How will paid advertising evolve in 2020?

Navigating the ever-changing world of paid advertising can be a tricky task for many marketers.


But with its increasing importance, it’s crucial that you create an effective strategy which utilises what it has to offer.


That’s why we consulted 50 experts to get their opinion on what’s going to be big in paid advertising in the year to come.


We asked them what their predictions are for paid advertising in 2020 and how they plan to implement those predictions in their marketing strategy.

Joe Read

Joe Read Founder of Wyze Digital

What are your predictions for paid advertising in 2020?


We’re expecting an increased focus on automation from advertising in 2020. More specifically in the automation of advert creative. We’ve seen this progressing over the years with Google Smart Shopping, Facebook Automated Ads and AdWords Express.


This gives the platforms more control over content and makes life easier for business owners & advertisers. Platforms are getting more confident in their ability to automatically create effective adverts and slowly we’ve seen advertisers are beginning to trust the platforms ability to do this too.


How will you implement this in your marketing strategy?


We’ve been carefully testing some of the automation techniques last year and are starting to trust them more and more. I see us spending some more time producing smaller selections of creative assets (products, graphic, images etc.) and pouring these into automation campaigns over the coming months.


It’s scary to let go of creative control, but ultimately we do need to trust that AI can test and optimise at a much bigger and faster scale than we can.

Ed Leake

Ed Leake of AdEvolver



I’m not convinced there’s a specific PPC tactic we should all be jumping on. I am, however, positive we need to be more willing to embrace automation. It’s a fact that machines and artificial intelligence can produce judgments and perform routine tasks faster than we humans can. Simply put, if you’re not using some automation in your PPC workflow, you’re behind the curve. 


Caveat; you don’t have to automate everything away! For example, I’m a firm believer that machines will find it hard to replace solid – human – creative thought and execution. If we look at Google in particular, is 2020 the year that kills off organic search? We know that organic results are under the ever-expanding tide of paid results. That tide isn’t receding. This naturally has an inflationary effect on cost per click. That means competition is ever increasing, having a compounding effect on advertising.




Think about what you can automate today. Take that one thankless task you do regularly that takes a lot of time and has a small impact on results. Find a machine to do it for you. Adjust your 2020 budgets and expectations to suit the inflationary pressure. It’s not a fun trend, but a realistic one to consider. Protect yourself from any data scandals; where possible, improve your 1st party data, audiences and channels such as email.


Refine the client/customer experience. Everyone talks about conversion optimisation, whilst ignoring customer optimisation. You’re paying to acquire customers, so invest time and money in keeping them.


Finally, YouTube is growing as an audio platform. Google has eyed up another revenue stream and will push ‘digital radio ads’ in 2020. Jump on the trend nice and early, and get a snappy message out to your audience. The rule of one for radio applies here too. One message, to one person, for one reason.  You could argue that applies to all advertising, but it’s good to be reminded sometimes!

Simon Hawkins

Simon Hawkins Wayfresh



Voice search is becoming more popular and it is estimated that in 2020 around 50% of searches will be activated by voice. The convenience of not only Siri, but easy-to-use platforms such as Google Home and Amazon Echo will also see voice search being more popular when looking for answers or online advice.


How this affects paid advertising is that adverts must now be optimised for voice search, otherwise advertisers will start to notice a decrease in reach and conversions. Marketers will need to start using more conversational keywords such as ‘what can I buy my dad for his birthday’ instead of ‘birthday ideas for men’.




For our marketing strategy, not only will it be optimising our keyphrases, we’ll also do work to try and achieve position zero, which is the place Google will read as your result for a voice search or will display as an expanded listing online.


Structured data and schema markup will also be integrated to allow to help pages appear in rich snippets within the SERPs, which will help to increase the chances of being the first result delivered.

Jen Mottram

Jen Mottram Fusion Unlimited Head of Paid Media



AI and machine learning will still be king. But I hope we’ll soon see an introduction of smart bidding strategies available on Shopping to match those available for text campaigns, although it’ll be interesting to see how the current CSS-dominated Shopping landscape is affected post-Brexit.


