11 Nov 2020

As 2020 continues, the digital marketing landscape that encompasses SEO, PPC, social media, content marketing and more is witnessing a dramatic shift which any businesses can no longer ignore. There was a time when you could've dismissed AI or visual search as gimmicks from the latest blockbuster science fiction film, but that time is long gone now.
As a marketer that is what you are confronted with.

  • Increasing or Constant Complexity.
  • And keeping it short & simple requires time & effort.

We need the right tools, platforms, and technology to help manage the huge amounts of data and noise that overwhelm us online. are Key Digital Marketing trends that you need to keep your eye on particularly.

Programmatic Advertising

According to Matt Brocklehurst, Programmatic Advertising and Platforms Marketing Lead, Google, India is showing a lot of success when it comes to the use of programmatic advertising. India’s current level in programmatic advertising is 41%, so India is ahead of many Asia Pacific markets.

A form of programmatic advertising is called as the ‘programmatic guaranteed’. It is particularly of interest for India because there is a lot of engagement in India with programmatic guaranteed. One of the biggest advantages of programmatic is that you are dealing in a transparent environment. Looking at the penetration of programmatic advertising, India is going from 6 % to 17 %, which is almost a 3x growth in programmatic guaranteed.

Increasing complexity

Technology is large to be blamed for making marketing complex. But it’s also the solution. Making sense of tons of data, always on marketing and different forms of splintered media is something tech platforms do well. Right alongside sits different categories of the complex. Facebook advertising is a discipline that requires focus. Then add the dark science of Search Engine Optimisation and understanding the parts that require mastery.

The types of media we need to master include live streaming, Facebook videos, and GIFS and Infographics.  Then you need the tools of master marketing automation and artificial intelligence.

Marketing technology

Marketing technology is continuing to grow. According to Venture Beat, there has been over $134 billion invested in this category in startups within just 5 years. In 2018 IDC predicted that CMO’s will spend $32 billion on buying and implementing Marketing solutions.

It has 3 core categories. B2B marketing, B2C marketing, and advertising technology. It should not be seen as one size that fits all.

According to Ajay Agarwal in an article on TechCrunch, there is an interesting topic between spending on marketing versus sales between B2B and B2C. B2B companies spend more on their front-end sales than on marketing that forms a ratio of 10:1. B2C spends a lot more on marketing with an inverse ratio of 10:1 ( marketing & sales ).

We can expect to see Salesforce dominate B2B marketing tech as it is the dominant sales tool for B2B globally. According to him the key trend and opportunity as one in which a B2C marketing company can create a B2C system of record from the start of the customer journey to sale.

4. The rise and rise of algorithms

The beauty of social media networks is their simplicity. They flow past you unfiltered.

Twitter is a distilled stream of unfettered consciousness. Facebook is a flowing page of diverse ideas and people. But things have changed.

The need to generate revenue from the platforms meant that algorithms needed to be programmed to ensure that the social networks could start to monetize their distribution. The organic reach that initially excited marketers, writers, and entrepreneurs have been dialed back.

Also, the volume of data has exploded in the last 10 years driven by the two obsessive technologies of social media and smartphones. To make sense of that as humans mean we need help from the machines. And they run on algorithms.

Why do we need algorithms?

To get data that is relevant it needs to be filtered. Here are some figures relating to the global digital snapshot of the size of the ecosystem that confronts us.

  • 5.97 billion hours of YouTube are watched each day
  • 4.3 billion Facebook messages are posted every day
  • 67 million images are posted on Instagram every 24 hours
  • 269 billion emails are sent 24/7 on each day

How algorithms are applied

Algorithms help marketers and entrepreneurs break through the clutter. They reach your target markets on Amazon, Tripadvisor, search engines and even in email marketing.

  • Amazon – products or books you like based on past activity and other secret codes.
  • Search – Content or information you want to find.
  • Social – Any communication platform
  • Emails – Gmail uses an algorithm that sorts it into tabs and also sends it automatically to spam based on its filters.
  • GPS – Help us navigate destinations or find our way to a hotel.
  • Choose a restaurant – Reviews on Yelp/Tripadvisor.

So we need to keep ourselves updated, how they work and learn to work with them as they continue to change and shape shift.

Platforms and apps

The web is shifting from Internet of websites to an Internet of apps and platforms. You may not have noticed it but it is still happening. In 2014 more people accessed the Internet through mobile apps than desktop computers for the very first time.

According to research, In 2017 over 86% of our time is spent on apps of our mobile phones.

This big trend is something that cannot be ignored and marketers are going to find out how they reach consumers via apps and platforms. The obvious answer to this will be the rise of Facebook advertising from the platform and also applying marketing tactics to apps like Messenger and WhatsApp.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence plays a major role in the marketing process today. AI analyzes consumer behavior and search patterns, utilize data from social media platforms and blog posts to help businesses know how users and customers find their products and services. AI also offers required information and tips to users by getting into conversations. According to Gartner, by 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be done without the need for a human.

Businesses adopting AI in 2020 will be able to perform in cost-effective ways and accelerate growth, getting an edge over their competitors.

