Gartner’s Hype Cycle 2010

Last year at the Digital Non Conference in Cincinnati I attended a presentation about inbound marketing. That’s the first time I ever saw the Gartner hype cycle chart. It was actually pretty enlightening for me. While there’s nothing earth shattering about it, and when you think about it it’s actually pretty obvious, I had never seen it laid out quite so succinctly. Here is the 2010 version in all it’s glory, copied from gartner.com.

Gartner Hype Cycle 2010

Gartner Hype Cycle 2010

The concept is pretty simple. Basically what this chart shows is that emerging technology follows a predictable path. Obviously it starts with inception, and then quickly ascends to an inflated hype status. After coming down to earth, the technology over-corrects on the downside after not meeting the inflated expectations placed upon it. Finally, it grows into a productive technology, at which point it is considered ‘mature.’

The great thing about this particular chart, is that it shows the different speeds in which technologies flow through. Many of the items are 5 years or more away from mainstream adoption.

While I found the entire report fascinating, I was particularly interested in a small blurb near the bottom:

“Data-driven decisions. The quantity and variety of digital data continue to explode, along with the opportunities to analyze and gain insight from new sources such as location information and social media. The techniques themselves, such as predictive analytics, are relatively well established in many cases; the value resides in applying them in new applications such as social analytics and sentiment analysis.”

As a self-proclaimed “quant geek” I’m excited to see data-driven decisions picking up steam. While very few will outright argue against it, it amazes me how many traditional creatives in the marketing industry still choose their gut feeling over good solid data analysis. Not to pick on creative types, but in my experience they’ve been the slowest to adopt. Particularly on the web, we have a wealth of information available to us from analytics about how users use our sites, and the sooner everyone starts using that the data, the more effective our marketing will become.

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