Editor’s Note: CommPRO is reaching out to our community, asking the c-suite for 2016 predictions. We welcome your commentary. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
By Andy Abramson, CEO/Founder, Comunicano, Inc.
As the year comes to an end, and as our minds wander and look ahead to 2016, one cannot reflect on what’s happened in 2015 to envision what the upcoming year may look like. Here are four thoughts on just that from someone who has been breaking the mold in communications since starting in the business at age 14 over 40 years ago:
Services companies that make their market the communications professional sector will continue to see consolidation. This year we saw Vocus/Cision roll up services companies in the PR sector with the purchase of Gorkana and PR Newswire. Consolidation will likely lead to newer companies like MuckRack, JustReachOut and NinjaOutreach, rising, as they introduce more data driven solutions.
There will also be more new social and content management, tracking, discovery and reporting tools that will come to market, many with pay for performance models that disrupt the established incumbent players. Services like Ampsy and VelocityGrowth (which I am a co-founder of) will bring higher levels of targeting and far greater delivery from a variety of communications efforts, bringing the communications professional more in line with the data-driven metrics approach that digital marketers demand.
Radio and streamed content search and discovery will finally emerge and will be like looking up words and phrases inside Google or Bing, but will go beyond what those offer today. Service search sites like OnRadio and its sister Dar.fm, Radionomy and others will do for streamed audio content what Yahoo first did with search by taking it to the Google discovery level. Real-time video search will come next as more powerful visual recognition arrives allowing us to go beyond the metadata and keyword search by taking a news clip and then finding all the similar ones based on visual recognition. Already with photos, you can use services like Google’s Reverse Image Search and TinEye to locate similar photos and artwork, determine where they have appeared.
Knowledge leadership overtakes thought leadership. For years, we have heard the phrase “those who can do, and those who don’t consult.” Well, the same axiom can be taken to apply to those who are just simply well informed vs. those who do the work day in and day out. Thus the clear differentiator between a knowledge leader who knows how to get themselves published or seen on tv vs. those who are in the know because they’re living their expertise every day.
What does all this mean for the comms professional?
First it will be increasingly more important for the services mix they subscribe to can be swapped out based on the type of client base they have. Long term contracts for cloud based services will be a thing of the past, with monthly and pay as you need and as you use becoming the coin of the realm.
Second comes a deeper understanding of audience; targeting and selection will rise to the forefront. Forget paging through a database like Cision or Gorkana the way it is today, Artificial Intelligence like Ampsy and social CRM service VelocityGrowth will bring niche-casting and micro-targeting to every communications professional’s audience delivery arsenal.
Third is the rise of discovery. New platforms and services take us beyond search and with this comes the end of so many false positives from now antiquated meta search and Boolean-based search tools. The ability to grab one image and immediately find each and every time it appeared will add to the communications professional’s ability to prove value to their client or internal team.
Lastly, a shift to knowledge leadership vs. the “know it all” thought leadership model where just about anyone with a keyboard and a web page, will allow for deeper understanding of subjects, and, in turn, a better-informed, more decision supported public.