Every year, consumers are demanding more and more digital capabilities. And every year, communications, media, and technology (CMT) companies are rising to meet this demand with innovative solutions that require generating, delivering, and analyzing more and more data. In fact, the amount of data that is created, captured, replicated, and consumed globally is projected to more than double over the next four years, according to IDC research examining industry trends from 2022 to 2026. Significantly, all of this data adds up to more than the sum of its parts: This data is what is enabling the next generation of consumer experiences—experiences that are complementing and enhancing the changing ways that people work, learn, and entertain themselves at home and on the go.
To compete and stay relevant in this fast-changing world, communications, media, and technology companies need to be aware of how consumer experiences and expectations are changing. As 2022 comes to a close, let’s take a look at how four key trends in the CMT space have played out this year:
More than two years after the start of the pandemic, people are settling into their “new normal” for how work gets done—and where it gets done. Although more workers returned to work in an office in 2022, most of them did not go back every day. In fact, the portion of workers with hybrid work schedules climbed from 42% to 49% in the first six months of 2022, and is expected to keep trending upward, reaching 55% by 2023, according to Gallup research. At the same time, the portion of workers who are fully remote actually fell by 10% in the first six months of 2022, to 29%, and will fall further in 2023, Gallup found. The rise of hybrid work means that CMT companies need to be developing improved ways for workers—some of which are in person and others remote—to interact and collaborate effectively. CMT companies will need to invest in the latest generation of cloud-based collaboration tools to create more sophisticated, more powerful, and more seamless experiences that can seamlessly overcome the loss of fully in-person work spaces.
The latest generation of the digital world—known as Web 3.0—is about empowering people and businesses to fundamentally reinvent how they interact and engage. The tools that power Web 3.0 have advanced rapidly over the past year. Instead of search engines and social media networks serving as gatekeepers to the experiences and communities that consumers want, Web 3.0 is evolving in a way that enables consumers to create their own experiences. And these consumers are using nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies to give themselves buying power over the traditional gatekeepers (i.e., big tech and government). In just one year, the global NFT market grew an astonishing 50% to $21 billion in 2022—and the market is expected to reach $82 billion by 2026, according to ResearchAndMarkets.com market research. CMT companies need to invest in fundamentally different kinds of digital architecture to enable these Web 3.0 consumer experiences. These investments will take many forms—from predictive analytics and AI that enable more intelligent consumer experiences, to the Internet of Things (IoT) that is reimagining how people interact, to edge computing that shifts data closer to where it’s being generated and used.
Customer experience and engagement
CMT companies are no longer just providers of services and products; they’re increasingly cultivating and enabling the modern digital experiences that consumers crave. That means CMT companies must figure out how to shape the entire experience around the delivery of products and services. In 2022, companies pioneered, tested, and began adopting many of these next-generation technologies. For example, superapps have recently emerged as platforms for developing and publishing custom mini-apps; superapps combine the features of a traditional app, a platform, and an ecosystem—all in one experience that can reinvent how businesses interact and engage with their consumers. Similarly, the metaverse is evolving and expanding into a vibrant digital environment that replicates—and enhances—many of the experiences of the physical world. Meanwhile, consumers are increasingly expecting to be targeted with more creative, curated advertising—an expectation that is changing how customers engage with companies and make their purchasing decisions. TikTok users, for example, say they’re 1.3 times more likely to feel excited or euphoric about a product they purchased if they saw it on TikTok first, according to a 2022 study by Material. These trends underscore why CMT companies need to be rethinking and rearchitecting the fundamentals of the customer experiences they provide.
Democratization of digital transformation tools
Digital transformation tools are continuing to be adopted by more businesses, especially smaller businesses that previously couldn’t afford or didn’t think they needed these tools. This trend is fueling the democratization of digital transformation itself. Digital transformation is no longer just a strategic priority for larger, well-resourced companies. For example, more than half of small- and medium-sized businesses reported in 2022 that they’re accelerating their investments in sales and customer service technologies, according to Salesforce industry research. These investments in digital transformation are translating to explosive growth for the industry that powers these advances. For example, the customer relationship management market grew by $6 billion worldwide from 2021 to 2022, to $63 billion, and is projected to reach $146 billion by 2029, according to Fortune Business Insights research. CMT companies need to lean into the growing accessibility and affordability of tools like Salesforce’s industry-leading sales and customer experience management technology; these digital transformation tools will be increasingly essential to delivering streamlined, automated, and effortlessly personalized customer experiences going forward.
At the start of 2022, Simplus identified four key trends in the CMT space that we predicted would evolve and accelerate during the year. As expected, we saw tectonic shifts on all four fronts: more people than ever are moving to permanently hybrid work schedules, the tools that power Web 3.0 are advancing rapidly, companies’ strategies around how they should engage with their customers are being upended by wholly different consumer expectations, and digital transformation tools are becoming increasingly democratized.
If your organization is committed to growing and advancing in lockstep with rapidly evolving industry trends, please reach out to Simplus today. Simplus has extensive experience partnering with CMT companies to strategically build the next generation of cutting-edge consumer experiences. We look forward to helping you design customer experiences that accelerate your business opportunities in 2023 and beyond.