With bigger brands diversifying and new challenger brands entering the market every day, and following the new impression share metrics Google have shared over the past year, it’s inevitable that we’ll also see another CPC inflation – not good for brands over-reliant on the pay-to-play model.




We’ll be continuing to work closely with our clients to make sure they’re one step ahead whilst ensuring budgets are distributed and spent wisely. We work with clients of all shapes and sizes, in a wide range of sectors, yet they’re all equally affected by changes to the paid landscape.

Sam Ruchlewicz

Sam Ruchlewicz of



  1. More Machine Learning (ML) tech + More Automation = less control for marketers. Google has made substantial investments in their ML + automation tech for the past few years, and we’ve started to see the fruits of that with more automated bidding strategies, more RSAs, Smart Shopping, etc. I’d bet this trend will accelerate in 2020, with search engines pushing advertisers to ‘just trust us’ even more by removing targeting features, limiting others and rolling out more ML-driven settings. While this sounds scary, I’m optimistic that this proliferation of automation will (a) result in us getting better at automation and (b) will remove many of the boring, manual tasks from our to-do lists. Which leads to:


  1. Digital Marketers remember that they’re marketers first. One (potentially) positive outcome from increased emphasis on automation and ML is that PPC pros will have time to re-focus on the strategic elements: thinking about where digital platforms/tools/tactics should fit into the overall journey, how different channels can play well together, where other channels (traditional, print, radio, OLV, TV, etc.) could add value, etc. 


  1. Parity between audience + keyword targeting options – one of the things we’ve been hearing forever is that “keywords are dead”…but that really hasn’t been true until now. Audience targeting, especially when layered with keywords and topics, has finally provided marketers with viable alternatives to traditional keyword targeting. 


  1. Dollars Flee The Duopoly. The overwhelming majority of digital marketing budgets today are allocated to the duopoly: Google + Facebook. But, as our old friend Adam Smith reminds us, as competition increases, prices increase – and as prices increase, surplus value decreases. That’s exactly what’s happening on these two platforms today: CPCs are rising (or staying flat in total, but the distribution is becoming more mobile, so they’re still increasing when you account for value), CACs are rising, and ROAS is declining. In situations like this, smart marketers look for value-buys: Microsoft Advertising has revamped their entire suite of products (it’s fantastic); Quora is quietly becoming an amazing platform; Twitter is a steal in an election year; YouTube (with YouTube TV) is an incredible alternative to traditional broadcast etc.




Continue to look for value-buy opportunities on non-traditional (or under-utilised) platforms; focus on automating where it makes sense, freeing up resources to handle more strategic elements.

Sarah Atkinson

Sarah Atkinson Podium



I definitely think we will see a lot more automation across paid advertising platforms, giving us less control over our campaigns. I wouldn’t be surprised if manual bidding is removed altogether from Google, in favour of automated bidding. I’m not convinced that the changes will be positive for every business and the key to moving forward will be to assess which automated options will work for clients.




I think my job will become more difficult in terms of maintaining results whilst having less control over managing campaigns. My plan is to figure out the best way to work with the automated features and show the value of my role through areas in which won’t be automated, such as keyword strategy and creating engaging ads.


I believe there will be opportunity for PPC specialists to demonstrate that experts are still needed to manage such campaigns and give a competitive edge against those who will be solely relying on Google’s automation.

Tim Campbell

Tim Campbell Relation Media Canada



In 2020, we will continue to see the decline of organic content, so putting some amount of ad spend behind every post for Facebook and Instagram will be crucial, particularly for SMALL businesses.


Business owners should also experiment with other forms of paid advertising, such as LinkedIn advertising (which is only getting better and better), Twitter, YouTube and Google ads. I think we’ll see more and more people who have resisted spending much, if anything, spending more and focusing on both paid AND organic content strategies.




I’m doing this on my own social channels and with all my clients. Every month and on every channel we’ll have benchmarks and goals for organic content, and paid content.


This way we can experiment, play and promote the best content. We’ll review what’s working, when, how it reflects the business and next steps based on both content and paid strategies.

