1. Hyper personalization
“In this day and age, making exact product recommendations or content suggestions based on customer needs may no longer be considered magic. It all comes down to using your data in a smart and automated way. By collecting relevant data - as you probably already do throughout each step of the customer journey - you can create rich customer profiles within a Customer Data Platform.
In 2020, using those profiles to build tailored customer journeys isn’t a choice, it’s a necessity. Why? Because people are bombarded with information, while our processing capacity is limited. As a coping mechanism, we’ve learned to filter out irrelevant data. As a marketer, how can you increase the chances of your message to pass through this filter? I’m excited to see brands discover the results of the future success factor: combining the Marketing Cloud and your Customer Data on one platform.”
Colinda Leemans, Data Consultant @ CM.com
2. The year of Conversational Commerce
“In 2019, the major buzzword was Conversational Commerce. In 2020, it no longer will be a buzzword, it will become a matter of do or die. We saw a rise of rich messaging channels, like WhatsApp Business, Apple Business Chat, and the long awaited Rich Business Messaging (RCS). In combination with in-channel payment methods, each conversation can lead to a successful conversion. Enable consumers to purchase your products from within their favorite messaging channel. The mobile phone will become a true market place where brand and consumer meet. The place where companies increase customer engagement with easy to use technology.”
Jan Saan, CTO @ CM.com
3. Marketing Automation
“Over the past years, chatbot technology has evolved drastically. This would not have been possible without smart integration of data, and self-learning bots using that data. So, live chat isn’t the only place where data is crucial. Smart use of available customer data allows companies to use Artificial Intelligence in automated conversations with customers, visitors and leads. Do so to make your message fit your user’s exact needs. With marketing automation, you can send relevant data in each step of the buyer journey.”
Naomi Bogert, Digital Marketer @ CM.com
4. Rich communication with Apple Business Chat
“This new messaging channel was added to our Conversational Commerce offering in 2019. Apple’s Business Chat is a powerful new way for businesses to connect directly with customers. Worldwide, there are over 1.4 billion active users of Apple’s iOS devices. From iPhones to their Apple Watches, consumers carry their mobile gateway to the world with them, wherever they go. This means they’ve got a way to contact you, wherever they are. If you want consumers as your customers, you need to be available on their favorite channels at all time. With Apple Business Chat, your customers can easily get access to rich services for assistance, schedule appointments, right from within the Messages app.
Apple’s Business Chat enables customers to complete purchases with Apple Pay, within the conversation in their Messaging app. Apple Pay in Business Chat provides your customers an easy and secure way to pay for goods and services. Users can quickly and securely provide their payment, shipping, and contact information to check out with just one click.”
Marilla Ruczynski – Product Marketing Manager @ CM.com
5. Focus on 5G
“5G technology is talked about for years now. The first successful roll-outs are a fact, and the first results are very promising. In 2020, the world’s largest telecommunications companies will focus on the deployment of 5G technology even further. By 2025, Ericsson expects “5G to have 2.6 billion subscriptions covering up to 65 % of the world’s population and generating 45% of the world’s total mobile data traffic”. Implementing 5G across the world promises higher broadband speed, more reliable wireless and mobile networks, but above all; constant low latency. And that’s great news, as this will allow a greater level of automation, wherever you are in the world.
5G is said to become of major influence on the automotive, gaming and healthcare industry. We’re mostly excited about the standards the GSMA will set for messaging within 5G, and what role will be given to all possibilities and e.g. the adoption of RCS in the 5G standard.”
Jan Saan, CTO @ CM.com
6. No more Smishing in 2020
“These are times of fake news, data breaches and privacy concerns. That means trust and transparency will become more important for companies. Consumers will only do business with brands if they prove they can be trusted with our data. No wonder, being able to tell whether a message comes from a real business is in the top 3 asks from consumers about what they would change in the way they get messages on their mobile from businesses.
Google’s Verified SMS solution will be one of the major solutions to this issue in 2020. Verified SMS enables A2P message verification and branding in messages. With A2P messaging users continuing to use SMS because of the familiarity of the protocol, Verified SMS is the service to look into as soon as possible.”
