Last week I was called up and interviewed about trendspotting in content marketing and personalization on a long-running podcast. They wanted to know what trends to look out for in digital marketing and how human behavior would adapt along with upcoming technology.

I believe trendspotting is a useful brain exercise and powerful tool to practice both professionally and privately. A good trendspotter is humble, openminded, welcoming to new facts, has a growth mindset and is very aware of anchoring bias. Practicing this gets you a huge advantage in both your investments and in your business.

The death of personal integrity
My first prediction was that people are soon going to care less about protecting their personal data while at the same time willingly give up much more of their digital integrity. This is because big corporations will give us super-personalized products and services that are simply too good to pass up.

Also, with smart chips and sensors tracking our health and habits 24/7, insurance companies and governments can start to gamify, incentivize and reward us for cost-reducing behavior i real time. Ultimately on-demand quantum computers will crack any encrypted data and nano drones and nanobots will let anyone track anything indefinitely.

Content becomes a feature
The second trend is that the technology from automatic content creation tools popularized on Chinese e-commerce marketplaces will become globally mainstream. These tools are today capable of designing banners, write funny and poetic advertisement copy and produce promotional product videos completely automatically. The language engine is already smart enough to pass the Turing test.

Filter bubbles becomes decision bubbles
A filter bubble is created when search engines and social media only serves you the content you like, even if you actively try to peak outside the bubble. When sensors, implants and AI track everything they will know us better than we know ourselves, making our feebleminded human decisionmaking redundant. The decision engines will be so spot on that people will essentially stop making decisions about what to eat, what to do and with who. I call this Zero UI since interfaces will become unnecessary.

“By 2020, 85% of all customer interactions will be handled without a human agent”
IBM Watson

Personalization of commerce
I believe in a boom in highly personalized products and services next year. You will be able to order clothes, accessories, furniture and meals uniquely designed and produced just for you. Personal health data will get bigger and integrate with less friction. I had my own DNA sequenced back in 2012, got my first tech-implant in 2016 and today I’m testing a food delivery service that optimizes nutrients in my meals by analyzing my blood.

Voice control goes mainstream
Voice adjusting my lights, curtains, locks and speakers have been status quo for home automation evangelists like myself for years. Now it will start to become mainstream for real with tech giants launching hardware and software on multiple new languages and markets.

Assistants are getting built into headsets, TVs, laptops, speakers and cars and are capable of both placing and receiving phone calls on your behalf. I advise marketers and product developers to ask themselves how voice can augment their user experience.

By 2020, the average person will have more conversations with bots than with their spouse.

Eric Langenskiöld

Author Eric Langenskiöld

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