Chatbots were maybe the first obvious use of AI for marketing with their abilities to handle initial inquiries without the need for human intervention.  But there are some other ways AI is being used and imagined for improving marketing performance and scaling. Many customers prefer interacting with chatbots as they are responsive and give answers immediately and accurately and never lose patience. These virtual assistants offer outstanding customer service, meeting customers’ expectations and automating tasks repetitive in nature & let organizations focus on more important work.

Uber uses chatbot technology to communicate with customers, thus making it easy for them to hire cars even on Facebook Messenger. Passengers can use the menu to choose the type of ride, make a request, track the location of the car, send friends a time estimate of their journey, and even make payment.

But let’s take a closer look at just 3 ways you can use AI

Content creation

An AI program called WordSmith produced 1.5 billion section of content in 2016. Content includes both creation & curation. An Intelligence tool like Rocco  can recommend content from social media that your followers are likely to love.

Pay per click advertising

Making sure that you are making the best use of your budget while performing paid ad campaigns with any investment means AI becomes an attractive option.

Email marketing

Making email smarter instead of a blunt tool for just broadcasting is something that AI offers. AI can improve the delivery timing to achieve the best open rates, target customers with the right emails and even recommend products users want to buy.

McKinsey research estimates that Amazon generated 35% of its revenue through email marketing.


Video Marketing continues to emerge as a visual marketing trend that sits in a variety of buckets. Simply we can place them in 3 categories. 30-second ad style, live and pre-recorded for social.

Check out these figures on video marketing from Forbes:

  • As per YouTube, mobile video consumption grows by 100% every year.
  • The video is projected to claim +80% of all web traffic by 2020.
  • Adding a video to marketing emails can boost CTR by 200-300%.
  • 90% of customers report that product videos help them make buying decisions.
  • 64% of customers are more likely to buy any product online after watching a video about it.


The traditional 30-second video 20 years ago was typically created 4 times a year with a 2 million dollar budget for each. The trends that are transforming video today are driven by social media realities of live streaming and 6-second videos.

Live Streaming;

Live streaming is the hot new trend of Facebook (Facebook Live), LinkedIn, Twitter with Periscope and YouTube with its Live Events

According to Livestream, 80% people would watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video over social posts.

And live streaming is a form of content only. But the challenge with any form of video is doing or performing it well.

The 6 seconds pre-recorded video

According to AdAge, Facebook has been telling its video advertisers to hit people with faster messages. The 6-second video emerged as ideal timing for any video in a recent test conducted with Tropicana.

Tropicana compared the videos that were 6, 15 and 30 seconds long from Facebook ads. The shortest one saw a higher brand metrics across the board, Sandberg said.

Companies like Shuttlerock are using technology to scale 6-second video ads and are riding the wave of the most effective length for a video.

But the challenge for all video is the messaging.  The video is now often watched in silence with subtitles running so people can also read while viewing.

Influencer marketing

The rise of ad blocking means that reaching your target audience via influencers is on the rise. A study by PageFair and Adobe shows that online consumers are becoming more frustrated with adverts interrupting their browsing experience. In June 2015, 198 million people used ad-blocking browser extensions.

Today's end users make their decision to buy based on either recommendation from friends and family, or from other online influencers they admire and trust.

Also, the reason influencer marketing trend is captivating is its performance. Check these stats on the effectiveness of influencer marketing:

  • Most of the Businesses earn approximately $6.50 for every $1 they spend on influencer marketing.
  • 81% of marketers who have used influencer marketing deemed it as effective.
  • 86% of women turn to social media platforms before making a buying decision.
  • Influencer marketing delivers 11x higher ROI than traditional ways of digital marketing.

There are also 2 categories of influencer marketing. B2C is about building brand awareness and B2B is more about lead generation and measurable results.


Personalized content has become a major aspect of marketing and will remain important as 2020 progresses to ensure customer delight. It delivers a fantastic & chaos free experience to customers based on their choices and preferences and is considered a better option than one-size-fits-all marketing.

With the availability of data like purchase history, consumer behavior and links clicked, businesses can customize their content and boost their ROI & sales. Also, 74% of marketers believe that targeted personalization enhances customer engagement.

In fact, Kevin George, Head of Marketing at EmailMonks, says, The future of e-mail is real-time, behavior-based personalization. A study by Marketo shows that personalized & triggered e-mails based on behavior are 3x better than the batch-and-blast e-mails.

These days  Businesses are leveraging the power of personalization by customizing emails based on behavior, interests, and demographics. According to Statista, the open rate for e-mails with a personalized message was 18.8% as compared to one without any personalization i.e. 13.1%.


This year & the coming one looks promising for digital marketers. It provides tremendous new opportunities for brands to interact with its target market in a whole new way. User experience has become the most important factor for digital transformation, and 2020 will be more about Personalization and Conversion Rate Optimization.

Whether you are incorporating visual search in your strategy or adopting AI, you will be able to create engaging content, reach a larger and better-targeted audience, generate more leads and increase conversions.