20 Predictions for 2020

Jan 09, 2020 • Aaron Goldman

Now that we’re more than one week into the new decade – dubbed the roaring twenties redux – it’s time to put a stake in the ground with predictions for the coming year. Here are 10 key trends we expect to emerge and engage this year along with a greatest hits of 4C thought leadership links from last year. To see the corresponding 10 opportunities 4C will explore and exploit in 2020, please see part deux.

More consumer time will move into closed ecosystems.

There’s simply no other place where people can get the personalization they expect combined with the privacy they demand – well-manicured walled gardens, indeed.

More ad spend will move into closed ecosystems.

For marketers, there’s no better place to get transparency and performance. The magic formula is audience plus context.

More media platforms will light up closed ecosystems.

When it comes to Convergent TV and rethinking OTT, the onus is on networks to combine their captive audiences and premium content and make them available via automated and addressable platforms.

Linear TV will remain a powerful marketing platform.

Cord-cutting and cord-nevering may be very real but there are still plenty of people watching good old fashioned television and plenty of advertisers using the medium to elicit evergreen emotions.

Brand sponsorships will become pervasive on streaming platforms.

We all know ad-supported OTT and CTV are on the rise – up 650% year-over-year combined with e-commerce ads through Scope by 4CTM – but 2020 will bring significant investment in brand integrations and sponsorships, especially as these players secure rights to more original content and live sports. What’s happening with the NCAA is only the beginning.

Business outcomes will become the de facto evaluation standard for cross-channel video ads.

As marketers – 77% of them in the UK – start moving from mass-reach to targeted precision with video, performance will be evaluated based on business outcomes not proxy metrics.

Stories will be reimagined and reinvented.

We’ve known for some time that Stories are the future for social platforms and a solution to some short-term problems. Over the course of this year Stories will take a very different shape – literally and figuratively – on Facebook, Instagram, et. al. Beyond mere bubbles in your app, formats and use cases will be varied to bring more commercial value to the user experience.

Privacy will become a competitive advantage.

The biggest media and tech companies have largely benefitted from the latest legislation in the US and Europe due to their ability to win the trust – and opt-ins – of consumers as part of personalizing content in their apps. This is particularly important when it comes to the murky waters of politics in an election year. From a brand perspective, those that got out ahead of CCPA and are future-proofing their data collection strategies will win the battle for consumer consent and customer connection.

Agencies will make themselves indispensable.

The role of the agency changed dramatically in the last decade but the coming year will land agencies on solid ground through a combination of brain and brawn. In an era of in-sourcing, agencies can provide tremendous value as objective stewards of insights while serving as the translation, nay, transformation layer of brand assets.

Brand intelligence will separate the wheat from the chaff.

If data is the new economy of scale then intelligence is the new currency. It’s about being able to quickly assess what’s resonating across audiences, media, and creative (even emojis).

OK, so what are we gonna do about all this? Check out our follow up post to see 10 predictions for how 4C will capitalize on this outlook.

Time will tell how everything comes together but suffice it to say we’re ready to get roaring. I’ll stop short of using the 2020 vision pun but I do look forward to looking back on this list with 2020 hindsight next year.

Subscribe to the 4C’s Insights newsletter here.