I see three key trends emerging from a marketing and communications perspective in 2017. Firstly, there will probably be new approaches to capturing social insights. Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. presidential election fueled doubts about the accuracy of public opinion polls, with the Clinton camp and leading media outlets failing to grasp what white working class people were really thinking. Marketing surveys based on social perspectives are similarly problematic. In Japan, for example, we are seeing the gap between urban and rural values and behavioral norms widen so much that it will become imperative to redefine conventional wisdom.
Secondly, the fundamentals of journalism will come to the fore. This is in light of revelations of inaccuracies and plagiarism in articles from the WELQ website, prompting owner DeNA to shut down this and nine other content-curation websites. Thus ended a narrative of conventional versus digital media, brining new attention to primary news gathering and editing. Given a very broad playing field for disseminating information, advertisers, new media outlets, and advertising agencies need to improve their literacy as newsmakers, and changes should start with top managements.
Thirdly, the 2020 Olympics will become part and parcel of Japan's business scene in 2017, not least because many companies will embark on new three-year plans from April. Social media should afford diverse opportunities for companies to benefit from the Olympics beyond official sponsorships.
Marketing and communications players should find that 2017 puts their creativity to the test.
Tetsuya Honda is CEO and managing director and of Blue Current Japan.