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Predicting the biggest media, marketing and technology trends in 2020 

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Welcome to our round-up of some of the key themes coming through in end-of-year predictions.  

 Trust goes mainstream 

We’ve been talking about trust for years, but now even Forbes is saying that trust will be an increasingly promoted value by brands in the next few years: “By 2023, 50% of the G2000 will name a Chief Trust Officer, who orchestrates trust across functions including security, finance, HR, risk, sales, production and legal.” 
You can download our 2019 trust research here. 


Security and privacy  

Fallout from Cambridge Analytica, the banking royal commission and numerous failures by tech companies to protect customer data have created an environment where customers are demanding greater transparency and action from brands when it comes to their personal information. IBM’s Institute for Business Value survey 2019 revealed:  

  • 81 per cent of consumers have become more concerned about how companies use their data
  • 87 percent think companies should be more heavily regulated on personal data management 

Consumers may even be willing to pay a premium for increased security or jump ship to a provider of a service (such as a bank) that makes privacy central to its model.  

Anti-surveillance products such as Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and adblockers will only increase in popularity. How will marketers who have formerly relied on access to consumer data deal with this change?  

According to analysis from Forrester, “2020 is poised to be the ‘year of the privacy regulator.’ As a result, privacy and data ethics will rightfully take their place on the boardroom agenda.”  


Sustainability throughout the production cycle  

Worldwide momentum for the sustainability movement (with a year of climate marches and protests, as well as a number of mega-brands highlighting their new sustainable practices) has reshaped the image of “environmental” as a mainstream concern. Eco and sustainable options are no longer niche; they’re what the majority is expecting.  

Tied to this is Forrester’s prediction that in 2020 consumers will increasingly seek out brands that support community, social and environmental causes. 


Direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands and services  

News media is no stranger than subscription models and direct-to-consumer products! Now it seems more and more industries are following suitFMCG is particularly vulnerable to disruption as customer demand for everything from DTC meal kits to toothbrushes. As always, disruption also reveals new opportunities: Nike took the DTC approach to grow its revenue with launch of its NIKEiD online service. 



The next generation of connectivity is here with the global development of 5G networks (the current standard is 4G). Apple’s 2020 iPhone will likely have 5G connectivity, a move that will likely set the standard for smartphone manufacturers.  

5G means faster download and upload speeds, enabling data to be shared around the world more rapidly than ever, enabling new technological developments and greater connectivity.  

For news media5G will help enable faster communication between reporters and newsrooms, innovative storytelling capabilities and data-intensive broadcasting. 


Hyper-personalisation and customer experience (CX)

Marketing Magazine’s 2020 predictions focus on a shift to employing technological advances to provide a unique experience for individual customers. Some of the key technologies supporting increased personalisation include artificial intelligence (AI), predictive analytics and automation.  


What else? 

Brands are likely to continue to explore the potential of AR and VR for content delivery and advertising. In fact, Medium says that in 2020 social media will be more visual, with increasing use of images, video, AR and VR. 

Podcasts will continue to form part of newsroom and brand content strategies, hopefully with better monetisation strategies. Overall, podcast ads are predicted to hit US$1 billion in media spend. 

Similarly, increasing adoption of smart speakers will justify increased investment into voice tech: sonic branding, audio logos, text-to-voice and more. News media will also benefit.  

It’s set to be another exciting year filled with change and disruption!  


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Filed Under: Features, Opinion