Forbes Magazine has listed 11 trends to watch in online technology in 2019. Those trends include increased online sales, more automation, improved interface between humans and Artificial Intelligence (AI), better cybersecurity, faster connections, and the convergence of various technologies along with multiple devices that are inter-connected.
Perhaps the most intriguing, and unexpected, trend predicted is addressing the technology backlash. No details of how this would be done are given. But, the article assures us that headlines about the negative influence of technology on our democratic process, society, and interpersonal relationships will fade away as 2019 progresses.
Will the technology backlash go away?
Concerns that technology will have new consequences for our privacy are generating more backlash than excitement.
“Technology and its many iterations will become even more ubiquitous and the unintended consequences more evident and dire. Just this morning it was reported that a new GPS satellite was launched with a capability of being 3X more accurate than current ones. This, of course, has greater implications for the privacy issues that we often decry.
The privacy concerns we have with social media currently will be revealed to be only the tip of the iceberg. Hacking will become more prevalent as a result of all the information humans continue to share with little to no regard for what happens to it once it gets out there.”
~ William Visher, Business writer and educator
How will cybersecurity impact us?
Europe has been pro-active in demands for privacy and the day rules were announced (GDPR), lawsuits followed against the major social networks regarding privacy. The access of news websites were limited with some major news outlets no longer available in European countries. Those outlets are committed to coming up with solutions that allow access, including the lucrative business of digital advertising. However, there is a backlash against targeted ads and cookie tracking that are considered intrusive
The backlash continues in the United States with a similar California law as consumers trend away from current social networks and towards less intrusive, more personal, connections.
“More of us will switch of from Social Media feeds and seek more dopamine from discussions in group chats. Watch out for more apps focusing on just that.”
~ Michael de Groot, Storytelling Workshop Facilitator at Staying Alive (UK) Ltd
Follow the money is an applicable phrase for technology trends and de Groot emphasizes that the trends will be magnified by advertisers and marketing. “Facebook horror stories will continue to emerge and more data loss exposure will mean that advertisers are starting to leave Facebook switching to more traditional media routes again, e.g. online newspapers.” In addition, to online newspapers, de Groot predicts that podcasts will become a 2019 promotion vehicle. “Podcasts are becoming a real force for marketers to get their products and services in front of consumers and at the same time deliver valuable information. Consumers will appreciate that listening to ads is acceptable when they are getting something back as well.”
Online marketing and the personal touch
The term ‘native advertising’ is becoming a ‘thing’. While it’s doubtful that anyone who considers themselves a ‘native’ appreciates the use of the term to describe advertising, sites such as FallsDigital Insights describe it in glowing terms. “Native advertising has effectively blurred the lines between regular content and ad content… Native advertising is the art of sewing the fabric of an ad into native content, making it easier to digest.”
One of the best platforms to use for native ads is video. They perform well, are adaptable to mobile, can be live or taped, and are presented as a friendly self-help or how-to suggestion. Content like this can be seamlessly translated across devices, from laptop to smartphone to tablet.
Note that this personal approach means more tracking of our preferences. Analytics leveraging natural language generation (NLG) will allow organizations, executives and data experts to glean more accurate insight and deepen engagement from their data. No matter how intense the technology backlash becomes, there will be little respite from ads in 2019.