When it comes to the world of business, the extremely fast-paced technology innovations of the past couple of decades have ushered in many changes. The previous 50 years have seen a bigger tech shift than the past millennium. Naturally, this has influenced all kinds of products, markets, and services—spawning new ones in the process as well. For instance, the rise of the internet has given birth to the digital marketing industry, a kind of advertising that had previously not existed.
Just like every other facet of the digital world, digital marketing trends change pretty quickly; keeping one’s finger on the pulse of this ever-changing industry is a constant challenge. And that’s why we’re going to celebrate the beginning of a new decade with a set of bold predictions regarding digital marketing in 2020!
Personal Assistant Services
Anyone who’s watched the (now positively ancient) sci-fi movies of the 20th century knows of the concept of AI assistants. But these days, virtual intelligence is far from science fiction—it’s expected to become reality in the coming decades. And rudimentary forms of this technology already exist, in the form of voice-controlled devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa, altering everyday life in completely unforeseen ways.
And while these aren’t exactly the sentient machines we imagine when we talk about AI, they’re definitely the beginning. Using nothing but your voice, you can tell these devices to inform you of the latest news or to play a song you like listening to. And as the capabilities of this technology expand, they’re starting to play a role in the world of online advertising as well. Indeed, one of the digital marketing trends we predict for the coming year is the increasing importance of voice searches for search engine optimization. Keeping this in mind, SEO experts would do well to watch the evolution of this technology closely.
Oculus Right and Microsoft HoloLens
The voice-activated assistants we’ve mentioned above represent some of the more obvious examples of digital marketing trends for the near future. However, there are technologies that are no less interesting and futuristic, crucial to the evolution of online advertising. The world where an ad in the local newspaper was enough to sell something is long gone—both service and product providers need to look towards the horizon of new ideas and trends.
A good example of this is the currently expanding virtual reality technology. Many experts agree that VR will play a more significant role in the world of digital marketing as soon as 2020, and even more in the years to come. Mass-market VR products like the Oculus Right or the Microsoft HoloLens mean that more people have access to high-quality VR options than ever before.
Digital marketers from all over the world will need to explore the options presented by VR in the near future. Much like AI voice assistants that we’ve talked about above, virtual reality will probably make fundamental paradigm shifts in the essential ways people consume online content, including advertising.
The days of simple browser surfing will change from 2020 and beyond, and the experience of online browsing for products and services will be far more interactive and visceral. For example, the online presence of a fancy restaurant may need to include a virtual reality tour of the premises; people will want to experience the interior atmosphere without even leaving their homes.
On the other hand, someone going after a specific pair of boots may only need to strap on their virtual reality goggles and try a holographic version of them to see if they’re a good fit. Basically, the possibilities here are endless. The simple catalog of contemporary online stores will change quite drastically, and those that are first to embrace the changes will reap the largest benefits. If you think all of this sounds too far fetched, remember that Facebook purchased Oculus Rift’s home company a few years ago, already grasping its possibilities.
In the past few decades, Google’s image as the premier web searching solution has vastly expanded into other avenues as well. As you probably know, they’ve become even more famous as financiers and supporters of cutting-edge futuristic technologies. You can imagine that a giant whose largest revenue comes from online advertising will have quite a lot of influence on the development of digital marketing trends in 2020 as well.
For example, one of their most famous tech projects is Waymo, Google’s company working on driverless car technology. And as Tesla and other car manufacturers look toward a driverless future, this has the potential to increase the market space for digital marketing as well. Once people stop driving cars themselves and just enjoy the ride, the amount of online content they’ll consume from built-in screens will greatly increase.
Technologies required for the successful implementation of online chatbots have existed for a while, but up until a couple of years ago, they’ve been nothing more than crude gimmicks. But new advances in machine learning have enabled low-cost development and implementation of AI chatbots. This is one of the digital marketing trends that will transform online advertising in the coming decade, slowly coming into the mainstream.
The level of natural interactivity chatbots have with human users is reaching unprecedented heights. These days, these bots can conduct more than the most basic conversation. That’s why most online brands are looking to implement even basic chatbot functionality in their websites and media campaigns.
As you might have gathered, some of the digital marketing trends we’ve mentioned above will not be immediately important to the world of digital marketing. However, all of them are likely to greatly influence online advertising in the short and long term, making them crucial to understand for industry experts.
Sam Wellington is a digital marketing expert and freelance writer, most often discussing innovative future in regards to online advertising companies like Digital Dot NY. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling and immersing himself in new cultures.