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2020 Digital Marketing Predictions

Article by
16th January 2020 in

Marketing, technology and consumers behaviour are forever evolving. In 2020, it’s crucial for marketers to anticipate trends and prepare their digital marketing strategy accordingly.

To help you future-proof and grow your business, we’ve asked five of Bonfire’s bright minds to share their top predictions for this year from search marketing to social media.



– Google My Business Goes Premium
“Google My Business will continue to roll-out new features and they may start charging businesses to use them. Knowing Google, they will find a cost-effective way to monetise this platform and it may be by charging businesses for “premium” features like Booking and Messaging. We saw the ‘Google Guaranteed’ badge roll out in the US/Canada to trade industries years ago but this is yet to make its way to Australia, potentially this may be on the cards.”

– No More Google Map Spam
“There is too much blatant map spam, including how business names are stuffed with keywords and fake reviews on Google My Business and for some reason Google just let it slide, which is very unusual. I think Google may start penalising businesses that don’t follow their guidelines. Below is an example.”





– Emerging Tech Rising
“From 5G technology on mobile devices to advancements in AI, voice and connected TVs, how consumers engage with ads will truly transform this year. 5G technology will transform how consumers access and use content, meaning mobile usage will dramatically increase among global audiences. AI tech advancements for content will enable greater personalisation in digital video. Voice search for smart speakers will continue to expand as homes continue adopting Alexa, Siri and Google Home, while developers continue to make accuracy improvements. Advancements in connected TV’s and OTT (over the top media) will enable users to interact with ads from their TV and mobile devices, which will lead to increased product placement within streaming videos.”

– Interactive Content Takes Off
“Content marketing will shift its focus to give audiences more of what they want: shoppable posts (Instagram is already doing this), AR/VR, 360-degree video, quizzes and polls are just a few examples of interactive content.”





– Paid Search: A Keyword Research Gold Mine
“It sounds counter-intuitive, but we may end up using a portion of paid search budget as keyword/trend research. Specifically looking at Dynamic Search Ads, where we don’t enter keywords, but let Google crawl the site and bid on related search terms. In my mind, this is their ideal solution for the rise in (long-tail, intent-based) voice searches – to capture unique and uncommon search queries.”

– Attribution Comes First (and Second, and Third and Last)
“Silo’d marketing is going to have to consolidate so advertisers can see the true impact of above-the-line ads – especially growing channels like Programmatic – in relation to lower-funnel actions via search, social and newsletters. We would be very attractive to media companies if we could show their impact on conversion ratios and ROI by integrating single-customer-view tracking and visualising the attribution across channels.”




– New Types of Structured Data
“Google will support additional types of structured data, as they push forward in their quest to be an answers engine. As we have seen recently with FAQ and How-to markup, expect these to have a dramatic impact on the SERPs.”

– Google Map Spam
“Expanding on George’s prediction, I believe a penguin style penalty could also roll out and we could see a number of businesses drop off overnight. This would be in Google’s best interest as it could push more companies to use Google Ads.”

– Paid Search: A Keyword Research Gold Mine
“To add to Gabe’s point, search console data and even analysing site search information in GA give us very accurate insights into the way users search. Whereas tools like Google’s keyword planner are grouping a whole bunch of specific phrases under one ‘topic’ and only presenting the top-line number.”

– Attribution Comes First (and Second, and Third and Last)
“I think we will see marketers and companies start to demand more accurate attribution from channels where they may have previously relied on vanity metrics. Google’s newly released attribution feature (in beta) is pushing into this space and we also have things like store counters etc. which means you can expect this trend to continue.”




– Facebook Business Profiles Will Influence Local Consumers
“As users begin to look past fake reviews and over-optimised Google My Business listings, Facebook will gain traction in developing organic leads for small businesses due to their higher level of review authenticity. With reviews from active profiles and the ability to showcase if friends of a user recommend, likes or has checked in at a business, consumers will feel they can make more informed decisions from Facebook profiles rather than Google My Business.”

– Focus on Attribution and Clean Data
“As the power of understanding conversions and return on investment continues to shape marketing campaigns and budgets, smaller businesses will invest more to ensure the data they utilise is accurate and represents the entire customer journey. We will see more of the advanced tools and techniques from enterprise businesses and agencies trickle down to smaller businesses.”

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