AT Internet got in touch with some of the top international data and digital experts for their 2020 predictions. With ethics and privacy topping the bill, there’s plenty in store for the coming months. Read on to get the full lowdown…
Ad contextualization is likely to be strengthened
Advertisers will have to strengthen the integration of data at the heart of their communication systems in order to meet the demands of Internet users on the adaptation of the messages they send. In 2020, the contextualisation of advertising will likely be reinforced thanks to the combination of internal data from analytics, CRM and e-mailing solutions as well as external data related to factors such as weather, sports results, schedules, location, etc. Performance measurement will also be one of the main priorities for advertisers looking for common indicators across channels to effectively measure and interpret the impact Online & Offline!
Country Manager Kamp’n
A new era of competition on the subject of data protection
Data Governance & Privacy Engineer
Activating real-time intention data to trigger actions
Brands are becoming increasingly mature on the subject of personalisation and want to offer individualised digital experiences to visitors to increase engagement and ultimately boost conversion rates.
On the other hand, the strategies deployed to achieve this are still too often based on the exclusive analysis of cold data decorrelated from real time, such as customer data stored in CRMs. However, it is the hot data, the data directly linked to the visit behaviour at time t, that has more value for targeting the right marketing actions because it allows to predict the conversion intention of each visitor and its evolution.
In 2020, the challenge for brands will therefore be to activate this intention data in real time to trigger the most relevant personalised actions with the ideal target. We should see this shift from segmented marketing to predictive and real-time marketing.
Chief Marketing Officer, Kamleoon
A high level of awareness and trust is needed in an increasingly complex data ecosystem
The data and marketing ecosystem has entered a complex era, characterised by a double dynamic: a multiplication of contact points for data collection, but an increasing restriction of data exploitation for organisations. Indeed, it is now possible to collect data, regardless of the means used, in real time and on both physical and digital channels. To regulate this growing exploitation, strong initiatives have emerged in recent years, including three main ones: the blocking of third-party cookies with ITP (Safari) and ETP (Firefox), the GDPR, as well as new directives to come from the CNIL in connection with the ePrivacy regulation. This has led to some confusion in the minds of employees who use the data, whether for operational and/or strategic purposes. As a consulting firm specialising in data, we must therefore strengthen our support, including training and education. Above all, we need to be able to remove the barriers on the use of data in the minds of employees. This is a very strong challenge as an expert, in a context where professions are increasingly demanding training at all levels of the company: product owners, e-commerce managers, acquisition managers and C-Levels.
Jérémie Le Tarnec
E&I Senior Analytics, fifty-five.com
AI algorithms that are understandable and ethical
In recent years most companies have developed decision support algorithms to improve their performance in almost every area. At the same time, more complex (but also more powerful) algorithms such as neural networks have become more widespread. But how can we trust these black boxes, how can we make them more transparent? In 2020, AI algorithms will have to be as powerful as ever, but above all they will have to be interpretable (this is called XAI). Interpretability is a gold mine for Data Scientists and business teams. Personally I am 100% for a more transparent and ethical Data Science and let’s not forget that algorithms are tools: it is our decisions and actions that will make the difference.
Data Scientist at Eulidia and author of lovelyanalytics
The CNIL will probably adopt a tougher stance
At the beginning of 2020, the CNIL will present a series of operational recommendations concerning the practical procedures for collecting user consent (a public consultation has just been launched and will close on the 25th February). In line with the directives of July 2019 which banned implicit consent (a simple continuation of navigation on a site can no longer be considered a valid expression of consent), the CNIL will probably take a firm and definitive position to “prohibit” all the tricks used to force the deposit of cookies: implicit consent, refusal buttons that are absent or hidden, difficulties in customising preferences, systematic opt-outs…
Numerous studies in the UK or France have confirmed this: few sites comply with the main principles of the GDPR (collection of informed consent, transparency on the purpose of processing, etc.).