Jaime Nacach

Jaime Nacach Bloominari



For small businesses, paid advertising through social media channels will likely increase, as the existing organic reach of social media is super low (<2% of followers can see a Facebook page’s content). Thus, more small companies will realise the need to invest more in paid-boosted posts, or social media ads on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.


As for PPC advertising, it will likely continue to increase slowly as usual, as keyword-based search is still one of the fastest ways to get people to someone’s website. Yet, in 2020, we’ll also see a shift of some companies spending more in SEO, as content marketing becomes an even greater tool for not only short-term results (paid ads), but for a long-term strategy to rank higher.




Will create new ad campaigns in Facebook, Google, and potentially will also start LinkedIn. Additionally, our marketing agency Bloominari, will expand its marketing automation efforts to continue to generate new leads.

Jack Dorney

Jack Dorney Jack and Bean



Automation is nothing new for paid advertising, but more processes will require fewer interactions in 2020. Artificial Intelligence will also see wider use in audience analysis and smarter bid automation.




We test and deploy automation on ad platforms such as Google Ads as they roll out new features and incentivise their implementation. While beneficial as cost-saving measures or opportunities to scale, most automated processes are not immediately as effective as the human-driven process they replace.


Our agency, Jack & Bean, takes a selective approach to update our processes, based upon internal testing.

Jon Leighton

Jon Leighton Land Digital



The automation potential that’s already a core part of what makes Google Ads such an appealing platform will only become a more powerful tool in the months to come, especially given the relative infancy of Google’s responsive search ads – which will make the once arduous process of analysing campaign performance data on a deep, granular level (and reacting accordingly) a thing of the past.


Some digital marketers could see this level of automation as a crutch that stifles the creative process, but I believe these efficiency-focused features are the key to allowing us to focus our creative energy where it’s best spent, leaving the performance monitoring, measurement and optimisation to the purpose-built algorithms for the job.




Exploring the potential and efficacy of responsive ads across numerous different verticals and offers to begin to identify patterns in best performing ad copy. This way, I can not only begin to create a blueprint for ad copy that works from day 1, but also reap the benefits of this improved ad copy more quickly than ever before.


A/B testing is always a highly worthwhile activity for any creative marketer or user experience designer to undertake, and I’ll be seizing this elegant, automated solution to A/B testing in paid search in the year ahead.

Jordan Gurrieri

Jordan Gurrieri Blue Label Labs



TikTok will continue to grow as a marketing channel for advertisers.


Growing privacy concerns and Google’s cookie policy changes will change marketing automation technology in significant ways.




We will look at TikTok as a user acquisition channel for our clients’ GTM strategies.


Privacy and cookie policy compliance will be an ongoing core part of any marketing strategy we run internally and for our clients.

Jo Brylka

Jo Brylka at



The continued innovation in automated and Smart campaigns. Used wisely and in conjunction with PPC expertise, they can be a highly effective tool in enhancing performance.


With the recent tweak in the aesthetics of Google SERPS, so ads blend more seamlessly with organic results, we should expect to see a higher click through rate going forward too.




We will continue to test new machine learning opportunities wherever they are relevant and adopt those which deliver improved performance for our clients.


This will include switching more campaigns to Smart bid strategies, such as Maximise Conversions and Target CPA.

Dave Gibbs

Dave Gibbs Serenity Digital



Advertisers will find themselves caught in the crossfire as Google tries to retain & reclaim search volume share from Amazon.


With product search now being increasingly focused on Amazon, Google will increase the push on Shopping Ads, and SSCs in particular, from their account strategists to try and further increase take up.




The key for us is to find new ways to use the new technologies that Google is providing advertisers to increase profits for our clients, as opposed to focusing purely on pushing back.


This will allow for a better ROAS for our clients, as well as identifying practical & successful strategies moving forwards as Google pushes for greater levels of automation in PPC.

April Hodge

April Hodge Littlebigbox



As the global economic climate shifts, there will be a continuing and growing need for paid advertising, deliberately focusing on territory and trends within that territory.


I feel that many companies will be reviewing their budgets with much emphasis on paid advertising.




At Littlebigbox, we will consider implementing paid advertising within our strategy by way of digital media marketing agencies.


