Chief Strategy Officer, EMEA
Welcome to our second Review Preview
, which attempts to pull together the most significant trends
of 2011 and predict what 2012 may have in store. All of these contributions come from within MEC’s
talented ranks and have been gathered from across the world to give a truly global perspective.
There are many shared themes from across our network, as the world continues to shrink and the
gap between developed and emerging markets continues to narrow. Much of this is driven by mobile
developments, including tablets, which are gaining faster and wider penetration than previous fixed
broadband technologies. Global players like Apple, Google and Facebook are also creating a more
homogenous framework, creating challenges, such as data and privacy, and opportunities for us to
connect in an increasingly seamless way with consumers.
Putting this into some general context is impossible without commenting on two key events from last
year. Firstly, the passing of Steve Jobs. His vision of Apple as a company that combined the best
of art and technology has been the driving force of so many of the trends and developments that
have become common place today and will continue to shape what we do tomorrow. Fittingly, Apple
finished 2011 with another record year and, in Q4, saw its tablets outsell PCs – once again creating a
trend ahead of analysts’ predictions.
Secondly, the Arab Spring and, in particular, the real or perceived role that social media played in
creating and reporting on the events. It’s easy to over-estimate the significance of this but the truth is
that, globally, social media was seen in a more mature light as a platform that had a wider and more
central role. In 2012, the predicted Facebook IPO will value this in dollars.
Looking ahead, it’s clear that the global financial crisis will be with us throughout 2012. History
shows that this is more likely to drive faster technological and consumer change, so we should see
greater penetration of mobile, tablets, connected television while, at the same time, real convergence.
Meanwhile, the importance and role of data will continue to grow on the world stage. 2012 will serve
up the first “Digital Olympics” and, in the US, we could potentially witness the first presidential election
fought out in 140 characters or less on Twitter.
We hope you enjoy this collection and that it stimulates discussion. Let us know what you think.