35 Crucial Digital Marketing Trends You Shouldn’t Ignore

The digital landscape has changed significantly over the last ten years. It’s a dynamic area, and change is to be expected. For marketers, it becomes even more imperative not just to keep up but to anticipate changes in digital marketing trends.

Marketers who get caught napping in this area will be out of business pretty quickly, so they need to take note of the upcoming trends in marketing for 2020 and beyond. To that end, we’ve compiled this massive list of digital marketing statistics and facts to help you stay ahead of the pack.

We’ve consulted some of the top marketing gurus and top authority sites to find the stats and trends that will have the most impact going forward.

The Top Digital Marketing Trends – 2020 (Editor’s Choice)

  • Digital marketing spend in the US is set to increase by 85% from 2018 to 2023.
  • 3–4 out of 10 technical recommendations by site auditors are a waste of time.
  • Higher-volume keywords could get you into trouble.
  • 34% of people in 2017 were comfortable dealing with chatbots.
  • By the end of 2020, programmatic advertising will account for 86.2% of all digital ad sales.
  • 90% of consumers in the US like the idea of personalized marketing.
  • 14% of marketers believe that AI is the most important technique for the future of digital marketing.
  • 56% of marketers believe that predictive analytics is one of the most important applications of AI.
  • 53% of marketers say they’re held back because they don’t know how to apply insights from data.
  • Content marketing can bring in three times more business than paid advertising.

Digital Marketing

1. Digital marketing spend in the United States is set to increase by 85% between 2018 and 2023.


If you thought that digital marketing was a flash in the pan, think again. Trends in digital marketing indicate that it’s going to become increasingly important as people turn more toward digital media and away from traditional advertising channels.

2. One out of five marketers believes that content marketing is the most important advertising technique.


Content marketing takes top honors when it comes to how many people consider it the most important marketing technique. As the latest SEO statistics show, this type of marketing generates three times more leads than conventional marketing. This is a top digital marketing tip for 2020 as modern consumers become more wary of traditional advertising.

3. The United States will account for 38% of 2023’s global ad spend.


It would seem that people in the States have embraced digital advertising in a big way. The spend will be across several different platforms, like social media, mobile marketing, email marketing, and so on. It’s one of the more interesting online marketing trends.

Mobile Marketing

4. Mobile advertising expenditures in the US will increase from $87 billion to $146 billion by 2023.


In 2019, expenditures on mobile advertising amounted to $87 billion, while by 2023 the figure is expected to reach to $146 billion according to recent digital marketing news.

5. Mobile advertising buy-in will decrease in the States.


Mobile advertising is becoming less popular. It currently accounts for about 39% of the advertising spend in the US. Forecasts are that it will drop by 11% over the next four years. Why? Mobile marketing is becoming more difficult to execute. Its popularity is waning as a result.

Still, 71% of sellers consider mobile marketing a fundamental strategy for a company to grow, according to mobile marketing statistics. What is digital marketing going to do with mobile in the future? Mobile marketing isn’t going to fall out of favor just yet, as these forecasts show. It might drop slightly, but it will still be in use.

6. Only 9% of marketers still believe that mobile marketing is the most effective tactic.


Mobile advertising has challenges of its own. It’s simple enough for users to block messages or potentially ignore them.

SEO A/B Split Testing

It’s becoming increasingly important to take the principles of split testing and apply them to your SEO marketing strategy. The results, according to the digital marketing trends from 2019 and 2020, may surprise you. 

7. 3–4 out of 10 technical recommendations by site auditors are a waste of time.


Speak to the team maintaining your site about the changes you’ve been advised to make. And definitely perform split testing to ensure that they’ll make a significant difference. If you don’t, you’re wasting your time and your team’s time too.

8. Higher-volume keywords could get you into trouble.


We’ve all seen the advice about using phrases on our sites that people use in real life. It makes sense to target those phrases to get the most traffic. However, the latest marketing trends show that you should test the results first. Targeting high-volume keywords could drop organic traffic as much as 20% because of the high level of competition with these phrases.

9. What works on one page may not work on another.


The team at MOZ focused specifically on category pages with SEO text on them. On one site, removing this text improved its ranking by 6%. On some, it had no difference at all. On others, the data showed that removing the text led to a drop in traffic. You can’t make any assumptions here. Test the results first.

10. 32% of marketers believe that SEO tactics result in the highest ROI.


It’s been no secret for a while now that building organic traffic is the best course for online success. So it’s hardly any surprise that this was on the list of top digital marketing trends in 2019 and again this year.

