As we enter the New Year, marketing planning will need to be a top priority in your business. But do you know what areas you should be concentrating on yet? Marketing trends move quickly and keeping up to date with what’s working now or what will work later can be time consuming.
With this in mind, check out the top seven marketing trends that we at TopRight believe should be top of mind as you get ready for 2020.
Seizing on Customer Experience
Consumers are now spoilt for choices and demand more personalized brand experiences. 2020 will be the year of data-driven personalization. It’s something that may pose a big challenge to brands heading into 2020. Technologies offering real-world intelligence on people and places for targeted marketing would see greater adoption for making personalization work at scale. According to a recent report published by The Economist, marketers will seize on the customer experience in 2020 and usher in a dramatic rise in the use of personalization, combining consumer data-backed services with a prospect’s physical context.
Abandoning Email as Primary Communication
During 2020, direct-to-consumer (DTC) companies will see email unsubscribe rates grow to 40% and reach all-time highs. With platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Google becoming increasingly expensive, brands are going to be forced to find alternative channels to communicate with their customers, which means an over-reliance on email that will cause mass unsubscribes. What brands will have to do is reassess their marketing strategies and modernize more traditional engagement approaches in order to maintain customer loyalty while creating meaningful ways to reach their customer base. In an era of personalization, this will leave DTC brands with limited options. Without email to fall back on, they must adopt new channels that can create a direct relationship, drive engagement and build an online presence that gets results.
Automating Conversational Commerce
Although not a new technology, voice search is gearing up to be a significant player in terms of how customers search and interact with brands. The latest statistics show that 71% of mobile users aged 18–29 use the voice assistant on their smartphone. Marketers will need to ensure that they are utilizing conversational queries appropriately by having content to match it as well as updating pay-per-click keyword selection to include variants.
Keeping Content King—but Making ROI Queen
With content still at the top for the new year, expanding the types of content used will be important to stay ahead of the pack. Immersive content such as live video and augmented reality (AR) are set to be the main players in this arena. Recent research carried out by Digital Marketing World suggests that live video will make up 13% of all internet traffic by 2021. With video already prevalent across social media allowing consumers real-time engagement with the brands they love, adding AR will create another level of interaction. It will give brands the option of allowing a deeper look into their products with demos and tradeshow presentations. All of these content marketing capabilities will put marketers on a path to seize the customer experience—but CFOs will be demanding proof of ROI more than ever. To get prepared, check out this recent article from Insane Growth about how to turn $1 into $5 with Facebook ads.
Putting A.I. in Its Place
My personal view: 2020 will not be the year we all get replaced by robots! Be prepared for major milestones regarding AI in 2020. Private companies, especially startups, will increasingly feature their AI capabilities in a bid to capture venture capital money. We’ll see companies, especially public ones, package their offerings with AI features to impress shareholders hungry for digital transformation. However, 2020 could be a slow year for AI writ large. Although it continues to improve every day, the distance between marketing and reality is still wide. Companies need to continue to invest in infrastructure that can handle AI capabilities and APIs to connect data together that can train and feed algorithms. Using automated chatbots or hybrid cloud security is a wise and time-saving move, and AI is an essential part of our marketing future, but the technology may not be quite transformative in 2020, despite how much progress we’ve made. Not to worry, however, major advancements will be made! The wait may just be longer than expected.
Doubling Down on SEO Investments
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is here to stay, but how you optimize your content may need to change. Position-zero rankings are something you need to be thinking about when creating optimized content. What is a zero-point result? It’s that “featured snippet” that appears at the top of search results page, known as “position 0” since it’s above search result 1. By revisiting your content strategy and focusing on any FAQ copy, you can enable search engines to pick up your snippets and make sure they’re displayed at the top of organic searches. This strategy could aid you in appearing twice in both the feature snippet and search results. Recent reports coming out of Google suggest that they may be abandoning the zero-search algorithm—but I would not be surprised if we see it re-emerge in 2020, perhaps in a more sophisticated form.
Feeling the Need for Speed
It’s a fact that 25% of users will abandon a page that hasn’t loaded fully within four seconds. And, if a user does abandon your site because of slow page load speed, it is quite likely they will never come back. If you focus on improving load time, you will see your site’s performance improve and your customers returning.
So, there you have it: seven key digital marketing trends to capitalize on to win in 2020. Quite a lot to consider, but if you start formulating your strategies now, and continue to create engaging content that immerses your audience in a personalized experience, well then the New Year promises to be a prosperous one! And if you’d like to receive a steady flow of insights on digital marketing trends heading into next year, please follow me @TopRightPartner, connect with me on LinkedIn, subscribe to our blog, or buy a copy of my latest book, Marketing, Interrupted.