Kristina Ristovska-Vidakovic – Product Manager @ CM.com
7. Foldable phones
“One of the main attractions of MWC Barcelona this year was the foldable phone. Especially the reveal of Huawei’s foldable Mate X caused a few dropping jaws. After years and years of smartphone releases that all more or less look alike, we are now seeing a real change in smartphone design. The foldable smartphone promises to improve the consumer experience and the ease of use of mobile.
As a result, mobile will play an even bigger role in people’s lives that it already does. If this turns out to be useful, and not just a gimmick, we may soon see a lot more of these phones. How will your brand use this new feature to optimise your apps, mobile website and content to this futuristic phone?”
Charlotte van Unen – Communication Specialist @ CM.com
8. Next-Gen Payments
“What do Amazon, Apple, WeChat, VISA and ING have in common? They are all part of today’s payment ecosystem. Big tech drives the way we pay today; online and offline. Consider mobile wallets such as Apple Pay and WeChat Pay. And how about the use of NFC, QR technology, and Grab and Go solutions like Amazon Go and AH to Go introduced. Next gen payments are quickly becoming part of everyday life. The success of these payment innovations is determined by the customer experience: the main focus for 2020!
To create the perfect customer experience, you first of all need to be where your customers already are. Whether that’s WeChat, WhatsApp or in-app. That’s where you need to give them the tools to seamlessly shop, order, identify and pay. We expect a greater adoption of this principle in 2020, across and beyond the retail sector. With payment innovations becoming more accessible, we’ll see this trend in both enterprises and SME’s.”
Jessica de Korte - Senior Product Marketer Payments @ CM.com
9. Augmented Reality
“There’s been a lot of talk on Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) over the last few years. In 2020, we can expect significant Augmented Reality use-cases with both Google and Apple supporting the developers community with their AR Platform (ARCore and ARKit). AR will not be an exclusive domain for Amazon and Ikea, who build AR in their apps. The wider enterprise world will start discovering the opportunities AR offers.
With mobile devices featuring AR processing capabilities, the barriers to enter the AR domain is lowered tremendously. No need for expensive and inconvenient Head-Mounted displays for AR and VR. Create a Conversational Commerce experience within your messaging channel. An augmented reality experience, without the need to install an app or buy expensive AR devices. I do not expect this to be mainstream in 2020, but we will experience the first AR engagements on your mobile device.”
Richard van Anholt – Director of Global CPaaS @ CM.com
10. Machine Learning
"As a software developer and data junkie, I am excited about the innovations in the world of machine learning. While artificial intelligence and machine learning have been around for a long, long time already, it has become more and more practical to use in more recent years. The availability of massive compute power is certainly an important driver. It also helps that the big cloud providers are really motivated to market and evangelize these compute heavy endeavors, since it’s not just big data, but also big money to them. But even when taking all the propaganda with a grain of salt, there is no denying that using machine learning is becoming easy enough to start using it, even without a master’s degree in mathematics or data science.
In 2020 we will see more software not only augmenting our decision making, but even making the decision itself. The discussion changes from a technical one, to a more functional and even ethical debate. Revealing our own biases. Our own shortcomings. Important discussions that will lead to thoroughly thought through decision making processes. Making better justified, more substantiated decisions a single person could have ever made."
Robbie van Hoof - Development Manager @ CM.com
11. Unique experience at festivals and events
“The number of festivals and events that is being organized is increasing rapidly. Do you want to survive that competition? Then shift your focus to the long term. Offer such a unique fan experience at your event that, at the end of your event, the visitor is more than happy to accept your offer to buy tickets for next year!
For example, send a WhatsApp message about the line-up, and that his favorite DJ will be playing on the Main Stage in 10 minutes. After that set, promote exclusive merchandise for that DJ via mobile. And do you know the DJ will be part of the line up again next year? Of course, you’ll give this fan that exclusive scoop. Catering to the needs of your visitors via a Customer Data Platform, ensures that your event remains a recurring item in the agenda of your visitors.”
Lorenzo Martopawiro - Product Marketer Ticketing @ CM.com