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Top 3 Trends to Watch for in 2015

Congratulations, you made it to the new year. You're still here, and with a bit of luck, so is your company. Or maybe not. But it's the new year, so at least you have some fresh resolve and a smoldering heap of innovative ideas. And we all know how dangerous new ideas can be, right?
 
Let's face it. The firestarters aren't the ones who are kicking back, mindlessly going with the ebb and flow of the world around them, but they are able to think differently and take risks and fail big enough in order to shake things up. In retrospect, our past year was a witness to this very thing.
 
In 2014, we saw the launch of new apps and gadgets the likes of Oculus Rift, Apple Watch, and agricultural drones. And let us not forget the historic IPO of Alibaba, a new titan in the eCommerce marketplace. Indeed, the pioneers of tech are setting the trends because they were able to muster a little Braveheart spirit.
 
Looking ahead, what sort of technological or industrial trends can we expect in 2015?
 
1. Rise of data analytics. It seems like almost everything is being tracked nowadays, including your steps and even your heartbeat. This also seems to be the case in business, with companies now given the tools to track and measure all aspects of their campaigns and product lines.  The results serve as the basis for business decisions, like which teams are given greater budget and authority to make purchasing and operational decisions. Take advantage of the available tools to measure effectiveness and perform tests. This could help to spur on new products or services, or get rid of deadweight.
 
2. A mobile strategy is a must. Did you know that more mobile devices shipped in 3 months than PCs all year in 2014? It's a stat that only confirms the growing presence of mobile devices while also hinting at the huge potential of the wearables sector. If you haven't already, start putting a good mobile strategy in place to cater to these new audiences. Develop a plan for creating websites that are device-agnostic and web apps that feature responsive web design. This allows you to tackle one of the hardest environments upfront while benefiting your entire audience in the long run.
 
3. Use of audience targeting. The power of a good story is indisputable. Many corporations are challenging themselves to take their product or service and relate it to us in a more human, personal manner. The need to connect with their audiences in a relevant, meaningful way will only rise as the flood of data analytics provides advertisers insight into their audiences like never before. Look for ways to begin personalizing your content to your viewers and serving them with content that matches their shopping preferences.
 
In light of these trends, the challenge has always been and remains the same: how will you make technology more personal and real to the consumer? We are, after all, living in the age of the "Internet of Things." Our phones, cars, and thermostats know us even better than we do. Alas, it is not enough to simply manufacture machines—no, we must breathe life into them as well.
 
So be it. The ones who have changed the world have never shied away from the challenge. I wish you a year of creativity, motivation, and above all, some bruises and scars from putting skin in the game. Cheers.