POV, Interesting, Helpful

2015 Trend Reports worth reading

We thought we'd read and evaluate the trend wrap ups for 2015 so you don't have to but then we saw just how many there were and quickly back-tracked, randomly picked three and listed the best of the rest!  We've scored out of ten and ranked the individual themes level of likelihood of happening from 1-7 (1 = extremely unlikely, 7 = extremely likely) for the expanded reviews below.  

Look out for HERE/FORTH predictions next week.

FORBES (Jason DeMeyers)
Main themes: Ello success (4), Facebook ad price hike (6), Twitter ads popularise (4), Google+ will fade away (3), Instagram will become essential (3), LinkedIn will widen gap for B2B (5) and social media embraced as core pillar of content marketing (3).  
- Overall not a bad piece - some overreaching statements (Instagram / social media as core pillar) and some interesting points regarding ad focuses of major platforms.  5/10

CARAT (Multiple)
Main themes: Simplification (7), Video Ads (7), Voice (5), New News Sites (7), Emoji (7), Robots (7).  
- Mostly safe bets and some interesting nuggets (Paying-to-go-free) - the inclusion of smart data points to back up sections are well thought out.  7/10

FORD (Multiple)
Main themes: Health (5), Privacy (7), Carry-less (7), Millenials (7), Escapism (7), Failure (5).  
- Pretty self-serving but overall some new names, good cultural difference work and nice design .  7/10

Other round-ups, trends and prediction pieces (*=recommended):
JACK MORTON - What people will want from brands in 2015.  (General stuff here)
EVERPLACES - Mobile Trends for destination marketing in 2015.  (Good , specific read)
TRENDWATCHING - 10 Latin Trends for 2015 / 10 Asian Trends for 2015.  (Some interesting points)
*JWT - Future of Payments and Currency. (Good round-up)
SPARKS & HONEY - A-Z of Culture for 2015.  (More a round-up of 2014)
*GSW - 2015 Health Trends. (Some smart thinking an observation in here)
WEBBMEDIA GROUP - 2015 Tech Trends. (Interesting format but lacking new thinking)
*FUTURE FOUNDATION - #Trending2015. (Great stuff in here - fresh thinking)
TOMORROW GROUP - Retail : Now & Next. (Lots to gleam/think about here)
JWT - The Future 100. (Lots of interesting titling and observations) 
*LINKEDIN - Global Recruiting Trend for 2015. (Good insight and data)
BEYOND - 2015 Trends Report. (Interesting takes here)
*CIO - 5 Security Trends That Will Dominate 2015. (Smart thinking)
*GARTNER - Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2015. (Always quality work)
FORRESTER - Top 2015 Predictions. (Purchase report-bait)
*FORD - 2015 Trends with Ford. (Some savvy work - and [sigh] PPT fodder - here) 

Got one we missed?  We're going to update this so let us know!

Helpful, Insight, Interesting

3 Video Series You Should Be Taking Notes From

HERE/FORTH CEO, Paul Armstrong, previously wrote a post about great content series that brands should be learning things from - here are three new ones that have been catching our eye and setting our brain boxes on fire.  The common theme?  Helping your customers know more and be better.  

1)  Vox Videos - A great range of topics, clearly explaining - with data - important issues of the day.  Not only do they inform, engage and incite comments but they add to the story.  

BRAND TAKEAWAY : Videos don't need to dumb down content - curate information and help foster debate amongst your viewers.

2) The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows - Part of the YouTube incubator, TestTube, TDOOS is a highly unique and engaging content series that explores the (made-up) word for things that have no words.  

BRAND TAKEAWAY : A great idea, ruthlessly executed can be enough to grow a rabid user-base.

3) Life Noggin : A great series of Q&A videos in a simplistic style that challenge the user to reconsider preconceptions and generally start asking more questions.

BRAND TAKEAWAY : Content doesn't have to be about you to make a dent and keep people coming back.  A start and an end plate - or even integration - wouldn't hurt these videos.  

C_NCENTRATE+5, Interesting

C_NCENTRATE +5 - 24/08

An extra shot of C_NCENTRATE that doesn't appear in the newsletter.
Please share this post if you find the links useful.

