3 Tech Trends You Need For Marketing To Survive In 2020

There’s no shortage of statistics prescribing and predicting the value of connected tech,  and all of them seem to center on the year 2020. 

While Cisco says 50 billion devices will be connected by then, Intel claims 200 billion. Telefonica predicts 90% of cars will be connected.

What does this all mean for marketers? What does an $80 billion smart home industry look like and what will change when we see a $1.7 trillion consumer spend via IoT devices?

The year 2020 is shaping up to be a strange new world for marketers. But there are three trends you can look to right now as continual change and ever-increasing velocity make the attention economy a reality.

  1. Conversation as a platform. With more than 3 million units already sold and the exponential increase in skills available, the Amazon Echo is bringing ‘conversation as a platform’ to life. The CRM and marketing implications are immeasurable, as brands are now gaining the ability to have real-time conversations with customers on a one-to-one basis. With all the emphasis on visual and onscreen UX/UI over the last decade, the world of audio interfaces and sound and discussion design will be a major force in interaction design moving forward.
  2. The rise of agents. First, the Internet was all about connecting people to information. Then, with the rise of social, it was all about connecting people to people. Now, with the amount of functionality people rely on digital properties for to live their lives, along with the increasing levels of automation that are becoming the new normal, we will see a rise in the number of digital agents acting on behalf of users. Whether you call them Web concierges, digital assistants or anything else, users will soon not have to spend time searching, browsing, buying or reserving goods and services online. Instead, their digital agent will do so for them, curating content and offers, and taking action on behalf of the user.
  3. Calm Design. Calm design is an approach that empowers users' peripheral attention and utilizes ambient awareness. It informs us that technology can communicate without speaking and that it should need as little of our attention as possible to inform. A car dashboard, a stoplight, a Roomba: these are all examples of calm design. Instead of text and image, it employs ambient tactics like sound, color, light and haptics that are distinct and vary between whispers and shouts. And as more connected products are able to communicate, and user attention deficit hits critical levels, calm design will become even more of an essential part of user experience and interaction design.

As processing speeds, AI, robotics and the IoT create a hyper-connected reality, and user attention becomes more scarce, marketers need to find ways to attract without distracting while engaging and empowering users with simple, compelling and useful messages.

Further, as we draw closer to the attention economy, the brands and marketers that continue to use interruptive, blatant appeals will be the ones ignored—and eventually driven to extinction.


Haydn Sweterlitsch will be presenting the opening keynote at the MediaPost IoT Marketing Forum in New York on August 3.
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