The triple threat of AI, IoT and 5G are the buzzwords of 2020, bringing in new products, services and partnerships that we could never have imagined just a few years ago. For marketers, this new dawn brings not only new offerings, but it also enhances the ways they engage their customers, reduce cost, predict campaign outcomes and improve efficiency. Let’s countdown eMarketer’s Top 10 Tech Trends for 2020, based on key topics at the CES in Las Vegas this year. .
1) The Internet is becoming smarter thanks to AI
We’ve already witnessed the products and systems born from the AI-IoT (Internet of Things) combination: suitcases that follow owners, magic mirrors that suggest suitable skincare products, the list goes on. As the two become inseparable, AI continues to feed IoT’s intelligence with machine learning, facial and speech recognition, object detection and more.
Benefits to Marketers: AI helps with optimising systems, reducing costs, automating decisions, personalising customer service as well as detecting fraud, waste and abuse. It will build upon programmatic advertising, ad targeting and dynamic creative to make even more personalised and measurable campaigns.Can
2) 5G finally has meaning
While 5G networks are still being built and tested, we’ve long been excited about the boundless possibilities it’ll unveil. When carriers introduce 5G plans in 2020, we will finally see the true value of 5G. Though experts foresee a slow adoption in the beginning, 78% of smartphones are expected to run on 5G by 2023.
Benefits to Marketers: The actuality of 5G technology means AR, VR and 360-degree video applications will finally be accessible to general users and not just limited to conferences and events. 5G and wireless networks such as Wi-Fi6 will transform every industry worldwide by allowing devices to connect faster and new services and functions to manifest. For example, cloud-based untethered AR and VR experiences and multi-angle 360-degree videos for gaming and sporting events will soon be within reach. Marketers in media, ad tech and gaming should start thinking outside the box with applications that exploit 5G speeds.
3) Data Privacy tops charts
Big tech companies are implementing privacy-focused product improvements. Google, for instance, introduced privacy-focused voice commands for Google Assistant that give users more control over what’s recorded on their devices, with commands like “Hey Google, are you saving my audio data”, “Hey Google, delete everything I said to you today”.
Benefits to Marketers: Last June, a survey published by the CMO Council found that more than half of marketers worldwide believed that data security, privacy and accountability were among the most critical demands of modern consumers. Therefore, following the footsteps of these tech mega-giants, companies are encouraged to use data in innovative and non-invasive ways whilst still being able to present customised and personalised offerings: going forward, this is the only way to win consumers’ loyalty.
4) Upped Connected Mobility Means Upped Partnerships
A trailblazer in this category is auto, which is increasingly helmed with services connected to the internet, cloud, each other, their surroundings and more. An exciting partnership to look forward includes Chinese automaker Byton’s M-Byte electric SUV with ViacomCBS to bring live streaming entertainment to the car’s 48-inch screen; AccuWeather for weather information; and CloudCar for a growing collection of infotainment services and more.
Benefits to Marketers: Synergistic partnerships will form across automotive and tech companies; as such marketers will be able to tap into platforms for customer service, targeted messaging, ecommerce and other personalised communications.
5) Interactive Technology Simplifies Tech
As Alexa and Google Assistant continue to translate its multilingual voice integration into other gadgets –TV, eyeglasses, jewellery and vehicles – tech is also welcoming voice-gesture control to improve user experiences. Both motion and voice can start and stop the water flow for U by Moen Smart Faucet, for instance. Other companies, meanwhile, are literally melding tech into everyday life: televisions that turn into artwork when left idle, Google smart-home devices made from materials that blend into existing décor and more.
Benefits to Marketers: Consumers are looking for easy, minimal obtrusion and uncomplicated devices. In a December 2019 Adobe survey, almost 80% of respondents said ease of use was important, second to only quality, when purchasing an electronic device. This trend in simplification should also apply to user experience – easily comprehendible but still interesting, captivating and enhances our lives.
6) TV makes a comeback
As video content becomes more diverse and intriguing, consumers are returning to the biggest screen – TVs, which are becoming more interesting as they incorporate AI and challenge the 8K ultra-high-definition offering. As well, foldables, whether in laptop or phones, are, too, making a come back. Big screens are only in demand because streaming video content has exploded. According to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), consumers’ time spent on video streaming is expected to increase by 29% this year, from $18.7 billion to $24.1 billion.
Benefits to Marketers: The debut of advanced, multi-purpose, multi-featured screens and programmes will also prompt new tools to measure and analyse corresponding consumer behaviours and habits, presenting new tools for marketers to engage with their audience.
7) XR gets Real
AR, VR and MR are crowd-pleasers at conferences sure, but bulky headsets, high costs and massive power consumption make them just that. So as companies develop more user-friendly hardware, never-before-seen technology like parallel reality – where users can view personalised content on the same screen – and gadgets controlled by brainwaves are also coming into the playing field.
Benefits to Marketers: The realisation of virtual worlds, immersive technologies, augmented realities and 5G allows for endless possibilities whether in entertainment, education, customer assistance, and even promotion or advertising. As such, storytellers will soon have the chance to deliver one-on-one, personalised content that wouldn’t otherwise be practical, possible or even economical. This
8) Tech in Health
While we as the general public only know of fitness trackers and wireless headphones, the healthcare world is bringing tech into hospitals and healthcare systems: think sensors to detect arrhythmia, smart glasses that help dyslexic people stay focused and more.
Benefits to Marketers: The technology advancement in this realm will soon give way to sophisticated wearables and hearables that offer higher comfort levels and are better tuned to help people manage individual health and wellness, and eventually aid authorities in planning better healthcare systems. Marketers can make good use of this opportunity to build new products, services and campaigns that exploit these devices.
9) Using Tech in Ways that Matter
Ridiculous inventions are not novel, and this rings true even in the day and age of technology. For instance, is a cat litter box fitted with urine and stool image recognition necessary? Or a bassinet that rocks babies to sleep just an excuse for new parents to stay in bed rather than doing their jobs?
Benefits to Marketers: Though not a new trend, per se, marketers need to jump out of the pigeon hole and take an objective look as to whether their products or services actually add value to consumers.
10) Sustainability Matters
As big tech companies continue to live up to their commitments of reducing carbon footprint and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the auto industry, too, is leaning towards electric vehicles, and food production companies are, also, looking into greener measures. The explosive success of plant-based Impossible Foods, for instance, is a great example.
Benefits to Marketers: The public is demanding faster action from governments and private sectors to save mother earth. For brand marketers, adding sustainable initiatives to your brand can improve its image, be positioned as a leader on various environment issues, and enhance competitive advantage.