Due diligence and cost will be deciding factors, as with most companies during this climate, many pockets are not as deep as they once were.

Mike Crimmins

Mike Crimmins Firmidable



For better or worse, more automation. We can either take advantage of it or get run over by it.




Test, test and more testing. Test automated bidding techniques, test automated ads, test automated settings. Monitor, then tweak.

Grant Simmons

Grant Simmons Paid Advertising



Automation. With Google and Facebook AI driving efficiencies, and programmatic platforms managing spend allocations in real-time, paid search practitioners will need to get on the bus or get out of the way. This will affect agencies struggling to justify their fees, so agency folks need to deliver a true ‘value add’ of search strategy, audience-based tactics and channel mix to win, earn and maintain business. To do that, reporting and analysis will be key and in demand.




Already embracing the ‘rise of the machines’ 🙂

Chris Smith

Chris Smith Argent Media



I predict that Google’s introduction of website favicons in search results, along with their rearrangement of search listing features that recently rolled-out, will increase paid ad performance in their search results in 2020. I also predict that Google will roll out an additional, new paid ad product this year.




Reviewing client website favicons will be vital for their organic search performance. Also, we will adjust copy carefully to engineer text ads to perform well in the modified search results.

Kyle Shurtz

Kyle Shurtz Avalaunch Media



Machine learning will continue to be at the forefront of all the platforms. We as marketers must become more strategic in ways to maintain control of our ad dollars while implementing new tactics.




We will continue to be first movers on new betas while strategically controlling how much budget is being allocated to these initiatives.

Anesha M. Collins

Anesha M. Collins Unashamed Imaging



Business owners who value video marketing and surveying their target audience will highly value organic marketing. This type of marketing approach will allow them to share content without spending marketing dollars initially, which will give them the data needed to then place marketing dollars behind organic content that is currently converting.




There is tremendous value in organic marketing. It’s simply a matter of understanding that the long-race is what you want. Most business owners are looking for quick wins and shortcuts which decreases their business longevity.

Mat Moses

Mat Moses Herdl



I think 2020 will see Google introduce a higher-tier, paid, Google My Business listing. With zero-click searches on the rise, I wouldn’t be surprised if Google sees an opportunity to monetise this area of search results, and offer an ad-like listing with increased offerings to businesses. Looking back at 2019, it’s clear to see that Ads automation will also continue to develop. It’s likely we’ll see new automated bidding strategies and optimisation tools introduced throughout the year.




As a digital marketer, staying up-to-date with industry news and developments is key – being able to adapt to and implement new services is a must. We always look at phasing new products and services into our process – making sure we test them thoroughly before bringing them into active accounts.


As automation continues to develop, we’ll be working to introduce new custom scripts and rules to help stay ahead of the competition and enhance the performance of our Ads accounts.

Dan Harris

Dan Harris of Profits Marketing Group



I believe the current trend with advertisers shifting resources away from Facebook ads to other platforms will continue. The saturation on Facebook and resulting higher CPC will force this issue.




We already spread our advertising resources over multiple channels, with approx 40% of client campaigns occurring on LinkedIn and YouTube, in addition to Facebook and Google ads.

Bryan Caplan

Bryan Caplan Marketing



I believe that Google My Business will become valuable real estate for online advertisers. It’s possible that Google could use location-specific data to serve up the most relevant business ad to the user viewing a specific GMB profile. This feature would make Google My Business profiles much more integral to a business’s local SEO strategy.




It’s all about keeping an eye on Google My Business profiles. Check out your own, watch your competitors, and see what Google is testing in these spaces.

Lukasz Zelezny

Lukasz Zelezny SEO



Paid advertising will be even more visible and that is why SEO will become even harder. But that is why most SEOs are trying to learn every day. Just to be ready. Also artificial intelligence and machine learning will take more care about ROI focus.




As an SEO, I will be trying to utilise not only standard organic results, but also I will keep even more focus on featured snippets as well as Google My Business results. Not to forget the impact on CTR that rich results are giving.

Alex Pagliano

Alex Pagliano Perrill



Smart advertisers will look for means beyond Google Ads to reduce CPAs.




