Six of the best from 2015

2015 has been a busy year for me as the worlds of MadTech and FinTech have exploded almost at the same rate. I have tried to keep in touch with both while attempting to diversify to some degree and below are my stand-out articles of 2015 collated for posterity and your reading pleasure.

I should point out that I have chosen these more due to the impact they had on me than anything else and that they are in chronological order rather than any hierarchy of merit or preference.

1 – The Marketing Department of the Future
25 February 2015

I am fascinated by the empowerment of brand marketing teams afforded by the rise of automation and the proliferation and use of digital marketing skills. It had me thinking a lot this year about the right structures, processes and configurations for marketing teams whether in house, agency-side or the way they work together.

While I don’t necessarily agree with the conclusions of the article below, it is based on a wealth of practical knowledge rather than irrelevant management theory which certainly got me thinking.

2 – Tesla to unveil a battery on April 30 that will slash your home’s energy costs
22 April 2015

Yes, this is totally unrelated to marketing (for once) and perhaps all the more fascinating because of it. I hadn’t realised that domestic energy storage was such a crucial key to unblocking the widespread use of sustainable energy generation. When Tesla announced their development of yet another revolutionary business model, I was amazed at how far ahead they are planning as a company and how much impact this technology could have especially when combined with the leaps in solar and wind generation efficiency.

3 – 40% of UK consumers use ad blockers, finds Reuters study
20 June 2015

I have written about ad blocking before when I first came across it but 2015 was the year that it became a real threat to marketers and publishers alike. This article in the Drum based on alarming research from Reuters summed things up nicely for me.

4 – Ethereum Launches
30 July 2015

Those of you that follow me on Twitter will know that I am obsessed by all things Bitcoin and the much anticipated (and delayed) launch of the Ethereum protocol with all the associated development kit was a major event. Ethereum is the personal computer to Bitcoin’s calculator and offers and Turing Complete environment for developing decentralised applications, smart contracts and more. The launch this summer heralded a tipping point for the development of P2P technology and ushers in an era of massive potential disruption for any sector that is overly reliant on trusted 3rd parties (think finance, insurance, governance, government…). One to watch in 2016 for sure.

5 – Facebook Readies DSP Product For Early 2016 Launch
7 October 2015

Back to marketing again with the news that Facebook will be launching a full DSP early in 2016. The stand-off between Facebook and Google is only set to intensify next year as the former matches the latter’s reach beyond the Facebook walled-garden but the data they have access to will give Google a real run for its money. And about time too.

6 – The trust machine
31 October 2015

And finally, Bitcoin truly came of age in October when it was featured as the cover article of the Economist. Personally, I found the contents a little disappointing but then what is to be expected by an organ with so much vested interest the existing economic order.