What's the secret to crushing it in marketing this year? Knowing the right marketing trends can make all the difference.
Marketing is more than creating ads. Marketers engineer experiences that wow and attract audiences -- from a seamless content strategy that hits right on customer pain points, to creating offers that excite them, to email strategies that move them along their journey, marketers make it happen.
Every year, customers and their preferences change. New developments and products come to the surface. So it makes sense that marketers would need to adapt to these and other factors.
2020 and Beyond
There's no denying that so far 2020 has been a rollercoaster of a year. With COVID-19 sweeping across the globe and economies of many countries on pause, all of us are feeling the pressure.
But with all of this going on, it's the perfect time to take stock of your marketing strategy. Taking the time now can ensure that you're prepared for everything 2020 has in store.
Perhaps you've asked yourself one or more of these questions...
- What can I expect this year?
- What new developments could impact my marketing strategy?
- What do I need to watch out for?
Looking at the latest trends in marketing will helps us to answer these questions and, not just be prepared, but succeed in the coming year.
Let's take a look at the biggest trends in marketing and see how they fit into your 2020 marketing plan.
8 of the Biggest Marketing Trends in 2020
1. AI Will Continue to Grow
Artificial intelligence continues to make all of the marketing trends top lists for 2020. Why? Because every month -- not just every year -- we continue to see new ways that AI impacts our industry.
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), it's predicted that spending on artificial intelligence systems will reach $97.9 billion in 2020 -- more than double what was spent in 2019.
Such predictions, along with the strides in AI development that we see around us, make this trend one to watch carefully. Be alert for for the latest technologies and seek ways AI can help your marketing to succeed.
2. SEO Will Evolve
SEO strategy is largely dependent on Google's algorithms. As Google tweaks its algorithms, we need to adapt our strategies to keep our rankings strong.
How can we expect SEO to change in 2020? Looking back to 2019, we saw how Google laid into credit repair and debt services, creating stricter regulations and even banning some ads.
It's possible Google will restrict other industries and will doubtless make other changs. This means that we need to remain vigilant, ready to adapt our SEO strategy to conform to any new rules that Google and other search engines throw at us.
3. Email is Poised to Change
Email has always been an important part of marketing, but the past couple of years we've seen a subtle shift in email companies. Acquisitions and mergers have become a common occurrence across much of the email industry. For example, just this past year we've seen Validity acquire Return Path and Mailgun purchasing Mailjet.
Such acquisitions reveal a new air of competition around the email industry. Competition is sure to breed new ideas and new ways to leverage email in your marketing strategy.
It's likely that email strategies will grow and evolve as a result of these developments. As a marketer, you'll need to keep a close eye on such developments to make sure your strategy stays current.
4. Text Marketing Is On the Rise
We have email marketing, social media marketing...but what about marketing through text messages? Artificial intelligence has opened the way for this to become a viable tactic.
How does AI and text marketing work? Through detailed algorithms, AI can predict what messages and formats will appeal most to certain audiences. Over time, AI can monitor what messages get the most engagement and adapt its predictions to best suit your audience.
Granted, this kind of marketing will need its own, unique approach. And we'll need time to determine what tactics work best. It is, nonetheless, an exciting opportunity for brands in 2020.
5. Experiences Valued Over Products
Previously, a brand's messaging emphasized product description and promotion. But we've seen a growing preference, especially among millennials, for experiences over products.
If you have a B2B business, you might hesitate at first, thinking that experience marketing doesn't fit your business model. But there are several experience strategies that work well for B2B businesses.
Seek ways to give your audience a hands-on experience, where the benefits of your product or service can be seen in real-world situations. You could create a live event or join an industry event where you can interact with your audience. Be creative, but make sure that it fits your brand image.
6. Conversational Marketing is King
With the rise of smart speakers and smart phone tools like Google Assistant, people are speaking a short phrase rather than typing it.
How does this affect your marketing plan? If your marketing materials aren't written conversationally, then you could miss out on a large portion of your audience.
As you create content and adjust your messaging, reflect on how people really speak. When it comes to titles and content, read it aloud and ask yourself, does this sound natural? Is it clear and easy to read?
Look for ways to adopt conversational tone throughout your strategy, including your email, SEO, social media and content strategies.
7. People Want Transparency
Transparency is becoming ever more important. And with the growing internet of things around us, if you don't share something with your audience, they're bound to find it somewhere else. It's best to be upfront with everything, good or bad, from the get-go.
Transparency comes into play in many areas, but let's look at a couple here.
First, customer reviews. People want to see what others think of your products. So give it to them. Invest the time in case studies and testimonials from your customers. After a purchase, reach out with a friendly, no-pressure note inviting a customer to write you a review. Or if you've worked with a customer on a complex brand issue, broach the subject of creating a case study together.
Another key area where you can provide transparency is through pricing. If people don't see a pricing list right off the bat, you risk their assuming that you're too expensive and going elsewhere. Perhaps your business model makes this difficult. Could you provide a few pre-priced services, leaving the option for customers to contact you for pricing on more complicated services?
8. Mobile Needs to Be a Priority
The use of mobile continues to rise year after year. The most recent data shows that mobile devices now represent 52% of total web traffic -- that means that you could lose out on 52% of your audience by not being mobile-ready.
What do you need to do to optimize for mobile? First, explore your site on a mobile device. Is the content easy to read? Are the images clear? Is it an overall appealing experience? If not, go back to the drawing board and improve your mobile experience.
As you create new content, think about how it will appear on mobile. Do test runs on mobile to test out the experience and make any needed adjustments. This includes your blog posts, video, calls to action...anything that your audience will see.
Marketing trends in 2020 are poised to make this an interesting year. We look forward to taking this crazy ride with you and seeing what's in store for marketing strategies.
What do you think is going to be the biggest trends in marketing this year? Let us know in the comments below.
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