The new decade is finally here with a bunch of new and familiar trends to look at, and with most of them already impacting every company’s digital strategy for good.
You surely are aware of some of the most interesting ones, like those affecting marketing and advertising (e.g. Facebook introducing shoppable posts on Instagram or mobile-first indexing taking the scene of SEO like never before). Yet, with a forward-looking eye, we believe there are some others which will prove fundamental to tap into – as they will be shaping your digital evolution this year and we bet are here to stay.
We gathered a list of 10 strategic themes you just don’t want to ignore in 2020… and likely for the next couple of years.
Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots
This is a trend you’ve found in any top-something list for the past 4 years at least, but at first it wasn’t clear how it would turn into a “mass” thing till quite recently. Nowadays we’re all getting used to it and it is pervading our everyday life. For early-adopters, AI represents a competitive advantage and often times a great way to save on costs while innovating and engaging with their customers.
Among the dozens way AI can be applied to a business, chatbots are for sure the most accessible, immediate form. So, it’s no surprise chatbots are having a huge success when employed for customer service and basic communications.
With them growing more and more complex and sophisticated, we will surely assist to new forms of customization, selling strategies and content creation by the virtual hands of chatbots.
Which leads us directly to point n. 2
One of the major advantages of using chatbots is you can actually start a conversation with your customers and making it scalable. While nothing can beat the value of a human-to-human conversation, chatbots are a great give-and-take indeed. Even a value booster, in a way, because of their scalability. Bots, in fact, can be up 24/7 and manage thousands interactions together, with virtually zero time-response, while maintaining the customer curiosity quite high.
Whether through bots or through humans – better if with a mix of the two – you may be wondering why should you integrate conversational into your strategy?
Easy. Because through it you meet your customers where they actually are, when they want to be met and you talk to them in their own language. In a conversation, you basically behave just like them. That generates feeling between the customer and your brand. A feeling, an empathy, that will turn into more conversions and increased loyalty, just to name a few.
In 2019, we saw Alexa and Google Assistant entering our houses and taking us straight to a new era of UX.
So, it’s easy to imagine your customers being about to buy a new product from your e-commerce or simply consulting a certain section of your mobile app by voice.
And guess what? The natural context for vocal search to happen is the chat. Again, conversational becomes essential to not being caught by surprise when the “future” arrives.
Let’s face it: Cambridge Analytica scandal has had more consequences on our everyday life than we could imagine, both as marketers and as private citizens. Private, that’s the word.
Privacy has become a leitmotiv crowned by the GDPR. Since then, maybe even unconsciously, our preferences gradually shifted from public social walls to private interactions. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram and similar apps grew and are still growing, so much that even Mark Zuckerberg admitted the future is in private messaging.
Definitely a channel to study on, isn’t it?
The old but always valuable marketing pillar as per which you should reach the right person, with the right message at the right time finds one of its best digital translations in push notifications.
Way more appealing than outdated SMS and with a much higher open rate than emails, push notifications have been rising in the past few months. So much that they are now used by the majority of websites and basically every mobile app. Think about it: they give the users you want to connect with an always renewed reason to open the app and actually use it – particularly when triggered by behaviour.
How could your app work without them?
Maybe you’ve heard about Google Lens. Or maybe not. Though being not yet as famous as other Google products, Lens is one of those features you are about to consider unmissable and with whom you could do a lot. Especially with Pinterest having its own version of it, followed by Bing or apps like CamFind.
Visual search engines are the equivalent of music recognition for images (Shazam, anyone?) and are allow the user to recognize any kind of image and find for similar ones and where to buy them. Just think of what an opportunity that is for apparels, home goods, fashion, and such.
That is not the only application of visual search, though: they can be used to find info about books, barcodes of any product, buildings and touristic places, or to save business cards details and adding events to your calendar just by framing a flyer with your smartphone.
As one of the most empowering forms of edge computing, for companies IoT means more data. Lots of. I’m talking of data that were unavailable before, like deep funnel data, or… well, the kind of data personas were created for.
In 2020, advertisers will have full hands on it as well, with IoT advertising announced as the next revolution for ads.
Whichever their application, we are sure IoT is another of those trends that are there to stay. Especially with 5G on the rise.
“The arrival of 5G may also finally bring millions of rural consumers into the high-speed data lanes where marketers increasingly sell their products. It might even disrupt the digital duopoly of Google and Facebook by arming telecom companies with unprecedented data for ad services.”
Imagine an uninterrupted, lag-free experience. Enough said.
With distributed cloud, data centres can be located anywhere, solving both technical issues like latency and regulatory data sovereignty issues.
It also offers the benefits of a public cloud service alongside the benefits of a private, local cloud. In addition to that, in a distributed cloud the cloud provider is responsible for all aspects of cloud service architecture, delivery, operations, governance and updates.
Democratizing technology can mean many things and it’s mentioned in many ways as one of the trends that will dominate 2020. To us as a software company, it has the face of low-code development for our customers – I’m thinking of ICT departments and to development frameworks in particular.
Development frameworks (both for web and mobile) are already very popular among developers, and we believe the need for them will increase this year as well as in the next few ones, as long as they can help with time saving, money saving, increased security and reduced complexity.