1. SEJ
  2.  ⋅ 
  3. Careers

Sheryl Connelly, Ford’s Futurist, Predicts 2014 Trends

Sheryl Connelly, Ford’s Futurist, Predicts 2014 Trends

While at NAIAS with the Ford Blogger Experience, I had the opportunity to catch Sheryl Connelly’s presentation on the forecasted trends for 2014. Sheryl Connelly is Ford’s “Futurist”, which means it is her job to predict new trends – 3 years in advance! Sheryl had some pretty interesting ideas about what the future might hold.

Many of the trends Sheryl mentioned in the 2014 report (which can be downloaded as a PDF here) are directly applicable to internet marketing and how people use technology today.  Below are notes on some of the trends Sheryl has forecasted for 2014.

Sheryl Connelly, Ford’s Futurist, Predicts 2014 Trends

Vying For Validation

According to the report:

We are living in a world of hyper self-expression, complete with “selfies,” chronic public-journaling and other forms of digital self-expression. As authors, we have the opportunity to craft our own identity and tell the stories that are unique to us. What looks like—and perhaps started as—vanity showmanship is now a deep desire for validation…But as we smooth out the rough edges of our public self, do we gloss over our real character?

For consumers, this trend is about sharing your lifestyle and how you percieve yourself. Although Sheryl’s report says it could have positive effect and change social norms by increasing positivity, the fact remains that many people aren’t honest about themselves online.

  • 74% of Americans paint a better pic of themselves than reality
  • 62% feel better about themselves when people react positively to what they post online


The report states:

Across the globe, there are huge differences between how “old money” and “new money” narrate their place in society— and with it, marked shifts in the ways in which we express our wealth, status, and influence…In developed markets, displays of wealth were once regarded with admiration and aspiration. Today, post-recession, conspicuous displays of wealth are frowned upon— and there is a growing contingent of educated youth who see material ownership as an unnecessary burden when it comes to enjoying life. Access is a powerful, if also subtle, manifestation of status—so too is the luxury of time in an increasingly demanding world: How we choose to spend our time can be even more important than how we spend our money.

How people show their own status, as well as react to others’ has a big impact on the social media conversations that take place. However, there has been a change in how people show their wealth. For instance, 86% of those surveyed say amount of money isn’t important, it’s what you do with the money you have. In addition, 56% of those surveyed in the United States say displays of wealth are tasteless, versus 90% in Japan.

Other highlights from the presentation included:Sheryl Connelly, Ford’s Futurist, Predicts 2014 Trends

  • Consumers like purchasing from the manufacturer directly
  • We are experiencing the counter-trend of FOMO (fear of missing out). Now it is JOMO – the joy of missing out
  • Micro Moments: where we actively do small tasks so we have more free time later, like texting ourselves a grocery list in between meetings
  • Myth of multitasking: only 2% are effective, for the rest, it does more harm than good. A study said you lose 10 points in your IQ when multitasking.
  • Voicemail is now being translated into text to sort easily: this trend and dependence toward voice services will continue in the future

Ford is attempting to capitalize on the voice trend with Ford Sync and AppLink, which allows the driver to read texts or play playlists on their phone through voice command.

Overall, the trends report and presentation was very informative about the state of digital and social trends in the coming year. One question Sheryl brought up at the end of the presentation has stuck with me: “In the future, will it be that only the affluent are able to leave their phone at home? The Average Joe now uses their phone at all times to stay competitive.” Quite a change from years past when owning a cell phone was a status symbol!

You can see all my photos from NAIAS 2014 and the Ford Blogger Experience on Flickr.

Thanks to Ford for covering my accommodations, travel, and pass to NAIAS 2014.

Category Careers
Kelsey Jones Marketing Consultant, Owner at Six Stories & StoryShout

Kelsey Jones is a marketing consultant, writer, and owner of and Kelsey has been in digital marketing since ...

Sheryl Connelly, Ford’s Futurist, Predicts 2014 Trends

Subscribe To Our Newsletter.

Conquer your day with daily search marketing news.