*** NEW ***  We are now Flipping exclusive content on Flipboard daily!  Add us there to stay ahead of the latest movements in technology, innovation, psychology and lots more.

_  A day in the life, imagined 50 years from now [MUST READ]

_  Twitter is working with the same people that power 15 Minute Executive

_  This plug-in labels Native Advertising.

_  How long before you "give it a shot"?

_  Content audits just got a lot simpler...sort of.

Helpful, Interesting

5 newsletters we follow (that you should too).

Newsletter are the lifeblood for many executives - it's why we decided to make the 15 Minute Executive email based.  In fact, 60% of CEOs say [per Quartz] they turn to email newsletters first in the morning and that they are a primary source of information that helps them do their job better.

Here are 5 of the best that we can't live without.  Leave yours "must-subscribes" in the comments:

_  MOBILE : Benedict Evans : the perfect round-up of mobile news - Analyst, Commentator and consummate professional - Evans is one of the industry's smartest people.

_  UX/UE : Newfangled : Smart advice curated by folks who are obsessed with everything design and user-focused.  The passion just pours off the page. 

_  GENERAL : TodayInTabs : Rusty Foster's browser history must be an interesting place to be based on the variety of content put out in the newsletter - something for everyone and at least three people you know - get ready to be the smart one of the group.

_  MEDIA : Monday Note : Written by two genius vets of the industry (Frédéric Filloux and Jean-Louis Gassée), this newsletter is a must looking for in-depth analysis, thought and future-gazing on the economics of new models, content deals and trends of the ever-changing media industry.

_  TECHNOLOGY : MediaREDEF : Despite the name, this newsletter (curated by Jason Hirschhorn - ex-Myspace Co-President) covers much more than media - it's a one-stop-shop for everything that is big and going or or of interest on the internet right now (there's also a dedicated fashion newsletter too).


HONOURABLE MENTIONS:  Brain Pickings (Curios, Internet),  Daily Brief (Quartz), Farnam Street, 99U (Psychology), The Measurement Advisor (Social, Digital), Charged (Technology), Netted (Internet) and Centre for Data Innovation (Data).

Interesting, Helpful

5 ways you could be using Twitter better


Twitter is a noisy, complex beast at the best of times but it shouldn't mean you can't get value from it easily.  The following five tips will help any user use Twitter better.  Let us know your top tips in the comments and we'll update the list.

1)  Use Twitter Cards
- This is key area where people think they have to a) spend money and b) have a lot of technical knowledge but neither is true.  Head on over to and use John Patterson's step by step guide to get started.

2)  Use textual images to extend tweets
- Check out this example to see what we mean.  140 characters can now be extended...

3)  Identify tweets that have been retweeted and favourited multiple times
- Using the following search query in Twitter Search will return results that feature your search term which have been retweeted or favourited a set number of times.  Change the elements in bold - "future" could easily be a phrase, brand name, competitor handle - a useful way to find content that travels and who tweeted it.  TweetDeck also has this built in.

"future min_retweets:5 OR min_faves:5"

4) Know who your followers ACTUALLY are.

- As a platform Twitter is particularly weak when it comes to signals like intent, interests and personality - a lot is extrapolated and interpreted.  Using the right tools is therefore imperative for ongoing success and course corrections.  DemographicsPro is one of the most intricate tools we've seen in a while giving rich data about brands followed, marital status, occupation and a long list beyond this.

5)  Embed relevant tweets in blog posts with clear CTA's

- Like this. ;)


How people ACTUALLY use their iPhone

Interesting data that shows how people are actually using their mobile devices.  Gaming still the top activity that keeps people's attention, which explains a lot of brands attempting to get into the gaming arena with either re-branded versions of existing games (e.g. Minion Run based on the popular Temple Run), simple ad-buys within popular games or simpler branded games based on popular games like noughts and crosses or bingo. 

Gaming is an area that has a series of nuances that mobile really plays well into - from a psychology and context perspective it's the perfect storm; frustration, immediate fixes and the ability to access a wallet.  Probably why it's expected to rake in $9bn in 2016 (per Juniper).  That's not small money... But it's important to realise it's not the only reason people use their mobile device...Facebook and other apps still take up a hefty percentage of time - utility will never go out of fashion so be clear on your value propositions from the start.