Market research firm Forrester has revealed the latest mobile and technology priorities for marketers in 2017.
The firm says that Intelligent agents (IAs), IoT, VR, AR, and bots will eventually drive big opportunities for marketers.
New IA entrants like Alexa, Cortana, Google Now, and Siri are coming for consumers’ attention. Forrester says marketers shouldn’t jump blindly into IAs based on inflated media adoption rates. Customer adoption isn’t high enough to warrant an IA execution as a “must-have” in 2017.
Forrester predicts the number of smart home devices installed in the U.S. will grow 25 percent between 2016 and 2021 — smartphones will remain the primary interface to enable and control connected experiences.
Smartphones will drive more personalized experiences across multiple connected environments, serving as the identity layer connecting the dots between your connected car, your connected home, and your connected workplace.
Additionally, there are signs that IoT is already attracting investments from retailers and other industry verticals, as the technology pave the way for efficient operation and greater flexibility.
Contrary to IAs, bots offer a much larger reach potential. With more than 3 billion consumers spending a lot of time and sharing emotions on messaging apps, brands are facing a whole new set of marketing opportunities and challenges.
Despite industry-wide hope, most deliver poor experiences today. However, they can deepen a brand’s relationship with customers when they offer quick answers in simple and well-designed scenarios. For example, KLM’s Facebook Messenger bot is a simple way to gather your booking confirmation, check-in notification, boarding pass, and flight status updates in one place.
Underlining the expected boom of bots, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently said that artificial intelligence-powered bots will become the next interface, shaping our interactions with the applications and devices we rely on.
Truly immersive VR experiences for the masses are still years away and will primarily rely on high-end VR headsets. While smartphones activate low- to mid-end VR experiences (e.g., the Samsung Gear), 360-degree videos will offer limited value to brands and consumers alike.
Mobile will be central to delivering AR experiences since they rely on daily interactions with our close physical environment, but for now, AR is an emerging tool and will take a few more years to scale.
According to market research firm IDC, the revenue of the AR and VR market will be more than $162 billion in 2020 against $5.2 billion in 2016.