2015 Digital Trend Report

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DIGITALTRENDSOur fifth annual series of trends reports includes insights into the big shifts that are changing marketing, healthcare, digital experience, and consumer expectations. In this report, youll find the top eight trends in digital, each with clues into new possibilities and examples of brands that got there first.


2015Abigail SchmelzerAlex BrockAndrea EvansAngela CuaAzul CeballosBruce RookeCampbell HooperCharles DiSantisChelsea BaileyDuncan ArbourEduardo MenendezEric DavisFred HarrisonJames TomasinoJeffrey GiermekJeffrey WilksJessie BrownJoe DeSalvoJohn MuchaJoy HartJulie ValkaKathryn Bernish-FisherKevin NaltyLeigh HouseholderLuke HebblethwaiteMatt GroomMike MartinsNick BartlettNicole SordellPavithra SelvamPhil StorerRichard MartinRick SummaSam CannizzaroSarah BrownSayeed AnwarScott RaidelStefanie JonesZach GerberCORE CONTRIBUTORS


At the core of our innovation practice is a simple idea: Knowing how peoples expectations are changing lets us capture new market opportunities, take smart risks, and spur innovation

We start by uncovering clues. Clues are data points, great stories, quotes, and pictures that shift our understanding of what people want right now. We find them in practices around the world and in the technologies, brands, and experiences that doctors and patients encounter in their everyday lives.

Over time, those clues combine and connect to reveal trends, a new kind of inspiration for creating experiences in the moments before our customers realize they need them. And months and years before our competitors realize the same thing.2015DIGITALTRENDS4More Distractible Than GoldfishTech For Everyone (Really This Time)Virtual Reality Is Finally RealityDisappearing TechnologyCompetition for the Next Big ThingLets PlayThe Website Is DeadHealthcare Brings DTC to Digital

Were following eight trends that show how the digital landscape will be changing in 2015.THETRENDS1.


1.IN SHORTOur always-on digital liveshave diminished our attentionspans to 8 seconds 1 secondless than a goldfish. Whichmeans this is the only part ofthis trend youre likely to read.MORE DISTRACTIBLE THAN GOLDFISH


1.MORE DISTRACTIBLE THAN GOLDFISHOn average, an office worker checks their email inbox 30 times per hour.U.S National Library of Medicine, 201349%17%Percent of words read on web pages with 111 words or lessPercent of page views that last less than 4 seconds7FirST PAGE OR NO PAGE

Thanks to smartphones, tablets, the expansion of free Wi-Fi, and reliable 3D, the people around us are constantly clicking and tapping their way to new information. Theyre Googling for instant gratification and quick fixes. And if they dont find it in seconds, theyre likely to abandon the effort entirely.

The cause of this hurry-up-and-give-up behavior is our vanishing attention spans. Today, digital experiences have to capture users in just a few seconds and may not have much more time than that to really engage them. That sets a much higher bar for both information design and long-tail search.



1.MORE DISTRACTIBLE THAN GOLDFISHTechnology is altering human physiology. Some of the impact is positive: better visual skills ordevotion of our cognitive surplus time to creating and engaging. Other effects, like loss of memory and attention span, are less favorable.

Those new memory problems could be a particular challenge for healthcare as some 80% ofpeople go online for information about a medical condition or drug. A rather typical session ofonline browsing can create an information overload and make it harder to file away information inyour memory, according to Dr. Erik Fransn, professor of computer science at Swedens KTH RoyalInstitute of Technology.

Our modern digitally-dependent consumer is in need of both more reminders and more creativeways to make ideas and information stick.


1.MORE DISTRACTIBLETHAN GOLDFISHBrands are adapting to the change. Theyre scaling back the long lists of features and benefits toconnect in shorter forms with smaller messages. Social channels like Vine, Instagram, and Snapchathave created the forum to communicate in this sound bite exchange.

Marketers have found incredibly creative ways to play in this space.

Photo contests are a great way to increase your brands visibility on Instagram. Using a hashtagpertaining to your contest will make it easy for you to collect photos from your followers.


