A glimpse into the future – Digital Marketing in 2020

It is no surprise that since its inception Digital Marketing has brought about a sea of change to the business world and will continue to do so with constant improvements being made to the field. But what does the future hold for Digital Marketing? Because with the added efficiency, productivity and consumer-friendly face that technology will have on its evolution, the demands and behavior of the customer will go up accordingly. So is it going to be taken over by some new kind of technology, just as it did to its predecessors, or will it stand the test of time and emerge even more powerful than before? Let’s have a look shall we, on how Digital marketing will look in 2020?

It is believed that in the foreseeable future customer experience will be fully under the control of Marketers

In the interest of discovering the key technologies and trends that will drive change in the marketing industry over the next four years, the EIU (Economist Intelligence Unit), a British-based organization which is part of the Economist group and it provides forecast and advisory services based on research and analysis asked 499 Chief Marketing Officers and Senior Marketing Execs about how they envisioned the evolution of marketing. In addition to putting forth the questions to those Marketing Officers and Senior Marketing Execs, they also conducted some in-depth, one on one interviews with CMOs from some of the leading brands in the market. And the results they got make for some interesting reading so we’ve summarized some of the key findings for marketers in this article so that you can prep too –

Current tech trends marketers need to watch out for:

The first trend that’s taking over the digital world is the shift from desktop or laptop to mobile. For one it’s smaller and easier and secondly, with the advent of Smartphones, Desktops are slowly becoming obsolete. The unsurprising fact remains that for years now, mobile has proved to be a massive trend in marketing and over half of web traffic is made up of mobile traffic.

While it is a recent development and more exhilarating, it isn’t yet quite clear how exactly the internet of things will affect marketers. Opportunities and predictions on this topic are a dime a dozen and not all of them are accurate so it’s best to reserve judgment until you see it happen.

And with mobile taking over, there is a higher level of personalisation because it creates a more personal interaction between the brand and the customer. Even though the technologies for personalization have been around for a while, CMOs are only now starting to recognize its potential and trying to work with the sheer quantity of data now available at their fingertips. Your objective shouldn’t be just Geo-targeting, it is just the start.

As Advanced marketers, start with building statistical models which aid in determining the meaning of signals, understanding your customers’ interests, wants and needs and accordingly provide them with the required service. And this becomes easier with mobile taking over as usage of social media platforms will skyrocket paving the path for greater and more personalized marketing campaigns because understanding and tracking consumer behavior is now a lot easier. One way that it could change is the use of Artificial Intelligence. Ever since Google’s Alpha Go, AI scored a win against the world Go champion; Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been one hot topic and part of everyone’s conversation. If you’re the experimental risk taker sort, then the combination of AI and content personalisation should be on your list because it offers some incredible opportunities that are yet untapped.

Another one is Blockchain Technologies, a pioneering new technology in the field of marketing, which people are just recognizing as something that will have great implications in the banking, law and intellectual property sectors, but again there’s no clarity on how it’ll evolve by 2020.

The Hottest Trend

Videos and video sharing will be the hottest trend and will be further elevated because of the rise in usage of mobile. Storytelling is an art and if told well, accompanied by images or video clips, a compelling message and music it will move people. Video is one example of a successful combination of creativity and technology executed simultaneously and the demand for videos is going to increase drastically. And being more personalized to a user as it isn’t brand generated; videos provide an effective way to present content to the audience. And the content will be more personalized and based on consumer experience or feedback gathered from data collected during journey mapping, which brings us to our next part below:

Journey Mapping

Journey mapping is an essential part of any digital marketing efforts and if it hasn’t been it’s vitally important that it be included. It helps to improve the communication with the audience and makes for an enriching consumer experience by helping you in understanding your customer’s needs and wants so that you can serve them right. All this is possible because of the data collected with the help of technology and consumer feedback. You should aim at creating a brand which inspires consumer loyalty and when you make better connections you can cater to the need of the consumer that much more easily. Your brand should serve what interests them and they’ll spend their time and money on you repeatedly if you can give them what they want, this is where journey mapping comes in handy. To entice the customer, your website should be designed particularly for your brand bearing in mind the data collected during journey mapping.

Predictions based on Data

By the time 2020 rolls around, it is believed that digital marketing will have the ability to do predictive analysis. Business value and ROI (Return on Investment) will be a major player in the game. The all important ROI can only be calculated with accurate data on what is driving traffic and conversions.


Digital campaigns will be used in gathering the main components necessary for the calculation of ROI, data and strategy along with a few other key metrics like cookies, pages visited and time spent and technology provide vast opportunities to accurately measure these metrics to see how sales are affected by marketing! And if you’re wondering why it’s necessary, it because reviewing the effectiveness and outcome of marketing campaigns is an enormous task, one that marketers often struggle to accomplish. To be fair, the fault doesn’t completely lie with them. How will you go about proving that an accrual in sales is the outcome of a new ad campaign or a modification in the messaging on the website or because of a big push by the sales team? While it is not impossible, it is quite a tough task; especially with metrics being all over the place.

Focus more on ROI less and reduce the reliance on customer acquisition stats, after all, it is the ultimate objective of any marketing campaign. This is sensible and a commendable objective too. And if you think otherwise ask yourself this question, Four years is a long way away, why should you be measuring for ROI right now? The answer if you haven’t figured it out for yourselves yet is there’s no fairy godmother with a business-like expression waiting for you with a magic wand or some new technological breakthrough which will come along in the next four years to have your ROI calculated for you! Instead of procrastinating waiting till 2020, start planning the implementation now. What you’re looking for already exists, i.e. the technology which measures all kinds of data to calculate ROI; so gear up because now is the time to do it.

Key channels to focus on

2020, a time we all assumed was way off with innovations like flying cars, underwater living and mind reading computers or at the least a base on the moon or Mars! But with 2017 hurtling at break-neck speed towards the next year, 2020 seems to be breathing down our necks and is closer than we anticipated.

We all like to think that the future is always a few years off and procrastinate on things we should be concentrating on, like marketing strategies, but before you know it we’ll be living in it and all the things that we put off will lead to marketing efforts falling behind because of the procrastination. And just like that, it all falls down like a pack of cards!

So with that in mind, here’s a look at the key marketing channels for their businesses in 2020.

  • Social media marketing,
  • Social Networking,
  • Mobile apps
  • Mobile web

And let’s not even go near the millions of micro-channels. Let’s ace the basics first before diving deep into the abyss.

Do your current investment priorities look like this? To ensure you don’t fall behind, you need to invest in the channels of the future today and not at a later date. This is the only way to stand out and ahead of your competition.

To summarize, in 2020 with an estimated 2.5 billion Smartphones in use, internet and digitization will ensure that new technologies will be fully adopted. And this continued adoption will ensure transparency and consumers will be more demanding and expect better service. And the bar will be raised considerably as this transparency will ensure clarity on the company’s performance and rating meaning they won’t just look at your competition but look at a company that will provide the kind of service they want. And finally, with all this, there will be an increase in selectivity! Technology will be more efficient in keeping commercial messages at bay and consumers will become more discerning of doing business with a company with the help of new media.

So now, are you battle ready for marketing in 2020?