Microsoft Study Identifies SEO as Most Important Skill for Marketers

author image Written by: Nicole McCormick           Categories - In The News

Microsoft Reveals What Marketing Trends Will Define the Decade

While Microsoft may not be known for its clairvoyant skills (we’ll leave that up to the Long Island Medium), they’ve taken a stab at predicting some key marketing trends for the 2020s in a recent study. Researched and written by the Microsoft Advertising Brand Studio, the study, titled 2020 Vision: Trends to define the next decade, explored what trends we can expect to see emerging over the next decade. The study contains a section on trends in marketing skills, which breaks down the most crucial skills for marketers to have this decade. Based on the results from a LinkedIn poll conducted by Microsoft with 600 global senior marketer participants, the most important hard and soft skills for marketers to have in the 2020s were revealed to be: Hard skills:

  • SEO
  • Data analysis
  • Copywriting
  • Behavioral analysis
  • Automation

Soft skills:

  • Creativity
  • Humility
  • Empathy
  • Adaptability
  • Transparency

Other Big Trends to Look Out For

Search Ads with No Destination

According to Microsoft, stricter regulations over data usage and the growing concern over privacy may pave the way for a new form of highly interactive ads that don’t direct users to web pages. These ads will rely less on engagement in the form likes and clickthroughs and more on the overall ad experience and banter with the consumer. Here’s how Microsoft described it:

“Think of an interactive ad asking you to “Choose Your Own Adventure” then responding with additional interaction or next step based on your choice. In search, this type of interaction could begin to replace the practice of clicking through to a web page or content download. New platforms will create experiences that look more like a personal concierge than an ad, leveraging interactivity that makes consumers feel like they’re texting a friend — not being sold something by a brand. Eventually, brands will begin to rebuild the trust they’ve lost and be unblocked.”

Media Mashups

Microsoft also predicts that within the next decade, we will start to see both traditional media and digital media mutating, converging, and consolidating to create new offerings. Here are some examples of what Microsoft anticipates:

  • Display + Native + Search will converge to create new online advertising solutions previously in siloes.
  • TV + Online Viewing Behavior will create new programmatic ad targeting within streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc.
  • Improved Retail Search will help to build a new ecommerce landscape

“These new offerings create a whole new marketplace with their own demand and supply,” says Microsoft. “Streaming entertainment will be the major focus for audience-based buying. Additionally, media is segmenting into niches, offering consumers diverse perspectives and catering to the edges.”

Experiences Powered by Visuals

While visuals are already being used in new and creative ways every single day when it comes to digital storytelling, according to Microsoft, this will only ramp up over the ten years, as innovative and effortless visual storytelling becomes the new normal. Examples of powerful visual storytelling trends include:

  • Image or video search
  • Suggested search
  • Augmented and virtual reality
  • New advertising formats across traditional and digital media

“As new brands pop up every day and find their voice, discovery and the “wow” factor will be critical to their success. As consumers, we hunger for new experiences and new ways to connect with each other and build relationships that bring meaning to our lives,” says Microsoft. “We want to discover new brands seamlessly, in a way that pleases our senses, starting with sight. We’re addicted to screens and our eyeballs are looking for a new thrill factor — one that takes us beyond links and text and is powered by images.” So, there you have it. While Microsoft’s predictions seem to paint a fairly realistic portrayal of digital media and marketing over the next decade, we’ll have to wait and find our whether Microsoft really was able to predict the future, or if we should just stick to TV Psychics for future guidance.

Nicole McCormick

Nicole is a wordsmith wizard, passionate about the written word and an avid storyteller who uses creatively crafted prose to help bring your brand’s story to the next level. A former journalist with writing credits in both local and national news publications and a few newspaper awards under her belt, Nicole now enjoys telling your stories and finding new and creative ways to create valuable content that resonates with audiences in the digital landscape.

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