[Editor’s Note:As a supplement to predictions from PR pros in this edition, we asked a technology vendor, Ben Chodor, president of Notified, to offer tech-related prognostications.]
1. Stakeholder Engagement Expands; Bigger Audiences, New Platforms, More Data:In the last 12 months, shareholder engagement has gotten much more complex. Additionally, investors have seen the benefits of virtual road shows and investor days. Some now prefer to take meetings from the comfort of their home.
In 2022, Investor Relations will join the broader communication industry in its journey toward digital transformation. This means using non-traditional platforms to engage shareholders and finding new, immersive ways to tell a corporate story.
2. Data Siloes Finally Break Down:Over the last few years, communicators have improved their use of data and analytics – and 2022 is the year to break down silos to get a more complete picture of performance and ROI. Event planners, marketers, PR and IR professionals will start to utilize integrated datasets to better collaborate–and build plans that deliver against the bottom line.
3. We Begin Marketing in the Metaverse: From avatars, to gamification to AR/VR and real world/digital world cross-selling opportunities, 2022 will see communicators, particularly PR and events pros, begin exploring how to engage audiences in ‘always-active,’ real-time, immersive environments.
4. We Stop Using the Word ‘Hybrid’: In 2021, ‘hybrid’ was used to describe any communication strategy that had in-person and virtual components. Moving forward, there will be less distinction between in-person and virtual. As such, communicators must build campaigns that will reach and engage audiences wherever they are. Adding digital components to communication plans and making use of digital engagement data will become a natural part of the marketer’s toolkit. Technology providers will need comprehensive, integrated solutions to stay competitive–the experience for in-person and digital consumers must be seamless, while meeting each audience’s unique needs.
5. Virtual Event Platforms in the Marketing Stack: 2021 saw virtual-event technology grow significantly (from new platforms, to funding, to partnerships between tech giants). Next year, virtual-event platforms will find a permanent place in the marketing technology stack. No longer will a preferred virtual-event platform be a ‘nice to have’ or a last-minute decision –it will be a must-have. In addition, event data will be crucial to broader marketing strategies.