Artificial Intelligence

11. Intel Capital has 51 different projects in the AI field.


This gives them the honor of being the company with the largest investment in AI. Other companies heavily invest in this field too. Artificial intelligence startup funding increased from $1.7 billion to more than $15 billion in just 5 years.

Will Intel Capital apply some of that knowledge to the marketing sphere? Only time will tell, but we believe there’s a good chance of them doing so, which would be in line with the top digital marketing trends for 2020.

12. The AI software market will increase to more than twelve times its 2018 level by 2025.


In 2018, the global market for AI software was worth $9.51 billion. Forecasts peg the value in 2025 at $126 billion. AI is an important field for marketers to watch. It can be put to use in understanding natural language queries, automating marketing processes, and analyzing big data. It’s one of the major B2B digital marketing trends for 2020.

13. 86% of marketers believe that AI-based hyper-personalization strategies are becoming more accurate.


AI is becoming a lot more sophisticated and so much more effective at matching the right message to the right customer. It would seem that digital marketing is leaning more and more toward automation.

14. 14% of marketers believe that AI is the most important marketing technique.

(Statista) (Encharge)

Similar to task software management, AI can be very helpful for marketers. It can assist in sorting clients into their different personas, organizing tasks, ensuring that the client receives the right marketing message at the right time, and analyzing a lot of data. Incorporating AI into marketing processes is the biggest trend in online marketing and one that promises some interesting developments.

Another trend to watch for are marketing automation specialists, even though their position within organizations is not yet clearly defined.

15. 56% of marketers believe that predictive analytics is one of the most important applications of AI.


AI can crunch huge amounts of data to come up with highly accurate predictive models. Predictive models can be used to establish market sizes, the potential response to ad campaigns, and so on.


16. 34% of people in 2017 were comfortable dealing with chatbots.


Initially, people may have been reluctant to use chatbots. The first round of chatbots to come out were clunky and limited in usefulness. But for the digital marketing trends in 2020, an infographic we sourced showed that AI is improving the usefulness and accuracy of chatbots. Plus, 80% of companies are already planning to deploy some type of chatbot in 2020, as per latest chatbot statistics. Clients can see the advantages of dealing with an “assistant” that always gives the right advice and is available at any time of day. Additionally, the chatbot industry is expected to reach a high of $1.2 billion globally in the next 10 years.

Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising allows you to automate your ad buying process. Automation makes the process more efficient and faster. You get to reap the benefits of better conversion rates and lowered costs. It’s one of the emerging trends in digital marketing that’s bound to explode on the scene before long.

17. By the end of 2020, programmatic advertising will account for 86.2% of all digital ad sales.


The convenience of being able to automate the ad buying process is something that most companies will come to rely on. It really doesn’t make much sense to assign this to a human employee when it’s a simple task that AI can handle so easily. 

18. Nearly 80% of video advertising in 2020 will be through programmatic channels.


Automation will affect several different platforms and media types, and AI can be set to deal with any form of communication. If you take just one thing from this article on digital marketing trends for 2020, it should be that you need to look into programmatic advertising.

19. 33% of marketers in 2017 did not use any form of display or programmatic advertising.


This is set to change significantly over the next couple of years because AI-based programs have become a lot more accurate and sophisticated. This makes them even more useful to marketers today.


The importance of personalization is one of the digital marketing predictions that marketing gurus have been going on about for a while. Buckle up; it looks like it’s going to become essential in the future if you want to maintain a competitive edge.

20. 90% of US consumers like the idea of personalized marketing.

(Statista) (Pepper Virtual Assistants)

For most people, receiving marketing material in this way isn’t a problem. That is, if the material is relevant to them. When it’s relevant, or interesting, they don’t feel as though their time has been wasted. The digital advertising trends for 2020 reveal that sending out generic emails to all and sundry on your list is a losing strategy.

This is even more true if we take into account one of the statistics from Pepper Virtual Assistants, according to which 59% of respondents say that marketing emails they receive influence their decision in making a purchase. 

21. 53% of marketers cite that they’re held back because they don’t know how to apply insights from data.


Getting access to swathes of data won’t do much good if you don’t understand how to apply it. One out of two marketers admits to having difficulty when using these insights constructively. This, however, is an issue that AI might be useful for.

22. 60% of marketers believe that improving customer experience is integral in succeeding with a hyper-personalization strategy.


Sending the client the perfect offer at the perfect time is just the first step. If the customer experience doesn’t meet the client’s expectations, they won’t be a repeat customer. Digital marketing industry gurus are warning businesses to ensure that every interaction with the client is a positive one.

23. 86% of marketers believe that hyper-personalization is somewhat to extremely successful.


