The consumerization of technology and how people are communicating are changing — as is how brands are pivoting to use social technologies to engage with customers, partners, and employees to meet their increasing expectations.
Social technologies are literally becoming the new telephone. They are using always-connected mobile devices where alerts are pushed to the user: Important content follows users, instead of them having to look for information. Understanding and leveraging these changes make mobile and social more important to the well-being of an enterprise. Social media and communities are first and foremost social; they are people centric and based on trust.
The use of augmented reality (AR) is growing across many markets; virtual reality (VR) solutions are being heavily developed; and artificial intelligence (AI) is starting to power many new aspects of customer engagement, from first touch to outcome-based analytics. Blockchain technologies for cryptocurrencies and identification are edging into use around the globe. New AI-driven insights will augment sales, retention, brand loyalty, and employing the best talent as they will be instrumental in delivering strong customer and employee user experiences. The emerging 5G mobile standard, with a significant boost in data speeds, will accelerate the adoption and complexity of these solutions even faster. Most important, social success comes with the need for companies to act human, showing empathy and community values, along with being social and not just doing social.
Summarized in no particular order, the top 10 2019 predictions for worldwide social and experiential solutions are:
- Prediction 1: The future of engagement. Challenged by more connected customers and employees, by 2021, 75% of enterprises will be forced to adopt experiential technologies in the battle to compete for customer attention.
- Prediction 2: The influencer class emerges. To create more control over influencers, by 2020, the top 200 brands will have discontinued 15% of their sponsorships with athletes and celebrities in favor of AI-generated influencer personas.
- Prediction 3: AI dominates social conversations. By 2022, employees will “scale” to more complex tasks as 70% of all social and messaging inbound conversations leverage chatbots and natural language AI.
- Prediction 4: Social communities as commerce. By 2020, 70% of the G2000 will focus on marketing within social communities of interest across multiple social platforms to drive new opportunities.
- Prediction 5: AR as social engagement. The need to create a more engaging and effective customer experience will result in brands creating 20% of their social engagements and advertisements in AR by 2022.
- Prediction 6: Consumers in the multiverse. By 2020, 70% of customer journey activities will cross at least three different connected devices, including IoT devices using voice interactions.
- Prediction 7: Personal data as currency. By 2021, 25% of consumer loyalty programs will be exchanging personal data for premiums or credits that can be exchanged for rewards.
- Prediction 8: Social banking and finance. In 2023, in response to banking legislation, 25% of global banking and finance will launch a Personal Social Trust Index, using social behaviors as a blockchain-based personal trust certification.
- Prediction 9: Self-inflicted social failures. In 2019, 80% of company failures in social media will come from inadequate social staffing, monitoring, and enterprise preparation.
- Prediction 10: Key performance indicators (KPIs) replaced by key behavioral indicators (KBIs). Maturing social and conversation analytics will drive 40% of G2000 companies to migrate marketing metrics from KPIs to outcome-based KBIs by 2023.
This IDC study presents our worldwide social media team of analysts’ view of key drivers and outcomes relating to the evolution of social media.
The tech-savvy workforce of the future is here. They are hyperconnected, social, collaborative, and they ‘scale’ their time with digital solutions. Businesses that struggle to meet their expectations, as both customers and employees, will find rough waters ahead. They expect that same ‘one click to buy, one click for support, and one click to chat’ experience whether they are buying for themselves or for work. Emerging technologies such as collaboration applications, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality are increasing their expectations even further. No company will be exempt from the need to meet the hyperconnected customer experience — or the employee’s experience.
For context around these predictions, including the IT impact and guidance on how to integrate each prediction in the digital strategy of the enterprise, view the IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Social and Experiential 2019 Predictions web conference on-demand.
John Jackson, Research Vice President, Mobile & Connected Platforms, IDC