As Leidar’s celebrates its first decade, this is our look ahead to the next 10 years.

The proliferation of media and many new ways of engagement will demand new sophisticated ways of listening: a combination of big data, artificial intelligence and human analysis will enable listening and honest engagement to become the competitive edge for companies. 

We also believe the company of the future will take emotions as seriously as of economics: the empathetic organisation is on the rise. 

As we wrote in our perspective on the past decade, the current state of affairs is still uncertain. We see strong commitments to sustainability and the broader ESG agenda, and increased focus on purpose, but it is increasingly difficult to earn stakeholder trust. 

It is even harder to get any independent endorsement from the mass media, due to a reduction both in credible outlets and in reporters. 

Therefore, organisations must take total ownership of their stakeholder engagement.

Here are the major developments we believe will impact our clients’ communications in the next decade.

True omni-channel: tailored, targeted and timely content delivery and consumption

There will be continued pluralisation of the means of distributing and delivering content, and engaging with stakeholders. And it will be increasingly difficult to keep the real pulse of stakeholders. Listening, coupled with omni-channel 360 engagement, will be crucial and a pre-requisite for success.

  • We are moving to an all-digital media landscape. Print will disappear. Broadcast will be entirely on demand
  • And as we have seen from Covid-19 lockdown, the all-digital online reality will be totally embraced in the workplace too. 
  • The user will expect companies to only communicate to them what is relevant based on their needs 
  • We will see a further mainstreaming of mass media with less resources for research, reporting and diversification. Pitching and media relations as we know it, will be almost impossible – only serious PR stunts, breaking news and controversial views will make it into the newsrooms. There will, however, remain an important role for specialist and trade media

Commoditisation of communications services, paired with strategic integration of communication in networked organisations 

Artificial intelligence and pre-programmed IT tools will generate intelligent solutions for content creation, visualisation, design, and translation, commoditising communication services. 

  • The effectiveness of communication will be defined by how well we manage the combination of measures and fully integrate delivery. As a result, communication will be integrated across all the functions of the organisation, from line employees to the C-suite.
  • User interfaces will be voice-driven and will increasingly build on intuitive visual commands. New technologies will enable multiple access and will demand variety of interface.
  • The iGeneration will soon rule! When those born after the millennium finish their education and become business leaders and entrepreneurs, we are going to see new standards and solutions. The combination of people who learned on smartphones, artificial intelligence, computing power and high network speeds, with the proliferation of knowledge sources will be mindboggling.

Blurring lines: what is truth, what is opinion, what is public what is private 

There will be further polarisation with alternative perspectives, and people will seek only the news they like. At the same time, lines between private and professional channels will be further blurred. Working from wherever, whenever contributes to these unclear lines between private and professional sphere. 

  • Artificial intelligence and big data will bring labelling into the communication world: it will be increasingly difficult to spread fake facts. Corporations and content distributers will have to face up to “true” or “false” labels, as well as new transparency expectations.
  • Personal media ecosystems and networks will define how people are influenced. Discovery, learning and diversity will enrich connections, and people will live and learn in many networks. 
  • “Social” will shift to “personal”, and content and new news will rule again.

We believe these developments will accelerate over time, but if you are in charge of communication or run a business, you’d better consider them now. 

Please get in touch if you have another point of view or if you want to discuss how the future should inform your strategy, organisation and investment in communications.

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