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ModSquad’s 2019 Digital Predictions – How’d We Do?

Every January, it’s become tradition here on the ModSquad Blog to look back at the predictions for the digital space that we made 12 months earlier. With 2019 behind us, it’s time to look back at our 2019 forecast and explore which of them came to fruition. 

1. Humans and Tech in Perfect Harmony

We live in a world with ever-changing tools and trends that we’re required to keep up with — social media, the internet, our smartphones and connected devices. We have robot vacuums cleaning our homes, Alexa giving us our news, 3-D printers enabling enterprises to innovate faster, and self-driving cars picking us up from the airport. AI really took shape in 2019 and is redefining our future. 

The availability of new tech on the market, like smart speakers, wearable technology, and connected vehicles, has allowed sound marketing to be an all-new initiative. Marketers can connect with customers while they’re doing other tasks, in comparison to content marketing, which requires focus. Google claims 72 percent of those who own a voice-activated speaker use the device as part of their daily routine. We’re giving marketers more access to us because we’re connected to audio daily.

Ideally, the interconnection between humans and technology is all about give and take. Humans shape technology, and technology shapes us. In order to evolve in our homes, in our careers, and online, we need to keep up and understand the new technologies available to us. For example, content moderators need to be well-versed in the latest AI developments in the field, incorporating that new technology into their work as a way to supplement their own human moderation.

At the end of the day, technology can’t evolve without humans, and we likely can’t evolve without tech.

2. Continued Growth of Niche Communities

Customers are demanding connected and personalized experiences in more ways than ever before. These experiences are valuable in customer service and social media interactions. Last year, brands felt pressure to engage more with their audiences in meaningful and impactful ways. From ad campaigns to trending hashtags, brands are focusing on how to authentically interact with their communities. 

Facebook is a leader in bringing together communities, as evidenced by the past year’s big marketing campaign focusing on Groups. Do you remember their commercial about Dads taking their daughters to baseball games? Not only did it pull on our heartstrings, but it showcased the power of “More Together,” the power of groups and communities.

Keep in mind, we have seen a shift in macro to micro when it comes to influencers between the start of 2018 to now. This metamorphosis has impacted how brands engage with communities. As community turns micro, utilizing activity-based emerging platforms and engagement-based tools can really help brands hone in on meaningful interactions.  

3. Increased Presence and Accessibility to Brands and Platforms

With the abundance of connected devices and machine learning, brands are better able to meet consumers where they are and give them content in the ways they wish to digest. This isn’t a nice-to-have; brand engagement is critical.

We‘ve evolved well beyond traditional channels like telephone and email. Consumers clamor for omnichannel support via chat, text, and social media platforms. Recognizing this, brands are engaging with customers in more personalized ways 24/7. In 2019, 84% of customers said being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business. What worked for baby boomers is no longer working for millenials. Accessibility, where and when the customer demands, is key to survival.

4. New Policies Introduced to Protect Consumer Data

In 2019 we saw a growing commitment to the adaptation of technology, but with that change comes a concurrent growth in security risk. The plethora of conveniences and tools has made users more susceptible to security and data breaches. As we noted in our 2020 predictions, safety and privacy are taking precedence in the upcoming year. This need for user privacy is most relevant on social platforms, where we’re seeing new features rolled out to protect people and their privacy. In general, cyber security is an evergreen concern, with costs and spending anticipated to continue rising. The market for artificial intelligence in cyber security is projected to reach $38.2 billion by 2026

5. Remote Working is the Future

Remote work has seen a significant upward turn over the past decade. According to FlexJobs, remote work grew 44% over the past five years, and 91% over the previous decade. This is a trend that’s here to stay, one that will benefit employees and employers. With more businesses creating opportunities and technologies for remote work, it’s critical to attract the best talent.

As we provide support and strategy for clients and partners, we’re staying on top of the latest trends and technologies. We’ll continue to keep our finger on the pulse of the industries we serve and look forward to seeing what the new year — and new decade — brings.

For a look at our predictions for 2020, read our article.

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