It’s late summer in 2021. The Covid-19 vaccine has been widely distributed, and business and consumer behavior has returned to a new normal. The recession isn’t over, but things are looking brighter. Consumer spending and jobs are recovering.
OK, so this may be wishful thinking because none of us really knows what will happen, but I’m an optimist.
As president of a marketing firm with a focus on communications and customer engagement, I decided to predict what some of these changes might mean for brands and marketing so that the pragmatic optimists among us can start planning today.
1. Two-way conversational marketing will be here to stay.
SMS, while still useful and ubiquitous, is very 2020. I expect that rich communication services (RCS) will gain greater traction, and leading brands will deploy it at scale to engage with customers in an innovative, bidirectional way. The Cross Carrier Messaging Initiative (CCMI) and Google’s RCS Chat made this possible. Industries that are already achieving a competitive advantage by using this new, compelling mode of conversational communications are B2C subscription services — think Spotify, StitchFix, etc. — but “traditional” brands in retail, travel and hospitality will likely deploy RCS to drive engagement and loyalty.
By early 2022, I predict banks, fintech and insurance companies will be ramping up as well. There’s a chance that restaurants — specifically national chains — and the ordering delivery platforms they’ve increasingly been reliant on since the pandemic first struck will also start using RCS or integrations with apps like Facebook Messenger for this style of two-way communication…