Use channels for the intended purpose. Commencing a flight into Google Ads or Facebook isn’t often the most prudent use of cash in a competitive space. Consider avenues like public relations, content, and search to dramatically lower your true CPAs.

Heather Robinson

Heather Robinson Skittish



I think (or hope!) Google will give us more options for advertising through the display network and improve the dynamic ads they currently generate, allowing for more customisation and greater control over how ads are displayed. This would make it much easier to create ads that are in keeping with clients’ branding.




We’ll certainly continue to trial display ads, using both dynamic and bespoke ad creatives for our clients to find the best option in terms of click through rate.

Samantha Noble

Samantha Noble Biddable Moments



With the re-introduction of ads to Google Maps last year, I think we are going to see more of a shake up within the local search space. I am expecting to see more localised ad formats and potentially more ad placements appearing within Google Maps.




It is vital that your Google My Business listings are all up to date and have all the fields populated. These listings need to be linked to your Google Ads account in order for there to be a chance for your business to appear at the top of Google Maps as an ad placement.

Hank Hoffmeier

Hank Hoffmeier Icontact



Marketers are going to start getting fatigued with having to spend more money to obtain more reach. The more popular paid advertising gets, the more expensive it becomes. Advertising on Google, Facebook and Instagram is more expensive now than a couple of years ago.


More brands will look for channels that allow them to obtain a better ROI. That will be using email marketing more and trying out newer platforms like TikTok, since there is higher ROI and better reach respectively.




I plan to use TikTok and email more in 2020 to make sure that I am able to reach more people by spending less money.

Michael Hamburger

Michael Hamburger Ezzey



Google will continue to deliver for intent-based search and paid social will continue to see an increase in price and a decrease in reach.




We continue to blend our paid search and paid social for a congruent marketing strategy.

Lars Maat

Lars Maat Maatwerk



I predict that we as marketers could get some measurement problems. With the privacy and the third-party cookies discussion we are seeing at this moment, paid advertisers will have to adapt in order to keep measuring the majority of their work.




Browsers keep adjusting their settings. Firefox and Safari already made some big adjustments. The new Microsoft Edge browser is also more protective cookie-wise. And Chrome won’t accept third-party cookies in 2022.


We are working on innovative ways to keep measuring what we need to measure, without third-party cookies.

Joanne Brady

Joanne Brady Social Bods



Paid advertising will increase, particularly on Facebook and Instagram. Google AdWords are losing their sparkle for many as spending can get a little out of control and ROI is always pertinent. Smaller businesses are coming round to the idea that even a very little spend on Facebook, for example, can provide good returns, whether it’s to sell more product in the short term or gain more followers to work on in the future.


As a business, we’ve noticed more demand for people with the right skills to optimise paid advertising spend on social media networks. In fact, some clients only want a paid advertising manager and are happy doing their own organic posts and account management. With networks squeezing organic content even harder, there will be a need to pay to be seen even more in 2020.




We are not on social media enough to make paid advertising worthwhile (though we do occasionally use AdWords). However, we do think our clients’ budgets for the paid element of their social media marketing will increase and they will want to focus less on relying on organic content.


As an agency, we will very likely be spending more time managing ad spend on behalf of clients and less time on content creation, though organic content will still take up a significant part of our working week.

Craig Campbell

Craig Campbell SEO



Personally, I think paid advertising is increasing year on year. AdWords, of course we all know that’s common because Google are always looking at ways to dominate the landscape with paid ads, so it makes sense to do this.


But people are becoming more strategic with their Digital Marketing and you have to protect your brand and various other bits and bobs. This on top of clever technology that we have available on social media means that paid ads can become really laser targeted using your Facebook pixel for example. 


We also have other paid advertising that people are looking at, such as paid Quora ads or YouTube retargeting, and there are various other options available and I see that trend continuing to grow as budgets for marketing are increasing year on year.




I always try and stay ahead of the game and utilise all options available to me to get as much exposure as I possibly can. There is no point in having only one way of getting traffic. Make sure you use as many channels as your budget allows and that’s something I’m continuing to invest in.

Dan Young

Dan Young of Loud Digital



I believe Google will push even harder for automated bidding strategies to be compulsory and Google Display will start to catch up with Facebook when it comes to audience building & targeting.




