By Matthew Clyde
1. General Automation Platforms (GAPs) will unify data efforts
Not to be confused with Marketing Automation Platforms, GAPs are API integration platforms enabling organizations to easily connect disparate marketing technologies across departments to share data, automate processes and streamline operations. The widespread adoption of cloud applications over the last decade has surfaced data connectivity and application integration challenges, which are amplified by the recent trend of decreasing IT budgets. With seamless user interfaces and code-free drag-and-drop functionalities, GAPs don’t require specialized talent to implement sophisticated workflows across all teams, departments and technologies – making them appealing for all business professionals. GAPs will soon become the must-have technology component for every Marketing Technology stack across both Enterprise and SMB organizations. I predict 2020 to be their coming-out party as companies continually strive for competitive advantages and improved go-to market pace. The GAPs on the market are powerful, proven and primed to take center stage.
2. Consumer data privacy needs will only get larger
If nothing else, the last two years have taught us that digital data privacy and protection of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) are rapidly growing concerns of consumers globally. As a result, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was passed and made enforceable by EU law May 25, 2018. GDPR was the first of its kind – and it didn’t stand alone for long. GDPR was quickly followed by the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), a very similar California law expanding the privacy rights of California residents, going in effect January 1, 2020.
These regulations are the tip of the iceberg and signal the inevitability of full U.S. adoption in the near future. Many organizations were prepared for these regulations, while others have scrambled to quickly become compliant. Because of this growing scrutiny around data management policies, I’m predicting organizations in 2020 will prioritize partnerships with companies that strengthen their data governance and privacy compliance standards. Those prepared to meet this rapid rise in demand for compliant data management should expect 2020 to be a year of growth.
3. Political advertising will divide the social media advertising landscape
If I were in a bold mood, and I am, I’d say 2020 will shake up the social media advertising landscape dramatically. Twitter has already made the first move, declaring it won’t accept political advertising in what will probably be the most important election year in decades. It’s hard to say if Facebook will follow suit, but my guess is that defining political advertising will become increasingly difficult in the age of boosted content and “alternative facts”. Which means even if they do decide to ban political ads, we’re going to be inundated with even more, wildly opaque messages of dubious origin and purpose. If it’s bad or unusually rancorous, I’m guessing that it could break Facebook, or at least force a legislative reckoning in 2021.
4. OTT will finally dominate
Will 2020 finally be the year for Over-the-top (OTT) video content? I’ve been predicting it’s dominance each year for five years, and it still hasn’t quite gotten to where it needs to be. In order for OTT to finally take launch, we need to overhaul how we think about “reach” and to return it from the raw volumetric expression that the age of digital display has pushed it to, back to the idea of reach as a share of available audience. That said, I think we’ll find increasing demand for short video content pieces of increasingly high quality. OTT will forever change the definition of a “video view” and may even create uniformity among view counts across social platform, moving closer to what we intuitively think of when we consider what a video view is versus how it is currently defined.
5. Consumers will seek for the human in digital touchpoints
As the world becomes seemingly more technical, people are only craving a more human experience. Marketers are able to narrow down their audiences to specific demographics based on clear-cut characteristics – whether it means a 20-something living in the Bay Area interested in coffee culture or a Floridian retiree looking to purchase a home. In 2020, MarTech and Data Transformation are going to create marketing campaigns that will finally reach exactly who you want, and no one you don’t.
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