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McKinsey the management consultancy have highlighted the ten trends that they feel are the most important future influences on businesses.


  • Centres of economic activity will change regionally as well as globally (due to shifting demographics)
  • The public sector will grow due to older populations and will have to be funded by productivity gains
  • The consumer landscape will change (demographic factors, population growth, economic development in developing countries)
  • Technological connectivity creating more transparency
  • The war for talent
  • Big business role in society and conduct increasingly scrutinised
  • Demand for natural resources will grow
  • Industries will restructure globally
  • Management will become a science, not an art
  • The economics of knowledge changed by technology

Meanwhile Dominic Payling, planning director at Consolidated gave an interesting presentation on what 2006 holds. According to Dominic brands are all going to be about control this year, giving customers permission and the tools to take control of their situation. The desire for control comes from the increasing complexity of life.Payling cited research conducted by Professor Lord Richard Layard of the London School of Economics that happiness is what developed nation governments should strife for in economic policies as fiscal differences only went so far.

Spontaneity is out due to time poverty, but people are still interested in having ‘shared experiences’, like festivals and dinner parties. Shared experiences were important because they were a major source of day-to-day happiness according to Daniel Kahneman of Princeton. Payling claimed an estimate of 1/3 billion dinner parties to be held in the UK during 2006 as part of this participative trend.

Life-caching was used to describe the online shared experience phenomena around MMS pictures, photo blogs, podcasts, picture albums. People who create content to cache are known as ‘generation c’, there is no age range on this, motivated by wanting to be involved.

Nostalgia for a simpler time that never existed was driving themes like the desire for manners (despite the fact that every society since before the Romans thought that it was going to the dogs).

Obsession and cranks would come into their own as the new experts or influencers (God help us). The over 40s were driving the foodie movement. The whole healthy eating including organic food has moved from a health thing to a moral jihad as consumers see fair trade and organic products as stemming from the same place. The market has become very complex as 10 fair trade products launch every week.

The new social category is the Ladult:

  • 25 – 35 year old single male
  • Rents rather than owns his home
  • Earns 25 – 45,000 GBP per year as a middle manager
  • Likes authenticity, ‘real talent and skills’
  • He is a backlash against the media’s attack on maleness, he is not metrosexual
  • Is a technophile

Media landscape

Newspapers move into magazine territory with TV and celebrity gossip has turned into a battle royale as the likes of Zoo and Nuts hurt sales of the red-tops. Expect magazines go weekly and even twice-weekly. As Payling said “Let’s hope they duke it out and kill each other’. Podcasts and downloads become popular with traditional media as they are unregulated and a potential source of revenue from subscriptions.

On TV, reality TV will stay, but game shows to make a come-back in the autumn.

Media Gossip & Speculation

  • Radio 4 likely to be shaken up, John Humphreys alleged to be on his way out and the Today programme given a makeover
  • News International is likely to launch a challenger to Nuts and Zoo
  • The Times is moving to become more women friendly
  • The Evening Standard predicted to look for a new editor