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Written by: Madhu Chadha – Digital Marketing Consultant for WSI

#1: Google Searches Resulting in “Zero Clicks” Will Increase (Again)

The number of “Zero Click” searches will rise again in 2020, just as it has in each of the last three years. A “Zero Click” search is one that results in zero websites receiving a visit via a clickthrough on the SERP. Unfortunately for marketers, ad and organic clicks are steadily on the decline and over the next 12 months, we expect marketers to focus on optimizing their web content on Google’s own properties (YouTube, Maps, Images, Knowledge Panels, etc) in an attempt to offset any negative impact to their traffic.

#2: Consider Other Communication Channels (Besides Email) As Key Conversion Points

We’re not saying email is going extinct though! So don’t take this prediction to mean that you can stop cleaning and optimizing your email lists. Rather, the communication avenues have become more diverse in recent years so marketers and companies will need to leverage alternative channels in order to keep a competitive edge. We’re expecting to see a lot more brands connect and engage with customers through solutions like chatbots, Whatsapp, and Instagram. These will help companies make meaningful relationships and drive engagement with their audiences.

#3: Focus on Customer Data Compliance

With increasing international demand for stronger personal data protection and well-known regulations like GDPR and CCPA, marketing software vendors will focus on compliance as a primary service. Marketing teams, IT departments, as well as customers, will rely heavily on their tech vendors to adapt to the changing regulatory landscape. Subsequently, the vendors who don’t tout compliance as a prime service, will no-doubt lose market share.

#4: Influencer Marketing Will Continue to Soar

But we’re not talking about the “celebrity” influencers who have millions of followers! This year, watch to see brands turn to people with a smaller social media following as influencers who other people trust. Considering that over 90% of people trust other consumers’ recommendations and  influencer marketing spend could reach over $10 billion

this year, we think we’ll be scoring ourselves pretty high for this one next year.

#5: Alternate Search Engines (NOT Bing or Yahoo) Will Come Out of the Woodwork

We’re not saying that alternate search engines will start competing with Google; Google will still continue to be the juggernaut it is. However, given the impact of zero-click effects (see #1 above) and increasing concerns over data privacy, privacy-focused search engines might have room to carve out a niche in 2020. DuckDuckGo is one example of this and they’ve catered to privacy-minded searchers with their tagline “the search engine that doesn’t track you” because “search engines don’t need to track users to make money.” It will be interesting to see how this one pans out among marketers and consumers in the New Year.

And that concludes the predictions for 2020! All of us at WSI Phoenix are looking forward to what the New Year brings and we definitely plan on keeping a close eye on our predictions as well as the game-changing digital marketing innovations that lay ahead.

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