- Forrester is tracking 15 emerging technologies to keep an eye on from 2017-2021, with five of these having the potential to change the world, analyst Brian Hopkins said in a blog post.
- The list was dominated by artificial intelligence and related tech such as intelligent agents like chatbots; analytics solutions which AI can aid; and Internet of Things software which is another data-heavy solution.
- Hopkins also addressed why AR could have a bigger potential for marketers than VR. “While we cover both VR and AR, we find that while a lot of attention has been placed on VR, AR has more play, for enterprises in the short term and eventually for consumers as well," he said. "By 2021, we will be fully into a transition period between separated and tightly blended physical and digital experiences in our work and lives.”
Marketers need to be focused on customers, whose expectations of service are getting higher because of technology. The technologies Forrester is tracking are expected to have the biggest impact on businesses’ ability to win, serve and retain customers over the next five years.
It’s a data-driven marketing world: Almost all marketers understand the growing influence of high-level ways of handling massive data flow from AI agents like IBM’s Watson and Salesforce's Einstein, and how AI and machine learning can be applied to advanced tactics like predictive analytics.
The marketing challenge with AR/VR is exactly how to make use of the tech in an actual marketing campaign. Pokemon Go offered marketers a number of lessons on how augmented reality can bridge the online and offline worlds via a mobile device, and even provided a blueprint on what that type of interaction can look like. Not to mention the press given to the viral mobile game should make it much easier to get budget approval for an augmented reality marketing effort.
By 2021, Forrester expects a virtual network infrastructure to emerge — one that weaves together wireless technologies such as radio, Wi-Fi and cellular, joining IoT and customer engagement platforms and significantly expanding the number of interlinked devices and methods for marketers to reach consumers through them.