We are in an age of experimentation. Everyday in digital, people are doing things that no one else has ever done before. However, agencies tend not to do lots of forecasting, but clients are increasingly demanding more evidence that a campaign is going to work before signing up. Mastering models like these are going to be increasingly important, so I say forecasting and modelling digital programs is the new Holy Grail.
I've been experimenting with the Bass Diffusion Model, as I attempt to advance my knowledge in this area beyond Everett Rogers' Diffusion of Innovations. Bass focuses more on new products and how they get adopted as an interaction between users and potential users.
I see an easy application for the model and how it can be used to forecast spread of contagious ideas, and general marketing ideas across the social web.
We frequently talk in digital and online PR about targeting influencers and innovators, but use few formulae to demonstrate their impact. Both charts on this page, show how important they are to the spread of ideas and products. With better maths in this area, will also come better mechanisms for managing these programs.