Throughout the years, we’ve seen remarkable changes in the business world. New England College of Business’ faculty members stay on top of the trends, aiming to teach our students about the most relevant and timely topics.
As we transition into a new year, we asked some of our instructors for their predictions for 2018.
2018 Financial Market Predictions
Over the last few years, the U.S. market has seen impressive growth.
“Thanks to the Goldilocks economy with low inflation, low interest rates, full employment, and a GDP growth rate between the 2 percent to 3 percent ideal range, the U.S. financial assets and housing prices are in record territories,” says Dr. Ned Gandevani, NECB’s Master of Science in Finance program chair.
In 2018, Gandevani believes that the finance sector could benefit from steady economic growth, higher interest rates, and a friendly regulatory environment. But he adds a caveat:
“As interest rates rise, higher bond yields could shift investors from high valued and historically expensive equity to more attractive fixed-income securities,” he says.
Gandevani also notes that political instability and world events could affect the stock market in significant ways, and cites recent activity in North Korea and the Middle East as examples. He also cautions that domestic politics could cause United States’ financial markets to react adversely.
But through the uncertainty, Gandevani sees positive growth ahead:
“Despite all risk factors, the financial markets have had an impressive move in 2017, which could continue in 2018.”
2018 Digital Marketing Predictions
In 2016, for the first time, internet monitoring firm StatCounter found that the number of people accessing websites on smartphones surpassed the number that used desktops. According to Dr. Janine Jacques, program chair for the Bachelor of Science in Digital Marketing program at NECB, this trend has forced marketers to shift their focus to mobile optimization and voice-activated search.
“The new normal for any human living in the emerging digital world is to embrace every day with their phone in hand and their brain tangled in a web of multitasking and information overload,” she explains.
Jacques does not see the use of smartphones diminishing anytime soon, and stresses that marketers will have to ensure that their brands deliver complete information on the mobile screen — and quickly, lest another brand sneak its message in.
However, Jacques cautions that digital marketers must also have an awareness of all the information regarding their brand that is available online.
“Google has become the de facto source for all answers to all questions,” she says. “But what if their answer is wrong? If the world continues to look at one single source for answers to all our questions, what will happen when that source is inaccurate, biased or compromised?”
As speech recognition technology picks up speed, Jacques believes that Google will remain the one-stop shop for information. Siri already refers users to Google, and according to Jacques, as of April, third-party developers have been able to utilize similar speech-recognition technology.
“In 2018, marketers need to be looking at their brand through the mobile lens of their consumer,” she says. “They need to ask themselves, ‘What would Siri say?’ and start seeing their brand the way the majority of their customers do.”