By making bidding strategies such as Target CPA a priority when it comes to optimising accounts. When it comes to Display we will utilise more in-market audiences & keyword lists.

David Harris

David Harris from One2Create



I think PPC spend is going to continue to increase for 2020, with smarter ads and bidding strategies.




As part of our ongoing approach to our digital campaign work.

Chris Williams

Chris Williams Williams Graphics



It’s going to get a lot more expensive to get in front of your exact target market, and likely we’ll need to think of more interesting and dynamic ways to convert customers in the B2B space.




For B2B, rather than just lazily creating a lead magnet and email sequence, we’ll instead be creating dynamic user experiences that have visitors qualifying themselves AND giving permission for us to contact them.


We have experimented with these funnels in 2019, and in 2020, we’ll be pushing these systems harder.

Mark Irvine

Mark Irvine Wordstream



PPC is shifting away from the tactics and tricks – but back to bigger ideas. You’ll spend less time doing keyword research, writing ad copy, or managing keyword level bids than you ever have in the past.


Some of that control will be lost (or more likely taken away) but advertisers will have more tools and time to focus on the big picture behind their campaigns.




Rather than focusing on manually testing ads – we’ll be able to use Responsive Ads to reach more people and test our copy at scale.


Rather than focusing on manually testing thousands of individual bids – advertisers will need to get comfortable deciding when to rely on automated bidding to do the heavy lifting for them.


Rather than obsessing over keywords – advertisers will have more options to target their ads towards relevant audiences on and off the search engine results page.

Luke Milbourn

Luke Milbourn Booster Box Digital



Campaigns across platforms are getting less granular. It’s now easier than ever to get an ad campaign up and running thanks to the advances of machine learning. This hugely lowers the barrier for starting a ‘good’ campaign.


However, having faith in machine learning also has possible downsides as it is much harder to see why campaigns work. Making it harder to build great campaigns. As advertisers, we need to learn how to work with machine learning.




The best way to deal with machine learning is to carry on doing what the best marketers have done for years: test, test and test more.


We can dive into the impact of machine learning on our ad campaigns from a few angles. Firstly, we will have to question our data and understand what it is really telling us. What are the actions people are taking on our website? Why are they taking them? Machine learning takes decisions based on the data we feed it, so we need to make sure that the data is fit for purpose.


Secondly, from the other side, we also need to make sure we understand our ad campaigns from the human perspective. What is our data not telling us? A machine learning algorithm may do very different things with different ad creatives, but it may not be able to tell us why. To link these two approaches together we need to continue running scientific tests. What is our hypothesis about what our customers like? What action can we take to improve our campaigns? Which data points would show our theory is false?

Martin Calvert

Martin Calvert ICS Digital



With Google taking steps to remove third-party cookies from Chrome over the next two years, many marketers will find it much harder to target customers in the ways that they’ve been used to. While this move may be welcomed by consumers, it may also lead to marketers having more dependence on Google’s own paid channels, which continue to develop in new ways.


We’ll see the biggest advertising platforms of today like Google, Facebook and YouTube – who already hold so much data – continue to grow. They’ll present new ways of leveraging their user data to make up for what marketers will be losing out on, but other platforms and tech providers may struggle to prove their worth.




We’ll continue to keep an open mind about alternative advertising platforms where we can sensibly target ads on behalf of our clients to audiences who can benefit from seeing them.


As with any drastic change, there will be winners and losers and our approach will be to advise clients on the options that remain, and help them to take advantage of new paid advertising possibilities…while getting more value out of their existing approaches with conversion rate optimisation, rich media ads and multilingual and international campaigns.

Tanner Schroeder

Tanner Schroeder Hanapin Marketing



Amazon is going to continue taking share of the e-commerce space. I expect to see more companies adopting the marketing side of the platform, especially as Amazon continues to push new tools to make advertising easier for its users.




I am continuing to shift additional budget into Amazon to get ahead of the curve. Testing on testing as new betas and tools are released to hone in on the best strategies for the platform. As it stands, the Sponsored Product ads still reign as the best of the ad types at targeting users in the consideration phase. If you haven’t used Amazon before, start there and then dive in with tests to find success.

