January 27, 2022

Trends Report: Emerging Matters

The following is a part of our first Annual Trends Report. Stay tuned as we release the full report in the coming weeks.

Emerging Matters: These are the trends that occupy the upper left quadrant of our chart. They have the potential to transform our industry significantly, but that impact seems likely to occur further into the future than our Current Observations.

Quantum Computing

Investments in quantum computing have skyrocketed globally in recent years. This is the first real change in the basic mechanics of computing since the invention of the computer. It is a shift from binary to multi-state calculations, and it has the potential to be millions of times faster than the world’s fastest conventional computers.

Implications for Marketers

This level of acceleration in the capabilities of computing has the potential to change every aspect of the business world. For marketers, this could introduce new formats and experiences for brands to interact with consumers. It has the potential to accelerate the concept of artificial intelligence and potentially automate service tasks. It also presents material security concerns, as quantum computers would be able to bypass current standards of encryption.

Further Reading



Web3 is an umbrella term that generally refers to a series of developments that point to a more decentralized internet. This is largely centered around concepts that are built on blockchain technology. Key examples of Web3 concepts include cryptocurrency, nonfungible tokens (NFT’s), and the metaverse. The 3 in Web3 refers to the third generation of the internet. In the simplest of terms, here’s how those generations are defined:

  • Web 1.0 – online publishing and early ecommerce.

  • Web 2.0 – the rise of platforms, social media, and advanced digital commerce.

  • Web3 – an economy that is defined around digital assets transacted and valued in a fully decentralized manner.

Implications for Marketers

One of the main promises of Web3 is that it could empower individuals over companies and platforms. A commerce framework based on blockchain could, theoretically, operate exclusively on a peer-to-peer basis.

An identity solution based on blockchain could put online footprints into the hands of users, allowing them to consciously trade with their own data online versus being tracked. NFT marketplaces allow users and brands to trade digital assets directly with no fear of counterfeiting or theft.

Further Reading


Customized Treatments

Advances in technology are making it more and more likely that we will see pharmaceutical companies develop highly-customized therapies that could work with a very small number of people or even an individual. These personalized or “private label” pharmaceuticals could change the way drug companies think about patients and even research and development.

Implications for Marketers

Deloitte reports that while 72% of pharmaceutical company executives identify customized treatments as a top threat to the industry, just 13% say they feel they are prepared to meet the challenge. While the trends in the industry are already moving toward more personalized messaging and addressable channels of communication, large strides in this area could accelerate those trends exponentially. Marketers would have to rethink their entire approach to integrated planning in a world where treatments are customized at a 1:1 level.

Further Reading


5G Connectivity

The rollout of 5G connectivity across major providers in the United States promises to ramp up connectivity in a number of dimensions. This technology offers exponentially increased speeds, latency that is near zero, and much higher device density (number of devices connected at a time).

Implications for Marketers

Increased connectivity will open up new possibilities for marketers. With more devices connected with faster connections and minimal latency, potential touchpoints with consumers will increase significantly. Just as the rise of high-speed cellular data paved the way for the smartphone revolution, this new technology will usher in behavioral and technological changes that we are unable to predict, as of yet. This level of connectivity should enhance things like AR/VR experiences, autonomous vehicles, and allow for more server-side processing. This could change the form factor of mobile and wearable devices, opening up new avenues of innovation.

Further Reading

Stay tuned for our full annual trends report.

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