30+ Digital Trends Reports for 2014

Last updated: December 10, 2013.

Here is my annual digital trends roundup of over 35 articles predicting the hot topics for 2014. Over the past few weeks I have set my Google Alerts and Twitter searches to try and pick up any and all trend reports from around the web, and I’ve itemized all the subject nominations into a large, curated Google Doc: The 2014 Trend Matrix.

Digital Marketing is my primary professional interest, but I have also included relevant Cultural, Consumer, Advertising, IT, and Social Media trend reports as well. I have weighted the trends to favor the major research organizations (Forrester, Gartner, Landor, IDC, eMarketer and Jupiter) because I assume they pay a lot of people to stay on top of such things – so they should have some extra super powers the rest of us don’t have. But I did try to add a number of other sources to confirm or augment the list.

I’ll add more links to the comments as the appear. Please post additional links or thoughts in the comments if they come to you while you review the below. Follow the links below for more information.

And the winners for 2014 are…

The Top 5 for 2014

  1. The Internet of Things: Wearable Computers, Google Glass, Smart Watches, Sensors
  2. Big Data: Predictive/Visualized/Simplifed/Actionable Big Data
  3. Cloud: $100B Cloud/Client Cloud/Personal Cloud Services
  4. 3D Printing/Smart 3D with Sensors
  5. Raging Against the Machine: Turning off/Tuning Out/Better Work/Life Balance & Automated/Trigger Messaging (TIE)

Major Research Organizations




Nancy Duarte: The Secret Structure of Great Presentations

There is a long list of great presentations and speeches, both historical and present day. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and Steve Job’s original iPhone reveal are two memorable examples. Within most of these great presentations is a fundamental structure, or pattern, that can inform how your next great presentation is built. Nancy Duarte’s persuasive story pattern is a remarkable piece of work, and this video is the TED talk in which she introduces the primary components of the pattern.

Nancy Duarte's Persuasive Presentation Storyline

Aaron Dignan on Why the Future of Work is Play

Dignan is the CEO of the strategy firm Undercurrent and the author of ‘Game Frame,’ and a frequent presenter on the topic of gamification. In this video he talks about how to make life more interesting and engaging through the use of game mechanics. Play is a fun sounding word to introduce into a discussion on work, and gamification is a term that is often dropped into conversation as a way to counteract boredom or the rote tasks that we all would rather avoid. The workplace is rarely designed for fun or pleasure. It’s much more often a basic exchange of labor for cash. In actuality, when designed correctly, gamification techniques do trigger motivation in participants, to inspire interest in something that most of us would rather avoid.

This is a funny and entertaining view into the science of games applied to real world boredom.

Douglas Rushkoff on Narrative Collapse

If everything is now, now, now, who has time to do proper storytelling? Douglas Rushkoff discusses the remarkable implications of our overloaded senses for advertising, drama, and even religion, as the time for storytelling collapses into itself. Recorded on the street at South-by-Southwest 2013 by Leo Burnett, it’s a great insight into the ramifications of too much information and too many devices.

50+ Digital Trends Lists for 2013: Data, Marketing, Social Media, Tech and Design

<UPDATED, January 3, 2013. * Marks new links.>

This is a list of many of the 2013 prediction lists, trend reports, and forecasts that I have collected since the beginning of December. It is not comprehensive, obviously, but I found something interesting in everything below. This collection is intended to be digital at it’s heart, including industry predictions about the future of big data, digital marketing, social media, emerging technology and digital design. If you have additional links, I would love to add them. I will update this list up until the end of the year.

I’ll post a summary of what I think are the biggest themes in a future post, but for now please take a look and see what you think stands out to you. Let me know in the comments which lists you think best capture what you see coming in digital in 2013.

Happy New Year! See you in 2013.

Major Research Organizations

Mary Meeker Internet Trends Year-End Update

Meeker is the Queen of the digital future. The primary point she made in 2012 is that there is massive disruption across multiple industry and verticals, and it continues to expand. If your industry or business model has not been disrupted by digital recently, then it will be soon.

Pew Internet Year in Review, The Year in Data

This is more general than just digital but there are a couple of crucial themes that carry into our world, firstly that 39% of voters under 40 viewed the election through multiple screens, and secondly, 45% of US adults own a smartphone.

eMarketer Trends for 2013

Gartner Technology Research, Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2013

Webtrends9 Tech Trends That Will Make Someone Billions Of Dollars Next Year

MIT Media Lab: Joi Ito’s Trends to Watch in 2013

Blogs and Publications

Mashable, 11 Big Tech Trends You’ll See in 2013 and 4 Best Practices for Digital Marketers in 2013. Also, check out Mashable’s Pete Cashmore discuss his Rules For Media 2013 (Audio).

