45 Things to Watch in 2020 and Beyond

winding-roadIt’s that time of year again.

It’s a time to make sure that we’re watching the right things so that we can navigate our businesses in the right direction.

Every year since 2013, I’ve been adding to and/or modifying a list of things that I’m keeping my eye on.

Most of the things that I thought were important in the past remain important today. The list just gets a little longer each year.

This list also helps keep me focused and serves as a public record to show whether or not I am watching the right things.

The Things to Watch List 2020

This is the list so far [with the year that the items were added]:

1) Rapid advancements in technology [2013]

2) Mobile (user experience and marketing) [2013]

3) Mobile payments [2013]

4) Mobile-influenced merchandising [2013]

5) Privacy issues [2013]

6) Emerging markets [2013]

7) The Internet of Things [2014]

8) The evolution of retail (including omni-channel retail) [2014]

9) A global marketplace [2014]

10) 3D printing [2014]

11) Cyberattacks [2014]

12) Ethics [2014]

13) Online video [2016]

14) RFID, NFC, and beacons [2016]

15) Augmented reality (AR) [2016]

16) Virtual reality (VR) [2016]

17) SEO for the Internet of Things [2016]

18) Experiential marketing [2016]

19) Wearables [2016]

20) Dynamic pricing [2017]

21) Machine learning & artificial intelligence (AI) [2017]

22) Voice-activated technology [2017]

23) Business collaboration with the competition [2017]

24) The evolution of work (changing skillsets required and the influence on the economy) [2017]

25) Robotics [2018]

26) Subscription business model [2018]

27) How online communications influence public opinion [2018]

28) Market research techniques for the 21st Century [2018]

29) Influencer marketing [2019]

30) Accessible marketing for people with disabilities [2019]

31) Sustainability brands [2019]

32) Health-conscious brands [2019]

33) Biometrics [2020]

34) Branded entertainment or advertainment [2020]

35) Blockchain [2020]

36) Cryptocurrency [2020]

37) Visual communications [2020]

38) Visual search & voice search [2020]

39) Audio communications & sonic branding [2020]

40) Algorithms influencing society [2020]

41) Haptic technology [2020]

42) In-game advertising (IGA) [2020]

43) Big data [2020]

44) Predictive analytics [2020]

45) 5G [2020]

A Few Things to Think About

This list is getting really long.

In fact, it grew a lot longer this year than I had planned.

When I was first thinking about this list, I thought I would have to add only one thing: 5G. (More on that in a minute.)

However, there were a lot of other things that I felt I needed to add.

As I said last year, there are also things like self-driving cars that didn’t make the list. Although some of these things are subsets of items currently on the list, they might get added to the list in the future.

And, as I also mentioned last year, there are also some things that digital marketing experts were talking about 10 years ago that should be revisited. These basics don’t get talked about enough now even though there are new business leaders entering the market each year. (It’s not always safe to assume that they learned about these things in college.)

Finally, I want to emphasize 5G one more time.

As time goes on, technology advances in ways that makes our lives better.

However, a lot of the newest technological advancements require other technologies that enable them to work.

If the experts that I have heard are correct, 5G is going to make a lot of things possible that just weren’t possible before. That’s cool.

Hopefully, it will be a start to an exciting decade!

So there you have it. If I missed anything that you think I should have included, please let me know in the comments below.

Photo credit: Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com.

Chad Thiele

Chad Thiele

I am a marketing analyst and strategist. I earned my master's degree from West Virginia University in Integrated Marketing Communications in 2023. I also hold a bachelor's degree from UW-Madison in Sociology with a Concentration in Analysis and Research, and I completed the Mobile Marketing Professional Certificate Program from Auburn University in 2015.