continue to get media coverage but most consumers still won't have much contact with bitcoin and won't understand how Blockchain affects them. Probably true. Grade: B.
14. Corporate boycotts & consumer boycotts will continue. Corporate boycotts are when companies pull their ads from specific shows, hosts or networks to protest something said or done. This did happen in 2020. Grade: B.
15. 3-D content and 3-D printers will still not be as popular as they are cool. True. Grade: A.
16. Student debt and healthcare will continue to be big issues. Student debt did not get the attention we expected while healthcare was significant. Grade: B.
17. Climate change will be an issue. This got attention, in the wake of fire storms and other natural disasters. Grade: B.
18. Drug pricing will continue to get a lot of attention. Also, we all learned about the cost to develop and manufacture COVID-19 vaccines. Grade: B+.
19. STEM will continue to be important. But there didn’t seem to be as much media coverage of this. Grade: C.
20. More small colleges will merge or close. We expect more of that in 2021. Grade: B.
21. The future continues to look cloudy – as in cloud computing. Cloud computing was a big help during the pandemic. Grade: A.We did pretty well with this set of predictions. We think many of these trends will continue to have impact in 2021.