If these recommendations are implemented, they offer a new avenue for analytical solutions that are exempt from consent. For the others, the data may become even scarcer, as it is already seriously compromised by adblockers and changes in browsers (Safari, Firefox and now Chrome) that will eventually kill off third-party cookies. From then on, the quest for the grail, which consists of reconstructing the journey of a single Internet user, will become increasingly complex, knowing that it is in any case extremely complicated with the cross-device phenomenon. Except for the players who would succeed in rapidly “bogging down” their users (but still need to bring a customer benefit), the analysis will have to be limited to the analysis of micro-journeys and rely on AI to reconstruct cross-channel journeys (but that’s more of a 2025 prediction!).
Consulting Director – CEO of Empirik
UX must meet the challenges facing society through an ethical and responsible vision
In recent years, more and more brands have understood the importance of taking care of the user experience. Both for their customers and for their employees, UX projects have been launched using in-house design centres or the know-how of UX experts.
Creating meaningful and sustainable experiences requires first and foremost a mindset at all levels of the organisation, and then working across the board, breaking down silos and focusing on the human being. Once this foundation has been established, we identify two major trends to provide a seamless experience for users:
- the scaling up of design methodology in a strategic way
- integration of new interaction modes (chatbot, voice command, robotisation, simulation, AI, etc.)
These trends will have to question the established processes, organisation, partnerships, and respond to societal challenges through an ethical and responsible vision to build tomorrow’s world.
Director UX-Republic Bordeaux
Dynamic pricing for e-merchants will develop in 2020
It is always difficult to make predictions but if there is one topic that is likely to emerge this year, it may be “dynamic pricing” because it is a very important potential source of conversion for e-merchants.
By doing a lot of data collection, it has to be used! So why not see dynamic pricing arriving on a massive scale? The technologies are there, the competitive pressure is there, and the major players, especially in tourism for the moment, are already working on the subject.
On the more traditional e-commerce side, Amazon already changes its prices several dozen times a day, but I don’t think many other merchants are following this trend.
I am sure that dynamic pricing will develop in 2020, as it is a source of profit and/or optimisation of important resources.
The year that browsers take over data protection
2018 is the year that saw the birth of the GDPR. This regulation, which seeks to provide a framework for the processing of personal data, obviously has a strong impact on all European companies and on those operating on European soil. But it is for all digital companies that the subject of personal data protection is fundamental. However, a year and a half after the establishment of the GDPR, progress in protecting the rights of Internet users remains limited. Does this kind of profound change really take so long? I’m not so sure…
2020 will probably be the year when the greatest advances in terms of personal data protection will take place. I don’t think the GDPR, the CCPA and other regulations will be the main drivers of that… No, the real revolution will come from browsers.
This revolution, which started slowly a few years ago, has been intensifying for several months and even weeks now. You only need to read the latest announcements from the browsers to better understand it. In September 2019, Firefox announced natively blocking 3rd party tracking (based on the list of disconnect.me). In December 2019, with the launch of version 72, Firefox natively blocked scripts using fingerprinting technologies. Safari is not to be outdone: with version 2.3 of ITP (Intelligent Tracking Prevention), the tracking protection system integrated since 2017, Apple’s browser, via Webkit, severely restricts the lifespan of tracking technologies based on local storage. These three examples, among many others, are a demonstration of the power of browsers and the central position they will take in this privacy revolution. Indeed, where political decision-making naturally takes time and is usually subject to discussion, negotiation and even consensus, the decisions made by browsers come from a limited number of people and are applicable from one day to the next.
While it is up to everyone to take a position on the opportunity or the danger that such a unilateral mode of operation represents, it is nevertheless certain that the revolution in the protection of private data is already underway and that all digital companies, in particular those in adtech or martech, basing their services on tracking technologies, have many questions to ask themselves in order to adapt their products to this more than stated need.
I am convinced that this reflection, if it is followed by concrete and sincere actions, will not only be extremely positive for Internet users but will also offer a world of opportunities to companies that have been quietly watching these developments.
Co-founder of Poool
Photo credit: Benjamin Davies