What's Up For 2121: Forrester Makes Tech Predictions

It may seem early to make predictions for next year, given that we haven’t even gotten through the election. But Forrester is having a go at it with its new Predictions 2021 study.  

Forrester projects a 30% uptick in spending on retention, including email, in 2021. 

That increase also covers “customer service, and the creation of products that drive growth,” the study says. 

Consumers will get more emails and texts based on a 40% boost in message volume, according to CNBC’s report on Forrester’s dive into B2C marketing. 

That's not necessarily a good thing. found in a recent report that "only 20% of consumers receive relevant content ‘extremely frequently,’ and this is probably reflected in most peoples’ personal inbox accounts — hundreds of unread, useless promotions from brands that simply don’t apply and fill an inbox to its brim," states Christian Selchau-Hansen, CEO and co-founder,



Selchau-Hansen adds, "Consumers crave relevant content and promotions, and copying and pasting someone’s name doesn’t cut it. Every touch point that doesn’t provide true value is a major turn off for consumers and can severely damage customer loyalty.

On the flip side, "if a customer receives an email that their weekly weekend pizza is half off, that’s a win for both the customer and the brand as the brand proves they know the customer by offering a true benefit with hyper-personalization," Selchau-Hansen continues. 

Meanwhile, 25% of brands will “statistically significant” advances in customer experience quality in 2021, Forrester says.

Consumers seek “new forms of consumption that promise a rush of comfort, control, and happiness — even if the experiences are entirely simulated,” the report states. From 10% to 12% will try extended reality.

On the B2B front, a third of technology buyers will see chatbots as a top engagement channel. 

Marketers should also expect a rise in virtual assistant technology.  

AI-powered martech will also be top of mind at many firms. One possible use is “recommending next best content in a sales enablement solution.”

In addition, 57% of B2B sales leaders plan to make deeper investments in AI and automation in the new fiscal year — especially tools that capture and upload buyer and seller activity, thus relieving salespeople of data entry. And over 60% will be aided by those technologies

But only 20% of B2B companies are using AI to create conversational experiences at scale, the study notes. 

As many have observed, this is taking place in an altered workplace environment. Next year, 21% of U.S. information staffers will mostly work from home, up from 7% last year.

And contrary to alarms about an increase in personal problems, employees seem to like working at home — 53% hope to do so more often even after the pandemic abates, and Forrester predicts there will be 18 million employees working from their domiciles. 

In line with this, 35% of companies plan to focus more on workplace AI. 

But expect regulatory intervention to double in an effort to prevent privacy violations. 

Moreover, the percentage of data exposure incidents caused by insiders will increase from 25% today to 33%. 

In response, chief information security officers will likely include a better environment for employees — i.e., not treating them like machines.

Moreover, 30% of firms will continue increasing their pending on cloud, security and risk networks. 


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