Imagine the year is 2020. The ways in which marketing has evolved by this year are uniquely impressive. Key technologies that were just bubbling under the radar years earlier have come out in full force and consumer trends have overtaken the industry.
Between today and 2020, a lot is expected to happen in the marketing world. Though unexpected developments are sure to arise, we’re pretty confident in making at least a few predictions. For example, the upward trend of mobile is expected to continue. Today it makes up more than 50 percent of all web traffic and by 2020, that percentage may have soared to break the 60 percent threshold. Though there are other technology trends that will see their fair share of publicity leading into 2020, mobile is still expected to be the dominant trend. To a lesser degree, expect ongoing trends such as VR/AR, wearable tech, smart virtual assistants such as Google Home, and block chain technologies to all have grown in their corner of the marketplace. How much growth actually exists in these areas between now and then however is unclear.
Digital marketing, by 2020, will be pulled even further towards personalization software and tech. As more data is able to be culled from consumers, personalization is going to be one of the big differentials between the brands who succeed and those who are quickly losing ground. To this point, geo-targeting and other sub-trends of personalization are going to see their own rise and development between today and 2020, making for a very exciting time for consumers and brands alike. The increasing implementation and integration of AI tech will be a hot topic at companies such as Google who are continuing to seek out new ways to introduce AI to content personalization.
There’s also the Internet of Things, aka IoT. It’s near impossible to predict how IoT will affect the internet and consumers by 2020, though we expect some clearer indications in the next few years on where exactly IoT is headed.
In terms of building digital marketing across different channels, by 2020, the whole landscape will continue to shift towards social media, though web technologies and mobile applications won’t be far behind. Any investment agencies are making today in the future of digital marketing should apply across either social media, web, or mobile channels. To a lesser degree, channels including email, direct mail, television, print, and radio are expected to lose some ground.
The metrics on which digital marketing campaigns are expected to be measured are likely to see some increases in analytics targeting revenue impact, lead generation and pipeline, and budget efficient (i.e. ROI). Meanwhile, brand awareness, customer acquisition, and customer engagement are expected to see diminishing emphasis in marketing analytics in the coming years.
Keeping all of this in mind, we see how digital marketing may be in a similar yet distinctly different place come 2020. To examine how fast digital marketing can change, just imagine where we were a decade ago in 2008. The entire world then seems almost unrecognizable to where things have come now. As we prepare to embark on a new decade in 2020, digital marketers will have to adapt to changing consumer interests and utilize insights to deliver higher performing campaigns in an increasingly competitive landscape.