1.MORE DISTRACTIBLETHAN GOLDFISHLancmes Project #bareselfie dared women to post pictures ofthemselves without makeup. That instagram-action generated50% of the sales for its newly launched DreamTone serumproduct line.Oreo owned nearly 10,000 engagements with its 15-secondshowcase of its new MiniDelivery service.(Where do we get one of those cute mini forklifts?)Ford made its smart Park Assist feature look even more speedy and sleek by showing it off it in hyperlapse.


2.IN SHORTThe wave of technology adoption is finally coming to shore with new technologies and tools designed specifically for late adopters.TECH FOR EVERYONE (REALLY THIS TIME)


2.TECH FOR EVERYONE(REALLY THIS TIME)UN StudyCell phones are one of the most effective advancements in history to lift people out of poverty.13

2.TECH FOR EVERYONE(REALLY THIS TIME)US Smartphone Penetration The Next Web


2.TECH FOR EVERYONE (REALLY THIS TIME)For years, weve been on the crest of the wave of digital development. New technologies and devices have been brought to market at a pace thats kept early adopters wallets open. Most of these innovations are designed with the middle majority in mind: X, Y, Z generations with income greater than $40,000 per year. No doubt, this group will continue to be a viable market as they move on to the NBT (next big thing).

Facing saturation and intense competition for existing technologies in that middle majority market, some brands are looking to new niches, bringing waves of innovation to shore for the first time. For example, as US smartphone penetration surpasses 70%, the tail of the trend line (laggards and skeptics) is receiving unprecedented attention from digital innovators. People with lower incomes, immigrants and elderly populations are a few groups that are slowly but surely coming into focus.

15Smartphones and apps built for new niches

2.TECH FOR EVERYONE (REALLY THIS TIME)Forget what you may have heard about a digital divide or worries that the world is splintering into info haves and info have-nots, Bill Clinton wrote in Time Magazine. The fact is, technology fosters equality, and its often the relatively cheap and mundane devices that do the most good.

Innovators are opening new markets by bringing that mundane innovation to people who need it most:16


Wipit is a mobile wallet service partnered with Boost Mobile (prepaid cellular service). Their latest product is designed specifically for people who may not have bank accounts. Users can add cash to accounts at retail stores and set up direct deposits to their Wipit account with payroll or government assistance checks.Quippi is a cross-border gift card service targeted at new immigrants. US consumers send over $23 billion to Mexico every year via international money transfers that have associated fees. By buying gift cards, the immigrants realize the savings as retailers pay the fees in exchange for the guaranteed business.Jitterbug phones are easy-to-use mobile phones designed specifically for seniors. Large numbers and displays aid the sight-impaired while enhanced speakers allow for clear conversations. A special button allows for one-touch emergency medical alerts, and additional services include unlimited direct access to nurses and doctors.17

2.The year select countries in North America and Europe will surpass 50% smartphone user penetration among total population.


2.TECH FOR EVERYONE (REALLY THIS TIME)Its not just the front-end interface thats changing, its the back-end, too. Developers are using tools and data to find new ways to make everyday technology more useful and meaningful to later adopters.

A Chinese company recently demonstrated the ability of 3D printing to rapidly fill a need for fast, affordable housing. The team constructed 10 houses in less than 24 hours. Built from predominantly recycled materials, these homes cost less than $5,000 and could be built to ease housing crises in developing countries or more quickly respond to weather-related disasters.

Small home constructed from 3D-printed building blocks (Image: Winsun New materials)19

2.TECH FOR EVERYONE(REALLY THIS TIME)In Africa, Vodacom is using cell phone bills to spot in-community entrepreneurs who can potentially get more devices to more people. Theyre looking for people who have an abnormally high volume of calls, a sign that owners are renting their phones to neighbors. Vodacom offers those heavy users the opportunity to operate their own phone kiosks and earn 1/3 of the revenue.

