By Sergio Millas

Digital marketing is an incredibly powerful tool that cannot be ignored. Digital marketing is increasingly being recognized by many marketers as the most important tool in their toolbox and rightfully so.

According to eMarketer, worldwide digital ad spending rose by 17.6% to $333.25 billion in 2019 (roughly half of the global ad market) and is expected to reach over $375 billion by 2021.

There are many tools and channels in the digital marketing toolbox and associated technologies are evolving quickly.

Today I will introduce 5 digital marketing trends that you should be thinking about using in your digital marketing mix, as it is our belief here at HallPass Media that regardless of the business you are in, your business will grow if you are proactive about finding new ways to reach and retain customers.


Personalization is the future. Gone are the days where marketers or brands can launch effective spray and pray campaigns and convert at a high level. With the amount of data and information that companies can now acquire about their users and customers, there is no excuse to not personalize the customer experience.

When referring to personalization we’re referring to the type of personalization you’ve experienced when you’ve used a service like Amazon or Netflix.

To personalize their customers’ experience, Amazon carefully analyzes their customers’ behaviors and promotes products to them based on a number of different factors including browsing history, past purchase history, and other demographic and psychographic data.

Because of the vast amount of data that Amazon is able to collect, they are able to deliver personalized dynamic, data-powered messaging in real-time and this has had a dramatic positive effect on their bottom line.

Similarly, Netflix is famous for its spot-on personalized viewing recommendations, which suggests programming to its users based on an algorithm that is constantly being developed and improved based on user data.

With all of the tools available to marketers these days, personalization isn’t limited to huge companies with giant budgets.

Some of the channels that just about anyone can use to better serve or reach their customer base include:

  • Digital Advertising
  • E-Mail Marketing Campaigns
  • Personalized Websites
  • Personalized Content

Data-driven personalization is the future of digital marketing and if you want to stay ahead of the curve, you should be considering how you can put your data to use to create personalized experiences for your customers.


Another trend to keep in mind as we move into 2020 is the growth of the use of chatbots.

You’ve undoubtedly used a live chat feature before- chatbots take the experience one step further.

In a nutshell, chatbots are software programs that can interact with customers and answer questions for users in real time and can do so in a more cost effective way than hiring humans.

Companies and brands are using chatbots in all sorts of cool ways- some examples of brands that you can and should go check out right now that are using chatbots include Domino’s Pizza’s, Bud Light, Kia, Spotify, Lyft, Whole Foods and MasterCard, to name a few.

Our recommendation is that you go take a look at what is being done in the chatbot space and think about how it could apply to your business.

There is no doubt that chatbots are here to stay and if done properly they can have a positive impact on both your customer’s experience and your digital marketing strategy.


Augmented reality is a technology that allows the real-world to be enhanced by computer-generated information.

Examples of this technology can best be described by how companies such as Snapchat and IKEA are using it.

One of Snapchat’s most popular features, filters, is the perfect example of augmented reality. When a user chooses to use a filter such as the dog tongue or rainbow vomit filter, Snapchat is augmenting what is happening in the real world with computer generated information.

Alternatively, IKEA developed an augmented reality smartphone app in which online shoppers could visualize what furniture would look like in their home from the comfort of their own home – helping eliminate customer uncertainty and risk as it relates to buying furniture for their home online.

A recent study by Gartner suggests that by 2020, 100 million customers will be using augmented reality and artificial reality for shopping both online and in store.

Imagine being able to overlay information about your service or product over the real world through a customer’s smartphone. What would you communicate?

This technology has the potential to be incredibly powerful for your business and is a technology that will become more and more prevalent in 2020 with the widespread deployment of 5G networks.


Voice search gives users the ability to search the internet vocally and is becoming more and more prevalent.

Have you ever thought about how Google, Siri or Alexa would answer a question about your brand or business? If you haven’t, you should.

There is no doubt that smart speakers are driving voice search adoption and that the technology is here to stay. ComScore predicts that by the year 2020, 50% of all online searches will be performed with voice search.

There are a number of ways to prepare your business to be optimized for voice search which we’ll cover in another post- for now, it’s worth running a voice search for your business and seeing what happens.

Does your business appear? Is the information that comes up accurate? Is the information that comes up what you want your customers to hear?

All things to consider sooner rather than later. This technology is here to stay.


5G is the acronym for the 5th generation of cellular mobile communications. 5G is a game changer.

While the move from 3G to 4G was about a jump in speed, 5G is all about a high data rate, reduced latency, cost efficiency, and a higher device connectivity.

In laymen’s terms, bandwidth and download speeds are about to become a non-issue.

According to T-Mobile, 5G networks will deliver speeds that are 10 times faster than today’s 4G networks. This will change the game as far as what’s possible in a number of different areas including video streaming, augmented reality, virtual reality, and new ad formats.

Verizon media recently conducted a study with 1700 consumers regarding the implications of 5G. Some of the findings include:

Source: Verizon Media


Because of advancements in technology, 2020 will be an interesting year for marketers and advertisers alike.

We suggest that the best course of action is to study these trends, understand how they can enhance your business’ customers’ experience and begin experimenting, as we believe staying ahead of the curve is the name of the game.

Which of the trends that I just outlined are you most excited about?

Written by:

Sergio Millas
Vice President of Digital Media