12 days of Trendmas

Data, analytics, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and customer experience are permeating all parts of the digital landscape. It is believed that these trends are likely to have significant disruptive potential over the next three to five years. Here are the trends you need to watch out for in 2020 and beyond.

1. Ever deeper personalisation will drive CX (Customer Experience) expectations across all industries

As marketers we need to walk in the steps of our customers asking how and where we can be more relevant, how we can be simpler to do business with, how can we make decision making easier, how we can help? CX, driven by deeper personalisation, is the key differentiator between brands today – would you recommend you?

2. Demand for transparency in data usage will continue to increase focus on 1st party data

Consumers have never been so aware of issues surrounding personal data security and privacy. Cookies are in crisis. Legislation mandates greater transparency. The best brands will go further with a distinctive, open, approach to 1st party data acquisition. This is more than a transactional value exchange, this is privacy as strategy and core to brand integrity.

3. Interactive formats will be key to transparent data capture (e.g. recommendation engines)

Brands moving away from 3rd party data will need to grow their 1st party data through innovative data capture techniques, often light touch and in the moment including simple surveys and onboarding programmes. Is 2020 the time to revisit the value of recommendation engines? 

4. Social and messaging channels will get commercial as China has created the model for it

You knew it was coming, we knew it was coming, the only surprise is it’s taken this long. Expect to see a host of commercial initiatives from social networks and messaging apps in 2020. For a taste of what’s to come check out the Chinese messaging market. Beyond this, the payments landscape is ever more fragmented. Brands need to keep up, enabling customers to pay their way. Can your data architecture and systems cope? 

5. Explainability will become a key battleground for AI (Artificial Intelligence) applications by brands

If you can step away from the hype you’ll see that AI techniques are key to delivering against today’s customer expectations at scale. As these techniques become more pervasive, and more sophisticated, there is a need to make them more explainable. This is vital to trust. GDPR has drawn a line in the sand. Watch this space.

6. Democratising analytics, new tools and platforms will enable wider use of advanced analytics

Data science has fast become a mainstream discipline, with data teams growing across organisations of all types. New tools and techniques are being developed to widen access to sophisticated models and algorithms through the cloud, you could even build your own Blockchain.

7. There will be an increasing brand focus on creating value for customers (including brand partnerships)

Customer loyalty is earned not given, it’s hard won and easily lost. So, how do you add value to your customer’s lives? What customer needs could you address? How can you stand-out from the pack? What partnerships might resonate with your audiences? How can you be more responsive and accessible at every touchpoint? What social causes can you credibly support and promote, how can you involve customers in a social mission?

8. Fragmentation of banking and payment options will continue

The payments landscape is becoming ever more fragmented, brands need to manage this transition enabling customers to pay their way, but also to recognise the importance of managing recurring, often tiny, revenues through as-a-service business models. Is your back-office fit for today’s purpose? 

9. Voice will become an increasingly important interface i.e. search, commerce, chat

Voice is an increasingly important interface (with Juniper anticipating 8bn voice assistants by 2023), potentially very powerful in terms of accessibility. How can you best leverage voice in your operations and customer interfaces? Can you balance virtual agents with human agents to address customer needs? How can voice enhance the mobile experience? What is your brand voice?

10. AR (Augmented Reality) will continue to grow to a far wider potential audience than VR (Virtual Reality), industrial applications are growing also

AR is another technology that seems to have taken time to emerge. Today there are an array of industrial applications leveraging AR for training and trouble shooting. How can you integrate AR into your service offering? How can AR create more comprehensive solutions for customers? How can AR enhance insight?

11. 5G to rollout, enabling next gen IOT applications, with Edge computing to the fore

5G is here, or at least in some places. And 2020 will certainly be a big year for 5G. Many of us we will discover what the hype was about. Streaming and video will surely grow and grow. It will accelerate the growth of the IOT (Internet-of-Things) enabling new services and propositions including connected cars. Gartner expect 20 billion connected things in 2020. Is this what wearables have been waiting for?  

12. Everything will be a service, authenticity, narrative, DTC brands will combat commoditisation

Everything as a service captures the dynamics of today’s market and focuses minds on end-to-end fulfilment as fundamental to the Customer Experience. It is linked to the growth of DTC brands but should also be viewed in the context of brand authenticity and storytelling. Your brand is key to combating commoditisation – and Amazon!

If you’d like to explore how you can realise the benefits of adopting these trends, please contact us at hello@profusion.com or call us on 020 7014 5450.

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