Our 2019 Predictions – Did We Get It Right?

2019 was a big year for digital marketing. Due to the fast acceleration and the increasing need for digital marketing, eMarketer has estimated that worldwide digital ad spending will reach over $375 billion by 2021. Therefore, it’s important to keep on top of ever changing trends in the industry. Last year, we predicted what we thought would be the biggest trends of 2019; carry on reading to see if we were correct.

Chatbots will become more ‘normal’ to consumers

According to Comm100’s ‘live chat benchmark report’, the current statistics (as of December 2019) of chatbot usage state that 79,943 chats are fielded by chatbots per month and 59% of total chats involve a chatbot. In addition, 70% of millennials also report having had a positive chatbot experience. Customers expectations and attitude towards chatbots has definitely become normalised and more positive with Hubspot reporting that 47% of consumers are open to buying items from a chatbot. We can all agree that chatbots are on the rise, and that you wouldn’t think twice about conversing with one on a website. 



Voice search will continue to rise

Statista have estimated that “there are an estimated 3.25 billion digital voice assistants being used in devices around the world”, while PWC reported that “65% of 25-49 year old’s speak to their voice-enabled devices at least once a day.” Consequently, our prediction was correct, with a vast number of people using voice search this past year thanks to smart devices including Siri, Alexa and Google. PWC also stated that “search, advertising, content and commerce are being impacted industry-wide as consumers transform the way they interact with brands as a result of voice technology”. This is why at Return, we have had a particular focus on ‘long-tail’ searches which have increased over the last 12 months. An example of a long-tail search would be “where is the best place to buy hair extensions”, whereas a short-tail search would be “best hair extensions”.

Voice technology

Voice search


SEO will be improved through topics instead of keywords

Over the past few years, SEO marketers have been adapting to what’s being described as ‘content clusters’, where the algorithm favours topics instead of keywords. And this has been evident throughout 2019 also, making our prediction correct. Moreover, SEO experts are predicting that the future of SEO lies in search results optimised based on user intent instead of the past focus on keyword matching. 



Video will continue to dominate digital marketing

It’s still accurate to say that video is a key element of digital marketing and one of the most favourable types of ads. In Oberlo’s report on video marketing statistics, the company commented that “54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support” and that “88% of video marketers are satisfied with the ROI of their video marketing efforts on social media’”. Therefore, the success of video advertising is still continuing to dominate digital marketing and so brands need to continue to invest in video advertising over the next few years. Now that video can be used alongside user metrics, valuable data on how the videos are performing can create impressive gains.



Snack ads will see more usage from brands

Snack ads, also known as bumper ads, have become a great way for brands to capture attention quickly. As our human attention span is getting shorter, there has become more of a need for snack ads and data conducted by Ipsos states “paid YouTube mobile advertising time is 84% more likely to receive attention than TV advertising”. Brands have really utilised snack ads on Youtube this year, so it’s fair to say that this prediction was correct.

Snack ads


The Verdict

Seems like we were pretty spot on with our predictions last year. It’s becoming even more evident the importance of digital marketing so if you want to find out more about how Return can help your business grow, get in touch

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