2020 Visions – This is what’s up and coming in digital tech for marketing

  • December 5, 2019
  • Online Marketing

2020 is looking great for the tech world

If you’re a fan of tech, you’re probably looking forward to what 2020 has promised us. Things like 5G data networks, Facebook’s new cryptocurrency Libra, and the iPhone 12 are set to make a splash in the coming year.

2020 is also set to see some progress in the tech we can use to improve our marketing. These advancements could potentially revolutionise the way businesses advertise and interact with their consumers.

We may not be able to see the future, but based on what’s been big in 2019 and looking at what’s developing in the industry, we can make some likely assumptions for what’s to come. Here’s our top 4 predictions for where the tech side of 2020 marketing will take us.

Voice search

By January 2019, almost 30% of adults in Australia owned smart speakers (like Google Home and Amazon Echo), surpassing the percentage of adults with them in the USA. Australia also has one of the highest rates of smartphone adoption in the world, surpassing the USA and UK.

If you’re one of the 30%, you’ve probably had some fun talking to your smart speaker and asking it questions. Some of them prompt fun answers (try asking Alexa if you’re in the matrix or asking your Google Home for a pickup line), but many of them prompt serious searches which give different results to your typical text-based Google search. Most often, they only read out the first answer that Google gives them, which means you only get one chance for your site to feature in a voice search. You need to make it count.

We tend to talk to our smart speakers as if they were people. While you might type “sushi near me” or “best sushi” into Google, you’re a lot more likely to say something like “Hey Google, where can I get the best sushi in my area?” when you’re talking to your smart speaker. Since your search query is structured differently, you’ll need a different strategy to help you optimise for it.

The amount of searches conducted by voice is projected to reach 50% in 2020, so you could be potentially cutting out up to half of your traffic by not optimising your site for voice search. If you’re not already doing so, consider looking into a voice search SEO strategy in 2020.

AR advertising

“[The technology] has the chance to create the most social platform ever,” said Mark Zuckerberg when Facebook announced its $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR in March 2014, “and change the way we work, play and communicate.” And even though VR technology is yet to become a mainstream option for your average consumer, he was right in a way: we’re beginning to see a shift towards augmented realty (AR) in the digital marketing landscape.

If you’ve spent some time on SnapChat, you’ve probably run into one of AR advertising’s forerunners: the branded filter and lens. For a fee, you can now create a filter to create an interesting overlay on a consumer’s photo, or a lens which follows their face to enhance their appearance (like a pair of sunglasses or animal ears).

In October 2019, Google Ads launched AR Beauty Try-on. This new function is available through YouTube ads and allows a user to virtually test makeup on their face. Cosmetics company NARS has already seen over 20 million people use the new Try-on feature, and 2020 is likely to see tons more brands use the feature.

AR ads are immersive and create a more emotional connection with the viewer than traditional digital ads. Even though they aren’t being implemented on a large scale yet, they’re already starting to outperform other advertising channels by 20-80%. A study has also shown that information from an AR ad is 70% more retainable by your average viewer.

In 2020, we’re expecting that more brands will continue to pioneer AR advertising methods and more social media platforms will endeavour to endorse them. They’re still a bit out of reach for most small businesses (SnapChat’s current AR lenses generally cost about $400,000-$1 million per day), but the future could reveal options ideal for lower budgets.

Artificial intelligence

2019 has been an important year for Artificial Intelligence. It saw Google make tons of algorithm changes and updates, is expected to be an industry worth $35 billion by the end of the year, and is set to see The 32nd Australasian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in December. It has been predicted since at least 2017 that artificial intelligence will become pervasive in our lives by 2020, and it looks like the predictions were correct.

AI is revolutionising our environments: it’s in our phones, computers, Gmail accounts, and is even making its way into our refrigerators and dishwashers. In 2020, it’s set to make its way further into the marketing world.

Plenty of businesses are already using AI to enhance their functionality and attract consumers. Forbes has an AI publishing bot named Bertie, who can research trending topics, recommend images, and help create headlines for its reporters. Pinterest has rolled out its own AI called Lens, which can use your phone’s camera to search for things you take pictures of.

According to Techgrabyte, “Artificial intelligence is the biggest commercial opportunity for companies, industries, and nations over the next few decades” and “will increase global GDP by up to 14% between now and 2030.”

Even though an AI solution for smaller businesses seems to be a long way off yet, we can expect to see many larger companies implementing AI into their marketing strategies to create their content, personalise content for their customers and consumers, and even bid on PPC campaigns.

Chatbots

“But wait!” we hear you cry, “Aren’t Chatbots just another kind of AI? Isn’t that what makes them able to chat?” Well, not really. Some newer chatbots are powered by AI, but most aren’t. One of the most common kinds, created through Facebook Messenger, don’t even have more than a basic code. And according to David Marcus, Facebook’s Head of Messenger, they can’t chat.

“We never called them chatbots,” he declared adamantly in a 2017 interview, “we called them bots. People took it too literally in the first three months.”

Chatbots work in much the same way as the choose-your-own-adventure novels or the point-and-click adventure games you played as a Kid. They rely on having a few selectable options and some great copy for each one to make things feel more natural.

Experts have been predicting for almost ten years that most online interaction with customers will be handled by non-human support by 2020, and we’re set to see up to 85% taken off our hands thanks to digital help. Chatbots are just the next step in the automation revolution.

They can work 24/7 for very little cost, can do almost anything, are less intimidating to talk to than actual people, and can’t have their feelings hurt by rude or abusive customers. They’re also predicted to become even more powerful and intuitive in 2020, so they’re definitely worth considering.


Let's do it together.

A lot is set to happen in the digital marketing world in 2020, but you don’t have to go through it alone. If your 2020 New Year’s Resolution is to catch your marketing up to speed with the possibilities and tech of tomorrow, contact us to get your vision underway.

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