Ada Luo

Ada Luo Croud



The globalisation of emerging platforms:


The unique platforms initially developed for domestic demand will expand globally. TikTok is one good example. The platforms in the West will also look to the East for inspiration in user experience and digital transformation, particularly for Ecosystem Maturity. Alibaba and Tencent have established their own ecosystem and continue to mature over the years – they’ve developed their own digital payment, news and video channel, social functions etc, which I see the tech giants in the west are also looking to achieve.




Continuing to look beyond the limitation of in-market platforms, audience and build a wider and higher varieties of marketing platform portfolios and strategies.


Social Media:

Alaina Thompson

Alaina Thompson Hanapin Marketing



I anticipate an increase in podcast advertising, particularly on Spotify. Spotify has continued to grow its advertising platform capabilities and the number of podcast listeners in the U.S continues to grow.


Many digital marketers are hesitant to run podcast ads due to the lack of conversion tracking, relative to paid search and paid social campaigns, but I believe the most forward-looking marketers will test podcast ads in 2020, if they’re not already.




Testing! Testing! Testing!

Erik Belfrage

Erik Belfrage Docklin Digital



For e-commerce-vendors: Optimization towards profit rather than revenue and, of course, an even greater tilt towards shopping advertisement.


For lead-gen platforms: A greater focus on reaching the right customer at the right time – i.e a greater use of audience (and negative audiences!).




For e-commerce vendors: Budget optimisation and analysis to allocate the correct/best amount of the budget to shopping campaigns, and implementing profit bidding, using Big Query and margin-data, on more of our customers.


For lead-gen platforms: Implementing better audience-lists using CLV (or such like) type of analysis.

Jason Dodge

Jason Dodge BlackTruck Media



There are two main areas I see as growth opportunities in paid advertising in 2020. First, the continued growth of machine learning across all platforms, but more importantly the accuracy and efficiency at which these processes occur. This could mean faster ad approval times as well as improved ad performance as the machine learning side aids in performance tuning. Next up, ads will become even more native feeling. By that I mean in-platform or in-app.


We already see some of the testing by Google in the SERPS with favicons showing up for organic and a redesign of the ‘ads’ distinction, further blurring the line for a user between what is a paid listing and what is not.




While integration has always been key for paid media, having a solid understanding of your audiences and how they engage with each channel will help you plot out a proper strategy. Taking full advantage of the constant changes in Google Ads and other platforms such as Facebook, means further integrating your campaigns.


Realising that Facebook might not be the proper channel to target some users through first-touch interaction, but driving awareness up around your brand through Display channels, ultimately retargeting them through social could be a win. Understanding that this is very much an omni-channel world that we live in.


Meaning – it takes multiple touch points to convince and convert a user to your brand. Run integrated campaigns, test creative messaging and pivot as needed.

Madeline Fitzgerald

Madeline from 3Q Digital



I predict that testing methodologies must become more nuanced. As algorithms take over most A/B testing within platforms, the human elements of strategy and critical thinking will become more and more vital to measuring true success and not just following the crowd.




We must think critically about our testing frameworks, before we can be led by incomplete findings. For example, when measuring a successful test, sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.


I’ve seen this play out in Google Ads: your Responsive Search Ads might not directly outperform your standard Expanded Text Ads, but having them enabled might lift your overall ad group performance.


See here for more data:


and here for more examples of critical thinking ‘mythbusting’ for digital ads in 2020:

James Svoboda

James Svoboda Web Ranking



Paid advertising will, of course, continue to grow this year. In particular, 3 areas will grow in ad budgets: A) Video/YouTube, as it has become easier to create videos and ads for this medium.  B) Content promotion budgets for amplifying existing content to new audiences and platforms like Quora. C) Podcasting is ripe to start capturing a sizable share of new advertising dollars.




For years now, marketers have been repurposing content for other mediums such as taking blog posts and turning them into Infographics, Drip Email Campaigns, Guest Posts, Presentations, Videos, Podcasts, etc.