The better you tailor your offer, the more relevant it will be to the consumer receiving it. Clients today expect companies to personalize their offers more effectively. 

Social Media

24. Vigor generated 500,000 leads by syncing advertising across Facebook and Instagram.

(Facebook IQ)

A multiplatform approach is another of the digital trends for 2020 worth watching. This Brazilian company’s campaign reached 65 million people. That’s 30% more than they expected. They credit their success to using a multi-pronged social media approach, and they created their campaign to cover both Instagram and Facebook.

25. Only 10% of marketers believe that social media marketing is the most effective technique.


The value in social media marketing is clear. How much value, however, is debatable. If your target market is very active on social media, then it could pay to use this method. Part of the reason for the hit and miss effect might be due to the lack of consistency. Consistency is a huge part of successfully applying marketing industry trends.

26. 49% of small businesses in the US use social media marketing.


One out of two businesses in America uses social media marketing in one form or another. If we look at both small and medium-sized businesses, the numbers are even higher. According to the latest small business statistics, 96% of SMBs are including social media in their online marketing approach. It’s seen as an effective, inexpensive way to build a brand and encourage engagement from customers.

27. Social media is the top influencer of fashion purchases in the 18–24 age category.


Mintel doesn’t go into detail about which social media channel takes the top spot, but it found that 35% of young American women base their look around what they see on social media. So, while social media doesn’t top every marketer’s list as the most effective of digital marketing trends, it can be useful in some cases.

28. Only 44% of marketers believe they can accurately measure their ROI from social media marketing.


In fact, 28% of marketers feel that it’s not possible to get an accurate ROI in this area. Getting an accurate estimation of ROI can be difficult. New marketing trends show that marketers are working on a solution to this. Part of the problem with social media is that you can only really measure results based on users’ actions. Someone could see a photo but not like or comment on it. They might still, however, go to your site and buy.

29. 71% of those using Instagram are younger than 35.


There’s been a lot of information in the media about how Facebook is considered old news by the younger generation. The recent data shows that 47% of youths have deleted the Facebook app from their mobile phone. Statistically, though, 63.7% of Facebook users are under 35.

It would seem that the importance of Instagram has been overstated among digital marketing trends. Perhaps it’s because younger users maintain accounts on FB to communicate with family. Whatever the reason, go with what your target market likes.

30. 59% of people in the US believe that social media makes it easier to get good customer service.


Why not take advantage of that and have a chatbot monitor your social media accounts? That way, simple questions from prospects can be answered day or night, without any additional strain on your employees. The digital marketing landscape has changed significantly, so ignoring social media is no longer an option.

31. 96% of those who mention companies on social media don’t follow the company’s social media page.


Don’t assume that you know what’s being said about your company because you monitor your social media page. You should do regular searches for posts or comments in which your company name appears.

Content Marketing

32. To make the final buying decision, 47% of consumers need to view at least 3–5 pieces of content.


There are some people out there who are impulse buyers. They’ll see something they like and buy it right away. Around half of us, however, need a little more convincing and will do more research. This is one of the trends in digital marketing that requires patience. But when executed well, your customers will have the information they need to decide your product or service is the right one for them. 

33. Content marketing can bring in three times more business than paid advertising.


As a society, we’ve become very wary of the claims advertisements make. In fact, most people will completely ignore paid search results. That’s why content marketing can be so handy. It’s not a hard sell—your company won’t even come up in the content except in your bio. People appreciate getting the information they need without being bombarded by sales offers. 

34. Content can mean a lot of different things.


When we think about content for a website, written content automatically comes to mind. When it comes to the digital marketing trends for 2020, PPT, video, infographics, and so on are also all great ideas for content. Be guided by what your target market wants. 

35. 30% of marketers believe that content marketing offers the highest ROI.


A further 40% of marketers believe that content marketing delivers a medium ROI. 17% of marketers believe that content marketing delivers a low ROI. And keep in mind, if you don’t use content marketing, you’re still competing with 83% of the marketers who might use it.


Going forward, marketers are going to have to pay more attention to personalizing their offers and improving customer experience. Digital marketing future trends indicate that AI is going to play an ever-increasing role in achieving these goals through better analysis of data and automation.

Traditional digital marketing channels, like email marketing, social media marketing, and so on, are still going strong, but there will be a greater focus on long-term gains in organic traffic. SEO and content marketing will become a lot more important as a result. 

Overall, this is an interesting time for marketers—there are no sure-fire recipes for marketing success anymore. This makes things more difficult, but it also opens up the opportunity for some creative new strategies. Watch this space—if these digital marketing trends are anything to go by, the future is an exciting one.


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