Check out the video below for a quick taster from Econsultancy president and founder Ashley Friedlein and the author of the report, Neil Perkin.  

I’ve also written up five of my favourite trends from the report. The full version is only available to Econsultancy’s Enterprise Subscribers.

The ‘particle’ approach to content

The content that works best on the web is that which can be broken down into individual elements, then brought back together in a form that suits the end user. 

Take music, for example. Traditionally we had albums, and we still do. But digital has taken this format apart and enabled us to buy or stream single tracks and then put all of those together into our own playlist. 

In short: both the publisher and the end user have greater control over the content.

The Innovation Lab at New York Times (NYT) believes this principle can just as easily be applied to news, shifting well beyond the confines of traditional print media. 

News will begin to move away from ‘articles’ and toward a more accumulative approach consisting of various parts stitched together in different ways (like the music playlist mentioned above). 

Mark Zuckerberg makes an AI declaration

In a recent Facebook post, Mark Zuckerberg said his New Year’s resolution was to build his own AI-powered butler to help him out at home and work. 

mark zuckerberg facebook post about AI butler

He also said he would use the butler for data visualisation to help him build better services and lead his company more effectively. 

The post follows our coverage of Facebook M – the social network’s new virtual assistant inside Messenger – in the previous Digital Shift report. 

Facebook M combines machine learning and human intelligence and is likely to have a significant impact on how we search and discover content, opening up new channels for customer service and marketing but also becoming the default interface for consumers wanting to access a variety of different services. 

Could tattoos be the future of wearables?

Much of the focus on wearables so far has been around smartwatches, Google Glass and fitness trackers. But what about the less obvious forms of wearable technology?

Tattoos, for example. 

Wired recently featured a firm called Chaotic Moon, acquired last year by Accenture, a company that manufactures ‘Tech Tats’ – biotech tattoos that stick to the skin like a temporary tattoo. 

Tattoos wearable tech

Tech Tats combine the aesthetics of traditional tattoos with the functionality of wearables, tracking your vital statistics via electro-conductive paint but in an arguably less obtrusive way. 

The product is still in beta at the moment, but Chaotic Moon says its tattoos could be used for anything from making payments to tracking the condition of soldiers in the field.

Watch this space!

Better integration of marketing capabilities  

Our new research into digital marketing structures and resourcing has discovered an increasing focus on creating joined-up activity right across the customer journey due to the growing spotlight on customer experience (CX).

There’s a notable trend towards ecommerce capability being positioned closer to marketing functions, for example. 

Only 35% of those surveyed for our new research said that ecommerce sits separately. In our 2013 survey, this proportion was 51%.

We can see a similar trend when it comes to social media being more aligned with the overall marketing strategy. 

More than half (52%) of companies surveyed now have social media specialists within the marketing team.

The rise of CCOs and CDOs

Organisations are increasingly creating the role of Chief Customer Officer (CCO) and/or Chief Digital Officer (CDO).

The CCO council defines the role as:

…an executive that provides the comprehensive and authoritative view of the customer and creates corporate and customer strategy at the highest levels of the company to maximise customer acquisition, retention and profitability.

Evidence suggests an increasing number of companies are appointing CCOs to oversee customer-facing functions. 

A 2014 study by the CCO Council concluded that ‘the chief customer officer is becoming a staple of modern business’, and that 22% of Fortune 100 companies and 10% of Fortune 500 companies already had a CCO in place.

As for CDOs, their increasing presence seems to be a product of the growing appetite for digital transformation across all industries. 

Consulting company Russell Reynolds Associates’ assessment of the role seems to support that view, describing a CDO as:

…an individual who helps a company drive growth by converting traditional ‘analogue’ businesses to digital ones, and by overseeing operations in rapidly-changing digital sectors.

Check out Ashley Friedlein’s posts about CDOs and CCOs for more info.  

The latest Digital Shift Trends Report is only available to Econsultancy Enterprise subscribers. 

For lots more insight and other key marketing trends, and keep an eye out for the Q2 instalment in April.