willhaben: The most important digital advertising trends for 2020

In 2020 too, there will be no dull moments in the area of digital advertising. For Jochen Schneeberger, Head of Digital Advertising at willhaben, these are the determining trends:

Surroundings become computers
Artificial intelligence, 5G, voice-control and the like have now progressed from Utopian buzzwords to become the tech-standard of the times. The steady rise in mobile devices and smart everyday things is leading to ever greater interconnection of the digital and analogue world. Whilst computers were once clearly recognisable devices, today they merge into our everyday surroundings and are becoming invisible to end consumers. This enables real-time interaction with everything around us – including advertising. Means of communication and advertising, e.g. chatbots, aided by artificial intelligence, can actually deal with individuals’ needs.

In 2020 it gets personal
Increasingly often, mass-mails and non-specific offers flit past human awareness. Consequently businesses are turning more towards personalised approaches. This carries several advantages: individual messages are perceived significantly more positively than impersonal transmissions. Moreover, they attract more attention, get greater open rates for emails and achieve increased revenue in webshops. A pioneer in this field is Amazon. Every user receives individual product suggestions on the basis of their interests. This inspires trust and strengthens the customer relationship. Nowadays people even expect to be addressed personally in communications. For this reason, in future not only advertising material but also entire websites will be personalised.

Content is king
Relevant, high-quality content is an essential component of marketing strategies. But, alongside the quality of content, its diversity is also important. Businesses have to offer an entertaining mix of blog-articles, informative videos, attractive photos, interactive product presentations and simple shopping options. Something not to forget here is that the content must match the brand and be authentic, otherwise the desired effect won’t materialise. So it’s absolutely necessary to give deep consideration to the actual messages in order to be successful in the long term. “Content is the fuel that really gets every marketing strategy rolling” says Jochen Schneeberger.

Video, the all-rounder
Moving images allow lots of content to be conveyed quickly and simply. For evidence, just look at the many cooking and baking recipes, make-up tutorials and university courses in the form of videos. Reason enough to include videos in your digital marketing strategy. Complex topics, products too, can be presented simply and attractively in short clips. This in turn increases attention, cognition and ultimately sales figures. Alongside pre-produced moving-image material, achieving increasing importance are live-videos in particular. Circulating on Instagram and the like are countless real-time clips, which hold users spellbound.

Image search coming up strongly
The enormous trend towards mobile and visual communication is also breaking through to online search behaviour. Instead of using keywords, searches for desired content are now using photos. Thanks to powerful image recognition software and straightforward uploading  via smartphone, search results are improving continuously. An example of this is Google Lens. The market-leader’s visual search engine uses photos as the basis not only for finding appropriate products but also for saving contacts from business cards or information about events from posters. Indeed, willhaben has also recognised the potential of this trend. Using willhaben image search, visually similar advertisements can be found on the platform.

Micro-moments – here, now and immediately
“If we want to know, shop for, search or consider something right now and use our smartphones, that’s a micro-moment”, says Schneeberger. In these times of mobile devices, the end consumer is accustomed to receiving complete information in real time without much delay. Given that people decide in an instant what they will buy or where they want to eat, it’s important for advertisers to be there at the right time, with the right message in the right place – or, as Google put it: “be there, be useful, be quick”. This means that businesses always have to have an ear for customer needs – and hear quickly, because the more content that’s available immediately, the less willing users are to put up with waiting or irrelevant information.


Photo: Jochen Schneeberger, Head of Digital Advertising at willhaben, (c) willhaben