FastCompany, The Can’t-Miss Social Media Trends For 2013 with guest Ryan Homes, CEO of Hootsuite, and 5 Trends That Will Shape Digital Services in 2013.

Forbes.com, Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2013.

YPulse, A Look Into The Crystal Ball: Top Trends for 2013.

TrendWatching, 10 Crucial Consumer Trends for 2013. Choose between the full deck version and the condensed infographic version.

O’Reilly Radar, Big, Open and More Networked Than Ever: 10 Trends from 2012 and 14 Big Trends to Watch in 2013.

Harvard Business Review, Four Innovation Trends to Watch in 2013.

ReadWrite, Six Tech Trends That Will Rock Enterprise IT in 2013 and 6 Trends Startups Must Cope With in 2013.

MarketWatch, Top 10 Tech Trends to Watch in 2013.

*AllTwitter.com, Four Twitter Predictions for 2013.

Inc. Magazine, 7 Things You Need to Know About 2013.

The Economist, Global Trends for 2013.

The Independent, The World in 2013: the people, themes, trends and problems that will define our global economy.

The Futurist Magazine, Top 10 Forecasts for 2013 and Byond.

iMedia Connection, 6 Trends That Will Shape Digital in 2013 and 7 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2013.

Venture Beat, The Top 10 Rends in Enterprise Cloud for 2013.

Lists from Agencies

Edelmann’s David Armano, Six Social-Digital Trends for 2013.

Ogilvy.com, Three Social Business Mega-trends for Brand Marketers in 2013

JWT Intelligence, Our 10 trends for 2013 in 2 minutes (video) or you can read the executive summary, 10 Trends That Will Shape Consumer Mindset and Behavior in 2013.

SilverPop, Key Marketing Trends 2013 for Success in the Year of the Customer.

Sparks & Honey, 54 Trends for 2013: Now, Next & Future (Snapshot) (Slideshare).

The Richards’ Group, 2013 Ten Digital Trends.

WebbMedia Group, 2013 Tech Trends.

Digital Services and Sites

LinkedIn, The Biggest Ideas of 2013.

Hootsuite, The 5 biggest social media trends of 2013.

Smart Insights, Digital Marketing Trends 2013.

PointBurst, Staying Ahead of the Curve: Social Media in 2013.

ExactTarget, Inspired Marketing Predictions for 2013 (SlideShare).

HubSpot, 20 Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2013 & Beyond

KISSmetrics, 25 Online Marketing Trends for 2013.

SEOptimise, 25 Online Marketing Trends for 2013.

Design Mind, 20 Tech Trends for 2013.

DigiDay, Trends Publishers Will Pass Up in 2013.

Branding Strategy Insider, Digital and Media Marketing Trends for 2013.

Search Engine Journal, 2013 Marketing Moves ON.

Social Media Today, How to Spot a Trend: 7 Social Media Trends that Matter in 2013, the follow up SlideShare of 15 Marketing & Business Trends in 2013 That Will Change Your Business and Predictions for 2013 Emerging Marketing Trends.

Lists from Brands

Broadcom‘s Top Trend Predictions for CES 2013

Ford‘s Inaugural Trend Report 2013 (Summary) or you can download the full report (PDF).

Lists About Design

CreativeBloq.com, Design Trend Predictions for 2013

SmashingHub.com, Web Design Trends in 2013.

Galaxy Unite, Top Design Trends and Best Practices 2013.

Random Bonus Lists

Scholastic Editors Forecast Top 10 Trends in Children’s Books for 2013.

Edudemic, 5 Big Education Technology Trends of 2013.

CIO.com, 5 Cloud Computing Trends That Will Be Big in 2013.

Dynamit, Must Know Digital Trends 2013

CommPro, 2013 Digital Media Relations Trends.

Dream Grow, Social Media and Content Marketing Trends 2013

Harvard Business Journal, Top Ten Sales Trends for 2013.

Entrepreneur Magazine, The Biggest Trends in Business for 2013.

Global Trends, 10 Key Trends in 2013

TheRanconteur.com, 2013 Mobile Business Predictions (Infographic).

The Fiscal Times, 10 Real Estate Trends to Watch in 2013.

Colloquy.com, Under The Radar: Ten Trends Loyalty Marketers Might Not See Coming in 2013.

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