Innovation to me means trying to predict what will come and doing your best to handle it. The best organizations are focusing on raising the bar instead of merely problem-solving which simply returns you to the status quo.
This is why today we are talking about 2020 predictions. Even though the year has already started, there is still a lot of time for your business to adapt to the coming changes in our industry and beyond.
Let’s jump right in.
Marketing Attribution Gets Harder
Attribution is one of the most talked-about topics within my client organizations. Despite everyone focusing on it, few companies feel satisfied with how they are attributing the success of their marketing campaigns.
Part of the reason is that attribution providers like Facebook and Google can’t seem to agree on the same numbers. There are always discrepancies that don’t seem to have a clear cause.
I talked briefly about mobile attribution before and the same principles apply to all kinds of attribution. Pick one source, understand your current stage and add complexity over time.
The trend for 2020 is that attribution will continue to get harder. Google and Facebook will continue to withhold data, users will continue to block tracking and the introduction of new providers like Amazon will complicate things.
The introduction of laws like CCPA in California is a sign of things to come. Other states (and countries) will continue to adopt privacy bills that aimed to limit and fine businesses for how they store and use customer data.
We are also starting to see fines come in from the GDPR and this is forcing businesses to reevaluate how exposed they are when it comes to their data.
Organize your data, stop collecting useless data points and get serious about how you will manage and use customer information should be an important consideration for any 2020 strategy.
Machine Learning in China
We hear a lot of machine learning and AI within our industry and most of it is used to fix good but minor problems in our lives. Google Photos can automatically detect faces in our photos or Facebook improves how ad targeting is done.
We are now starting to see machine learning being used in significant political situations such as how China is using it to racially profile its citizens. For good or bad, this will be the evolution of AI and machine learning in 2020.
Increased Political Pressure on Facebook and Google
Facebook, Google, and other tech giants will continue to face political pressure over who benefits from their massive influence. Besides the 2020 American Presidential election, it is becoming clear that a small group of companies are able to influence political decisions all over the world.
Tech giants will battle regulation and try to avoid similar fates of companies like Rockerfeller Standard Oil which also had a monopoly on a market until the government broke it apart.
In my opinion, it is unlikely that governments around the world will allow their world to be dictated by folks living in the tech bubble known as San Francisco.
Tools Matter Less
Finally, expect specific tools to matter less. I’m consistently finding that my clients don’t have issues with their software providers but instead have issues with a lack of skills and direction.
We are now getting to a point where you can find 5 – 10 solid, mature options for any given use (e.g. attribution, user behavior, etc) so companies should spend more time fixing the other weak chains in their system. I talk about the 3Ps of Strategy: People, Process and Providers, and companies should spend more time thinking about people and process and less on providers.
As you think about your growth in 2020, keep these ideas in mind. Your company will have to address privacy at some point and your attribution will become more complex. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.