February 24, 2020


by Andrea Philips in News

Red Havas, the global Merged Media micro-network, today released its annual Red Sky Predictions report, which takes a look at the 10 global trends that will shape the integrated communications and PR landscape over the next year and beyond.

From technology-led trends, such as our increasing reliance on cognitive communications and how data can do good, to concerns about post-truth politics and the fight against sport-washing, the report analyses communication challenges and opportunities around the world.

“As we kick off the new decade, the power of predictive technology has hit a new high as communicators are now leveraging this to better inform business decisions and budgets,” said James Wright, global CEO, Red Havas, and global chairman, Havas PR Global Collective. “At the same time, we’re looking to better balance the role of technology within our lives with the introduction of new tools to restrict online activities and the disappearance of social media vanity metrics.

“We’re in the third year of the Red Sky Predictions report, and it’s been striking to analyse the key changes in communication since our initial report, as a result of the innovations in technology and shifts in political, corporate and social behaviour,” adds Wright. “Communicators need to continue to invest in data analytics and insight tools to stay abreast of this. Purpose continues to remain a key trend that transcends borders and industries, and I expect this will be a key driver for marketing decisions in 2020.”

The 2020 Red Sky Predictions are as follows:

  1. Cognitive communications: Cognitive computing will help communicators more quickly and efficiently connect the dots so we will no longer have to guess what news is about to break, what headline will make waves and where, and which conversation topic or social influencer will resonate most.
  2. Vanity metrics vanish: As social media continues to mature and surface level metrics such as “Likes” start to shift out of sight, the days of counting vanity metrics are truly coming to an end. Marketers will make room for a more strategic measurement approach, with a focus on metrics that matter, such as attention retention and facial recognition.
  3. App-arenting matures: With children consuming more online media and becoming active across applications earlier than ever, parents raising the next generation will have new innovations, regulations and restrictions to consider.
  4. Data doing good: 2020 is the year data privacy regulation will go mainstream and marketers will start seeking out ways to give secure data a greater purpose—finding impactful ways to ensure data can do our world good.
  5. From e-messaging to d-messaging: Thanks to its personal touch and powerful features, direct messaging will overtake leading traditional direct marketing methods and firmly cement its role in the communications realm.
  6. Brands navigate post-truth politics: The continuing rise of populism will further coarsen online dialogue, putting brands in the uncomfortable position of having to choose a side—and stand for it.
  7. Wearable tech going onward and inward: As technology gets smaller, more capable and more integrated into our lives, various forms of wearables will become ubiquitous—and we’ll also see the rise of “insertables” and “ingestibles.”
  8. Coming clean: Sports-washing, or the practice of a country using sports to spiff up its image and/or conceal human-rights violations, will be in the media spotlight like never before. Expect to see sporting bodies, athletes and sponsors step up to stand for real change in 2020.
  9. The proof is in the purpose: As having a brand purpose has become the new black, consumers are starting to seek out brands that deliver on their promise through everyday touch and proof points.
  10. Ready for liftoff: Though outer space has long captured our imaginations, its potential as a brand of its own has been as of yet untapped. Now, however, the stars have aligned for space to take up a lot of space in current events, pop culture and merchandising.

View the predictions in full here.

This year’s report was authored by Red Havas staffers from around the world, including James Wright, global CEO, Red Havas and global chairman, Havas PR Global Collective; Davitha Ghiassi, executive vice president, social and integration, Red Havas; Mark Campbell, global head of content, Red Havas; Rachael Sansom, managing director London, Red Havas; and Jackie Crossman, a senior consultant with Red Havas.