I do enjoy fortune tellers, in part because I am a fan of the future, but also because I enjoy a good chuckle. There’s a Yiddish proverb: “We plan, God laughs.” That’s no doubt true. But what really gets God going are trend forecasts.

Not to say there’s no wisdom in them. But most trend forecasts should come with a pair of specially designed spectacles: One lens corrects for the wide-open eye of the optimist, the other for the steely-eyed squint of the skeptic.

With those very glasses perched upon my nose, here’s a look at several lists of 2020 trends on the marketing horizon:

7 Tech CEOs Share Marketing Trends and Predictions For 2020

Forbes

Seven CEOs shared their insights with a mass-market business magazine? Your antennae should go up. Maybe this will be the year direct-to-consumer companies abandon email, but I’m not sure I’m buying it from the CEO of a direct mail startup. And it’s no surprise that a cloud data optimization CEO would say the future is all about optimizing our cloud data.

There are some smart perspectives here amid the organizational messaging. Hyper-local retail and product-usage metrics both feel inevitable and relevant. But be wary of letting emerging trends shape all of your strategy. Even in a world of rapid technological change, some predictions take longer than expected to arrive. “Ubiquitous computing”—which evolved into “the internet of things”—was first forecast in the late 1980s. All told, ubiquitous computing has taken a millennial’s lifetime to be realized. Alexa, play Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey.

8 Inspiring Logo Design Trends for 2020

99Designs

Looking through these logo trends is a little like being runway-side at Fashion Week. There are a lot of cool styles to look at, but you’re not sure you know anyone who will actually wear them. I love the look of hand-drawn logos, and the whimsical 1930s designs are charming, but they’re clearly not for everyone. Same with ultra-thin lines.

On the other hand, trends like multilayered designs, 3-D gradients, or elevated typography seem more generally adaptable across a broad variety of uses. And the growing popularity of animated logos seems worth paying attention to, especially if your brand inhabits mainly digital and video worlds.

2020 B2C Content Marketing Report

Content Marketing Institute

Despite the thin veneer of a Bill and Ted Face the Music tie-in, this look at 2020 insights from content marketers is based on a recent survey (of those who have been using content marketing for one year or more).

What does it show? Content marketers need to keep working: to build teams appropriate to the scale of their ambitions, to reach customers at all stages of the sales funnel (not just the top), and to mature in their content marketing efforts. (Perhaps by “being excellent” to each other?)

Delving into the full report, it’s interesting to see that Facebook is still the top organic and paid business-to-consumer social platform (generating the best content marketing results). Also, most of these B2C respondents still rate email as their highest-performing content type, flatly contradicting the forecast from our direct mail CEO in the Forbes article. Sometimes the trends of tomorrow are also the trends of five years ago.

Keep your eyes open

Which brings me to one final thought about marketing trends: Don’t neglect the evidence that’s all around you.

Is your mom doing more of her Christmas shopping on her phone? That feels worth noting.

How many people do you know who use smart speakers? What kinds of videos are your kids watching? Come to think of it, what are you watching? How have your consumer habits shifted from where they were last year? What does that mean?

If you find yourself needing someone to help unpack all of this, get in touch. We love to prognosticate, almost as much as we love having coffee.