The Year Ahead for Small Business, Part 2: More Expert Predictions on New Trends and Opportunities We’ll See This Year

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Last week we took a look at what several business experts, entrepreneurs, and business thought leaders predicted was going to unfold for small business owners in 2020. Now, in part 2, I want to share additional predictions about advertising, marketing, workplace issues, retail, and more.

If you missed part 1, be sure to read The Year Ahead for Small Business: Experts Weigh In on What Small Biz Owners Should Expect.


Peter Bordes, CEO, Kubient 

Back to basics: Silos will open, fragmentation will be dissipated, and programmatic will move towards its original mission to provide an open trading platform for buyers and sellers of advertising.

DOOH: Many don’t understand the impact DOOH (digital out-of-home) will have. All of the features that are currently available on display, mobile, and web with retargeting will be available in real time on DOOH. Expect to see more targeting, more infrastructure, and more open trading.

The industry is cannibalizing itself: There is way too much fragmentation and too many silos. Aggregation is currently happening and will only continue as advertisers/media companies are understanding they need a full-stack solution. 2020 will bring consolidations and M&A to the overall ad tech industry—or many companies will be weeded out.

Ad fraud: The ad fraud measurement model is flawed. For example, a recent report only measured a portion of the traffic, so fraud numbers are likely higher than they are purported to be. Fraud prevention shouldn’t be an add-on, it should be baked into the platform’s advertisers use. Right now, advertisers only measure a portion of their traffic, or identify fraud retroactively when it’s too late.

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Rhett Doolittle, CEO, Bluume

There will be a new company/platform evolving in the advertising space for small businesses. The cost for Google, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn ads continues to increase and fails to show a return for small businesses. This provides a great opportunity for new technology to bring value to small businesses and consumers.


Chris Wayne, CTO, Yahoo Small Business 

The world is becoming more regulated, and in 2020, small businesses will do something about it: The implementation of legislation to improve protection of personally identifiable information (PII) will continue to significantly impact e-commerce and e-commerce-adjacent industries. In 2018, the rise of GDPR forced companies to comply with strict new rules regarding the collection, storage, and use of customer data, and has since influenced how companies engage with their customers, the tools they use, and how they use them.

With compliance issues and regulations taking on greater importance and becoming increasingly complex, “Do It For Me” (DIFM) services and applications to help manage GDPR compliance and other privacy laws will become critical to the e-commerce ecosystem. Since GDPR applies to all databases, marketing, sales, HR, and accounting, any way data is stored or processed falls under these strict regulations. Businesses are responsible for how and where their data is stored, and for small businesses or e-commerce companies using third-party software partners, this opens up a host of potential issues. Small businesses will increasingly turn to partners and managed service providers (MSPs) to handle these complex aspects of their business.

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