Digital marketing trends can be unpredictable in the digital age. We’re constantly learning about new inventions and services that are becoming increasingly available to us. However, as 2020 fast approaches, it has never been more important to stay on top of the advancements in Digital Marketing. According to an in-depth report from emarketer, digital ad spend in 2019 equated to $130 billion globally, nearly double the annual amount of 2016. With the increase in demand for digital marketing across the globe, it’s vital to recognise and understand the trends that are happening in digital marketing. Let’s look at 8 valuable digital marketing trends as we start this new decade…2020!
1 – Privacy
With everybody’s data now stored online, privacy and security has never been more important. Attention to detail, as it relates to privacy is essential. Many companies, such as Apple, now know everything about us. They have our fingerprint, they can recognise our face thru facial recognition, and they store our credit card information. It’s safe to say they probably know us better than we know ourselves.
In early 2018, the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal was described as a ‘watershed moment’ in the public’s understanding of personal data and how it is used by large corporations. In addition, the popular documentary, ‘The Great Hack’, released on Netflix revealed the amount of personal data that large corporations store and how it can be used in a manipulative way. Assisting Trump win the presidential election and the ‘Leave’ campaign winning the Brexit vote are just 2 more examples of ways stored data has been used. And these are just examples of those that made the news!
Companies have cleverly began using privacy and security as a USP (unique selling point) of their products and services. Apple has even made privacy one of their ‘core values’, and have created compelling advertising campaigns based on their efforts to improve the privacy and confidentiality of all of its consumers. Consumers decisions, more than ever are driven by services or products that consumers can trust. Customers want to have confidence that their data is kept confidential and not ‘sold’ or displayed to any third party. This will be a turning factor behind consumer decisions moving forward.
2 – Personalisation
Customer experience is becoming exponentially important, as everyone is constantly being offered with alternatives every time they shop. Research by MuleSoft found that 69% of consumers said that a disconnected customer experience would make them consider changing service provides, whilst Harvard Business Review found 93% of business leaders say that delivering a reliable and relevant customer experience will be pivotal in their business success two years from now. Meeting the consumers expectations and needs, and making their experience feel connected and personalised is the most effective way to build customer loyalty, which is pivotal as competition increases year on year.
We are placing even more focus on social listening to our audiences and what they want. This is a method we see will increase our ability to give the people what they want. Reaching out to the right people on social media to help tell the brand story will be a big factor of giving the people a platform where what they want matters.
3 – Sales Funnels
Following on from customer experience, sales funnels are a vital component of capturing a consumer, before they choose a competitor. There are generally three parts to a sales funnel: awareness, interest/consideration, and action/conversion. In this day where your business will always have to compete for customers attention, being able to run a successful sales funnel is pivotal for the success of any business in 2020. Being able to turn potential customers into actual, paying customers is becoming increasingly difficult yet increasingly important.
4 – Influencer Marketing
Probably one of the most simplistic ways to build your brand awareness, influencer marketing is becoming an increasingly effective marketing strategy and will continue to grow into 2020. With the amount of ‘influencers’ increasing year-on-year, individuals in a variety of niches having social media accounts with 10, 20, 50, 100 thousand followers is becoming increasingly normal and yet influencer marketing is arguably one of the most underpriced marketing strategies available. Being able to have an influencer with a loyal following in the hundreds of thousands to millions being able to promote your product can drastically improve the customer base of any company.
Bonus point here for the significant rise of TikTok as a platform for social influencers. The rapid growth from 2017 averages of 2.5 million people to todays 14.4 million users is phenomenal growth. Watch this space as digital marketers turn to TikTok to push campaigns even further with short sharp videos. These micro influencers will be making all kinds of noise to stand out as TikTok’s biggest influencer.
5 – Interactive Content
Simply, interactive content facilitates a better interaction between the content creator and the audience. Whilst the saying goes that “content is king”, it may be true that interactive content is the new king. Time magazine reported that the average human loses concentration after 8 seconds! Meaning, as marketers, we just have 8 seconds to hook in potential clients and customers. According to SnapApp, 70% of marketers are creating more content today than a year ago, so you need to find a way to engage your audience more than the next marketer will.
Interactive content is drastically increasing in popularity as it links in with personalization, which was discussed earlier. Interactive content allows for a seamless, personalised experience for the customer and allows them to feel connected to your business. In 2020, interactive content is going to be on the rise simultaneously with customer experience as a way for companies to compete for their audiences attention.
Expect a bigger push around live content, more brands are accepting live video as a way to reach theiur audiences. People love video content and the technology used to make this happen is now cheaper and more integratable into our most commonly used platforms.
6 – AI Machine Learning
The capabilities of AI are becoming increasingly prevalent, namely their ability to expedite and personalise customer service, reduce human bias and increase productivity. According to Salesforce, 82% of businesses either currently use AI or plan to implement it into their business in the next two years.
Machine learning is the most used subset of AI, and provides systems the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed. Their algorithms use computational methods to “learn” information directly from data without relying on a predetermined equation as a model. This simplifies product marketing, allows software applications to become accurate in predicting outcomes and removes any human bias. AI and machine learning have incredible precision, accuracy and speed, which is why more companies will be using it in 2020 and beyond.
Chat bots and messenger sequences will become smarter and smarter. As AI develops we see it becoming more of a subscription based service.
7 – Facebook Libra
Expected to be released next year, Libra is a blockchain digital currency proposed by the American social media company Facebook. The Libra Association state that Libra’s purpose is to “empower billions of people,” citing 1.7 billion adults without bank accounts who could use the currency. The effect this may have on marketers will likely drive up the cost of advertising on Facebook, according to Facebook CEO, Zuckerberg. Only time will tell with Facebook’s venture into Blockchain and Cryptocurrency….stay tuned!
8 – Big Data
Big Data is simply extremely large data sets that may be analysed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behaviour and interactions. As organisations get larger volumes of data from new data sources, the ability to analyse and process this data is becoming extremely difficult (hence why we included Machine Learning on our list). There are generally 4 V’s when it comes to ‘Big Data’: volume, variety, velocity, and veracity. Big data is increasingly important for customer insights by analysing and predicting customer behaviour through data derived from social media, GPS-enabled devices and CCTV footage. Big data also allows for better customer retention, which will be increasingly important in 2020 as consumers will be given even more options to purchases goods and services from.
Could digital marketing trends change? Absolutely, and faster than you could anticipate. However, we are entering a time where technological advances are getting increasingly more impressive and companies are needing to find more innovative ways to beat their competition. In addition, you may notice how many of these trends are somewhat linked (e.g. personalisation, machine learning and interactive content) and we believe that to be due to the increased need for customers to actually have a valuable reason to shop/use your business/service, when so many alternatives are out there, 2020 will sure be an exciting time for digital transformation. Are you ready?