For 2020 and beyond, we’ll be building agile campaigns that balance promoting content and building sales through the many paid advertising opportunities now available. This will allow us to shift budgets based on performance and not platform or medium.

Robert Brady

Robert Brady Righteous Marketing



Automation will continue to increase across all paid advertising platforms. This makes it harder for advanced advertisers to leverage their knowledge and sophistication for profit, but can be a boon to less sophisticated (or time-constrained) advertisers.




I will maintain manual control over certain aspects of my advertising campaigns, but test automation to see where it can achieve further efficiencies. If the machine can produce better results, I’m all for it.

Steven Hammer

Steven Hammer Rankhammer



We’re entering a world where we’re going to get less data from the advertising platforms, and thus be more reliant on our own data. This will make accurate internal tracking and fundamental marketing much more important. We’re going to need to move away from thinking that platform tweaks are the job.




We push hard to get tracking right. For example, moving from app downloads to actual in-app purchases is a huge difference for performance. And of course we try to have better creative and copy as well.

Jitendra Vaswani

Jitendra Vaswani SEO



Paid advertising is going to take over organic marketing soon as Google starts showing top 4 ads with a lot of space getting covered by ads on first page. I am seeing a lot of the organic traffic of huge websites have gone down. Paid advertising is going to be more expensive so brands should start using advertising ASAP, because once CPC gets high, then it will be super expensive for brands to do paid marketing.




I am already running some paid campaigns for some of my clients. They have different products in health & travel. I am doing Google ads currently for the US market. We are paying around $3-4 per click for some ‘review based keywords’. Because my client has a lot of review based content on his website, we are trying to optimise to bring it as low as possible, but competition is huge in the US market. I love PPC and I am scaling it to make 5 fig profitable on a monthly basis.

Dave Davies

Dave Davies Beanstalk



Google has pretty much capped what they can do with the real estate available, so I’ll be watching for moves into sector-specific dominance. Travel is going to continue to get massively shaken up as it seems to be leading the charge in this area. Obviously they will continue to shove automation down our throats. It works very well in some cases. It’s a trainwreck in others. So I’ll just be continuing to test where applicable, and let the data guide the decisions.


I also predict we’ll see a bit more pay-per-conversion campaigns rolling out. The death of the cookie will be interesting to watch, giving Google significant advantages over others. That’s not until 2022, but we’re going to be seeing the groundwork get laid among other advertising platforms, starting this year.




Keep watching. Keep adapting. The more automation we see, the more people will rely on it, the bigger the advantage that advanced strategies and creative thinking will yield.

Lisa Grenney

Lisa Grenney GRO Marketing



Multi-channel & omni-channel marketing and utilising all PPC channels, for example, search ads, display ads, video ads & shopping ads. Then incorporate this into blogs, social, SEO & other marketing to help grow your paid advertising campaigns – “All marketing works together”.




By using all marketing platforms/channels to create a strong brand presence & accelerating online growth.

Aaron Goldman

Aaron Goldman 4C Insights



Ads in Stories will become a standard part of every brand’s paid social media playbook. With Facebook putting a bigger emphasis on Stories and making them pervasive across its family of apps, marketers will adopt these ad formats as an always-on part of their campaigns.




Run more ads in Stories!

Mercedes Mollet

Emerge Design Logo



Paid search will continue to benefit from AI to automate some of the ad creative process. This offers both an advantage in terms of saving marketers time, but also threatens the position of individuals who specialise in this platform.




AI does offer advantages when the delivery of a campaign is critical and resources are restricted, therefore we intend to use elements of this intelligence within text search ads.

2020 and beyond...

The experts have spoken, and one thing in particular is clear – automation is going to play an even bigger role in paid advertising in 2020. Marketers will need to adapt to these changes and figure out how automation can benefit them.

Paid advertising also looks set to become more expensive. As more businesses switch from organic to paid, Google and Facebook will likely increase their prices. Many experts predict that this price increase will encourage marketers to seek out alternative channels to get a better ROI.

Whatever way 2020 plays out, there are sure to be some noticeable changes in the paid advertising landscape. If you have some paid advertising predictions of your own, you can share them with us by tweeting @getdesignwizard.

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