In Japan, DoCoMo is seeing its growth with the elderly and their families as the country ages faster than any other developed society, with 23% of the population already 65 or older. Theyre thinking beyond devices to information exchange. For example, its Tsunagari Hot Support allows family members to check on elderly loved ones by geotracking their phonesspotting everything from number of steps and exercise to current location.Inventive approaches TO OLD PROBLEMS20


World Resources InstituteWorld BankUN and US CensusA.T. Kearney Analysis


3.IN SHORTAfter years of talk and hype, virtual reality has finally come of age and the experience is even better than early adopters promised. (Arent you glad you waited?)VIRTUAL REALITY ISFINALLY REALITY


3.VIRTUAL REALITY IS FINALLY REALITYPercent of users that like it when brands, products or entertainment make an active attempt to capture their imagination78%Millennials71%Gen X64%Boomers23Immersive experiences

3.VIRTUAL REALITY IS FINALLY REALITYIn 2014, the best way to connect with the world was to unplug. People called it JOMO (Joy of Missing Out), a celebration of escaping the endless feed of vacation photos, dinner destinations, and status updates.

In 2015, the best way to connect with the world will be to explore it from wherever you might physically be. This new generation of virtual reality makes it possible to do just that with immersive experiences that let you touch, explore and connect with an environment that feels like its all around you.

The leading technology is Oculus Rift. Its a headset display that kind of looks like scuba goggles and provides a fully immersive 3D experience that makes you feel like you are actually in a game or destination. By moving your head from side to side or walking around you can get a 360-degree view of an entire virtual space.

Facebook spent $2 billion to buy the Oculus Rift technology. Then Google created a DIY version that looks more like the Viewmaster you might have grown up playing with. Their cutting-edge virtual reality experience starts with a piece of corrugated cardboard and a handy X-ACTO knife.24

3.VIRTUAL REALITY IS FINALLY REALITYMAKE YOUR OWNYou can make your own cardboard 3D viewer. A great little kit at Google I/O showed the way. Ingredients:

CardboardLensMagnetsVelcroRubber bandAndroid phoneTemporary use of favorite construction items: ruler, glue, scissors, and an X-ACTO knife

A NEW LEVEL OF REALISMWhether youre racing around a battlefield in a sophisticated war game or exploring a new treatment facility, these virtual environments have a next generation feel of authenticity and realism.

A big driver of that reality is the capture. Cameras collect every inch of a 360-degree view. Sophisticated sound algorithms trick the brain into thinking that its present by moving sounds around the ears just like in the real world.

You can explore a historic castle and hear the birds chirping in the trees. Ride a roller coaster and hear the whipping sound of screams. Or even head into an operating room. Rmi Rousseau and Dr. Thomas Gregory, Professor of Surgery and Medicine at the Paris Descartes University and Georges Pompidou, surgeon at the European Hospital recently brought GoPro cameras into the operating room to capture a total hip surgery. The resulting footage gave a 3D, high resolution, first-person view that could then be implemented into an Oculus Rift, giving the medical student a never before seen look into what the experienced surgeon actually sees.



Virtual reality is changing more than gaming. Producers are creating movies for the Oculus Rift that let viewers be part of every scene. Brands are immersing consumers with first-person perspectivesactually putting them in a video as if they are, themselves, holding the camera.

Some are adding addictive choose your own adventure elements that let the user control the story. A travel agency in the UK developed this video to promote their ability to customize your perfect holiday. Over the course of the video, the viewer makes choices (i.e., go to the beach or lay by the pool; intimate dinner or cocktails and sunset). In effect, they are drawn in to the experience in a very real way.



IN SHORTWhen you put the right information in the right place, technology can quietly change our lives without interrupting them.DISAPPEARING TECHNOLOGY



Apples iOS automatically updates apps in the background so you dont have to, keeping you up-to-date and limiting vunerabilites in the software.Carbonite cloud services back up your computer files automatically, making sure you never lose your important digital information.



PERVASIVE EQUALS PERSUASIVEDavid Rose, instructor at the MIT Media Lab and CEO at Ditto Labs, has been a long-time proponent of more ambient technology that spreads information thinly throughout our lives. To him, the glowing screen of our ubiquitous cell phones is the enemy of creating technology that can really change our lives.

I think about the cellphone and all the amazing things you can do with a cellphone and apps, but the problem is it monopolizes your attention. Most of us are staring into this most of the day, Rose said. Theres an opportunity to become unglued from this s...