By Josh Oakley
2020! We’re already one month in! It’s a new decade that will inevitably bring new innovations that change the world around us. As a sampler of what the future may hold, I’ve gone and read over 20 trends reports, read a bunch of ‘future’ articles and listened to futurist hosted podcasts to give you a succinct summary of the year ahead and beyond.
2019 was all about VR, AR, 5G and self-driving cars, and many believe it’s still about that in 2020. But in one global survey, the most transformative technology is recognised to be ‘renewable energy’.
Brandwatch states that advances in renewable technology were recognised as the technology most likely to change the consumer world in 2020. It’s an insight into where consumer mindsets are lingering – perhaps reflecting on where people want to see change rather than what’s realistically expected? Either way we spend a LOT of time on windfarms and solar farms – and the rate of innovation and potential at both a commercial and residential level is huge.
Automation and AI will continue to evolve along with societal tensions around the extent of which machines integrate into our lives. Voice is also tipped to grow, and the sometimes baffling (and honestly, very odd) Google Duplex might get an international release in Australia towards the end of the year.
Gartner has tipped many technological changes in 2020, of which ‘human augmentation’ has the greatest potential and application. Chips that increase our memory capacity? Exoskeletons that enhance our weightlifting ability? Wearables might soon become integrated into our bodies. In fact, that Apple watch you’ve got on your wrist? Well, Elon Musk believes robot surgeons will be sewing those electrodes into our brains this year…
Human robot or robot human?
Video as content
Unintentional bias disclaimer: But video... well, it’s still king. All sorts of marketers believe the use of video content will only accelerate in 2020. Largely, it’s the content of video and its distribution platforms that are expected to evolve. According to Hubspot, with (paid) video analytics, you can detect 300% more brand mentions than text monitoring alone.
The explosive rise of user generated video on Instagram and TikTok is also having significant influence on product-based brands, shifting control away from marketers. It reinforces the importance of being authentic in any video, from production value to character development.
Interestingly, measuring video effectiveness is still a minefield, compounded further by the redundancy of “vanity metrics” on social platforms. We’ll all have to dig deeper to successfully quantify what makes a video successful with new KPIs. Especially where content differs from advertising with no clear call-to-action or sales message.
Our take? Focusing on narrative development combined with optimisation for distribution across multiple platforms. An engaging narrative will always be the kicker to driving social engagement, and launching videos at the right time, in the right format, to the right people across multiple channels will give any individual piece of video content it’s best chance of success.
Here’s a list of top social media platforms in Australia if you were wondering. Though TikTok isn’t mentioned, it’s already slipped up to #14 below Yelp!
Global and personal optimism
Tying back to a tense political climate of mistrust, the #FakeNews era and a mobilising global movement demanding climate action, Wunderman Thompson, Mintel, TrendWatching, Forrester and basically every other trends report all conclude that brands in 2020 and beyond will move towards initiatives and respective marketing that prioritises planetary and social wellbeing. Targeting earthly survival particularly, more than 900 companies worldwide are building growth strategies that reduce carbon emissions, and this trend will likely continue to enlist new companies in 2020.
Ford’s report claims that for many brands, this type of CSR behaviour used to be a choice, but now is just an expectation demanded of them. The same study showed 40 per cent of adults dissuaded their friends or family from doing business with companies they don’t like. Anti word-of-mouth?
In Australia, personal health and wellness has been a regular trend but in 2020 there’s an expected focus on ‘digital health’ or ‘social self-care’. In fact, in 2019, a Google report showed that searches for the term ‘self -care’ have increased 100% in five years. Ford’s report claims we’re entering a loneliness epidemic largely thanks to social media. In 2019, the World Health Organisation (WHO) launched its first ever digital health guidelines, tabling a draft strategy on digital health 2020-2024. Noticed your friends deleting Facebook recently…?
There’s so many trends here it’s almost impossible to summarise. But here are three of the more interesting trends that we’re seeing take shape now:
Micro-learning: YouTube is the new university. With shrinking attention spans, bite size and low commitment forms of self-development are becoming the norm.
Privacy dichotomy: Fears of data breaches, suspicions around data collection and just general trust issues with brands could slowly diminish. At least according to Euromonitor, a demographic divide is very apparent, and the younger generations are happier to share their information if it benefits them.
Visual trends: OK, so this isn’t about behaviour, but it’s a nice visual way to round this off. Adobe’s 2020 trends offer a little preview into culture, based off data around stock imagery – it’s always a bit of fun. For the creatively inclined you can view Adobe’s report here.
In 2020, we’re making a conscious effort to deliver integrated content beyond video production alone. Though video production is still at our core, we’re strengthening our creative and strategic capabilities to deliver visual content that survives in the competitive and cluttered digital ecosystem and forms a part of a strategic plan. If you’d like to have a chat about your content or content strategy, shoot us an email: