"Trendmeister"…"Guru of Futurology"…"Trends Trailblazer"… “One of top five trendspotters in the world”
Marian Salzman is President of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, North America, and she has been credited with popularizing pop-culture buzzwords from wigger to singleton to metrosexual. She lives and breathes social media, and she knows what’s coming next. She took over Euro RSCG Worldwide PR in August 2009, bring laser-like focus to the agency’s social media and grassroots campaigning. Before that, she had spent five years as chief strategic officer of Euro RSCG Worldwide.
Before returning to Euro, she was CMO at global PR giant Porter Novelli. She drove Porter’s brand positioning and executed thought leadership, reputation management and social media programs, including the creation of Porter’s pop-up agency Jack + Bill, which won PRWeek’s 2009 PR Innovation of the Year.
Named one of the world’s top five trendspotters, she has managed other trendspotters around the globe for more than 15 years. She has been CMO at JWT Worldwide, worldwide director of TBWA’s Department of the Future, and director of consumer insights and emerging media at ChiatDay. With Jay Chiat, she co-founded Cyberdialogue, the world’s first online market research company, in 1992.
In addition to her closely watched and widely reported-on annual trends forecast, Marian has contributed regular trends columns to Forbes.com’s CMO Network and CNBC.com and written for industry leaders Adweek (U.S.) and Marketing Week (U.K.). She has blogged at pnintelligentdialogue.com and currently blogs at eurorscgpr.com/blog and eurorscgsocial.com.
She is a member of the mentoring board of Brown University’s Women in Business and an adviser to the Berlin School of Creative Leadership’s M.B.A. program. She puts her greatest charity effort into ReMIND.org, for which she created Tweet to ReMIND (tweettoremind.org), a community-based effort to raise money and awareness for the Bob Woodruff Family Foundation, on whose board she serves.
Marian graduated from Brown University with top honors and studied sociology at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Call for availability.
Key trends for 2010 (All subjects can be presented as a group or individually)
1. Lines That Zig but Don’t Zag. Local empowerment means hyperpolarization and people who know one another by their party affiliations, their religious affiliations, the nuance of their opinions. Thus, there’s more voluntary segregation, although independents will emerge to serve as model crossovers and feed good ideas and consensual thinking across lines.
2. Beware the Mobmedia—the New Bullies. The new bullies might be virtual. People and brands will need to watch for flash mobs that pop up over controversial issues, especially when they happen around an immediate action and involve a well-known voice, be that a celebrity or a political figure. The attack-from-all-angles aspect could include the bureaucracy and advertisers, spurred by easy access to phone numbers, complaint sites online, organizations’ e-mail subscriber lists and all the social media platforms that are available at the click of a link. Plus—today the story transforms from one about the issue to one about the mob.
3. A Children’s Place. The Octomom. Jon, Kate and their eight. The Balloon Boy family. They all illustrate that the American opportunist has gone from empowered fringe to media freak show. What does the Balloon Boy story, in particular, really mean? And is it a purely American tale of the quest for fame, or is this part of a new normal that says children are prime-time accessories? We’ll see a new recognition that influence peddling starts at the youngest ages, and that everyone is a brand, and has influence. We are all media and every campaign begins with the influence of one and my pass-along value; look what happened to J. Crew’s ballet slippers when the Obama girls wore them on their summer holiday?
4. Obamaclock. Tick, tock: The world will continue in 2010 to count days, weeks and months in Obama time, measuring accomplishments and setbacks against his tenure in office and the slow hands of time (his daughters coming of age) versus the rapid pace of change (hourly inputs on the world economy, the fragile quest for peace, etc.).
5. Heading Off Angst. There will be increased awareness of possible links between cell phones and brain cancer, the hidden dangers of war and the impact of traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder on soldiers, their families and the community, and everyday injuries to the brain (so watch for lines of helmets to become fashionable and for new rulings on how kids can play). Also, spas and clubs will play up the importance of brain health on an aging population.
6. No Piggy in the Bank. Fundraising will be more creative for charities and startups in the near future, with everything from peer-to-peer lending to online benefits becoming commonplace. The genuine challenge in the United States will be affording higher education with the loss of home equity. So look for new instruments and schemes to pay for it, and for private liberal arts colleges to become extreme marketers to attract those who can fund a full tuition.
7. In-Your-Face Honesty. David Letterman’s straight-up acknowledgment of his sexual activities was a game-changer for public figures with something to hide. As Americans focus their worries on basics such as jobs and debts and their anger on banker bonuses, they will see sexual misconduct and frat-house antics as minor issues in the greater scheme of things. Watch out for big names playing the honesty gambit.
8. Go Community!! The nation is too big and too diverse to make sense of and to influence. The individual is too small and too isolated to count, and too vulnerable to feel safe. Watch as people look for communities to belong to, where they can feel at home, understand the issues and make a difference. And watch as more and more brands and marketers connect to them there, with hyperlocalization being the buzzword. Online tools that can help people become more connected and more effective in communities will take the honors in 2010 and beyond.
9. The Shadow of the Bomb, Again. Through the Cold War ’60s and ’70s and into the ’80s, the world lived in the shadow of the Bomb (remember Dr. Strangelove?) as the two big powers played poker for global stakes. That all went away for a generation or so. Now it’s back, with more potential players: Iran, North Korea, Pakistan and maybe even terrorist groups. What’s the new game, and how is it played? Crank up the anxiety.
10. Hands-On Aspirations for Insourcing. Now that anybody can access theoretical knowledge online, and so much employment has shifted to the service sector and so much activity involves intangibles, there will be increased interest in mastering practical skills that were previously outsourced: growing things, making things, modifying things and mending things. This goes from the breakthrough high end of genetic engineering and surgery right through to the basics of fixing the plumbing, putting up shelves and growing vegetables. In anxious times, the watchword for peace of mind is: Every day, make something or mend something.
“Loquacious and personable, Salzman is an attractive blonde with attractive smarts…. While she quails at being thought of as some sort of Xena of zeitgeist, a sexy sociologist probing at our inner workings, the Connecticut resident has undoubtedly placed a finger on the country’s collective pulse.”
- | American Way
“...radiates enough energy, one suspects, to power a small town and looks as if she has just stepped off the set of Sex and the City.”
- | The Guardian