Are you marketing ready for 2020?

December 15 2019
Phil Bedford Written by Phil Bedford

How to Prepare for the New Marketing Trends of 2020

Now that 2020 is just around the corner, it’s a great time to look back over what you’ve learned during the last year and think about how you can adapt. After all, the promotional landscape isn’t a static place. Your industry and the customers that you serve are constantly changing.

The evolution of the marketplace is even more significant as we move into 2020. After all, we’re right in the middle of a new industrial revolution. Inspiring technology from smart speakers and voice search to artificial intelligence has changed the way that we shop.

While no-one can know for sure what the future might hold, you can make sure that you’re properly prepared for some of the biggest trends that may affect the landscape.

1. Greater Expectations for Customer Experience
2019 brought us into the age of customer experience. Endless analytics companies, from Gartner to Deloitte, predicted that companies would need to start focusing on the experiences that they give their customers, rather than just price and product features. Now that we’re living in an on-demand economy where customers expect almost immediate responses, the demand on companies is higher than ever.

The brands that get ahead in 2020 will be the ones that can former a deeper emotional connection with their customers. To do this, you’ll need to think about how you can eliminate the pain points that your customers face on a daily basis. For instance, can your clients visit your website just as easily on their smartphone as they do on their desktop computer?

How frictionless is it for people to purchase your products and services? Do they need to fill out numerous forms, or can they buy something in a couple of clicks? How quickly can you respond to customer requests? Can users get everything they need online without ever having to speak to a human being?

If you’re not sure what kind of problems your customers usually face, try speaking to your customer service representatives. They can tell you what sort of feedback they usually get from clients so that you can respond directly to those issues.

2. More Competitive Online Real Estate
As more and more companies appear online, the digital marketplace will grow increasingly competitive. According to CMO, around 87% of marketing budgets will be spent on digital real estate by 2022. To prepare for this change, you’ll need to think about how you’re adapting to the newest algorithms in the market.

In 2019, we saw a massive change in the way that Google makes its search engine results as intuitive as possible for users. Moving into next year, there’s a good chance that we’ll see an increasing demand for things like high-quality content customized for things like voice search and even local service ads.

To make sure that your 2020 marketing plan is ready for the SEO evolution:

• Consider local SEO: Don’t just focus on your global appeal. Think about how the needs of your target audience will change according to where they live. Adapting your SEO for a local audience will help you to attract more niche, focused customers.
• Address the trend for voice search: Make sure that your online content is responding to customer queries. This means that you’ll need more long-form keywords, like “How do I build a 2020 digital marketing strategy”, rather than just “2020 digital marketing”.
• Understand position zero: Position zero SEO is when you create content ready to appear on the featured snippets. Over 60% of search results returned by Google are position zero snippets. Knowing how to answer critical customer questions concisely will help you to achieve the coveted snippet position.

3. Greater Opportunities with Technology
Not so long ago, using VR and AR in a digital marketing strategy was a luxury reserved only for the most innovative and budget-rich companies. However, as the digital evolution continues, AR and VR tech has advanced to the point where it’s becoming increasingly mainstream. Today’s digital marketing efforts can include everything from 3D images to the option for customers to place AR representations of products in their living rooms.
Knowing how to adapt your 2020 marketing campaigns to take advantage of new technology is a great way to ensure that you stand out from your competition. For instance, just look at how effective the Dallas Cowboy Photo Booths were:

Bringing things like AR/VR technology into your business plan doesn’t have to be as complicated as it seems. Many social media platforms, including Facebook, allow companies to design AR filters using the Spark studio. AR filters mean that customers can interact with your brand through content that interacts with their cameras.

You can also hire specialist freelancers online who know how to implement AR and VR into various aspects of your website. Imagine how engaging an AR video would be on your home page or a guide for your product that teaches customers how to use it using AR.

4. Visualization Remains Essential
With the rise of things like smart speakers and voice search over 2019, you’d be forgiven for thinking that written and readable content is more valuable right now than visuals. However, while it’s true that written content will always be a crucial part of your marketing strategy, that doesn’t mean that you should underestimate the power of visuals.

Research tells us that people prefer visual content to plain text. That’s certainly something that we can see when we look at the growing popularity of platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. Various search companies like Google are also investing in new technology that support visual search too. Already, 62% of millennials say that they’re more interested in visual search than anything else.
The good news for marketers and businesses is that there are plenty of ways that you can get involved with visuals. For instance, you can:

• Design graphics and infographics to share on social media
• Post live videos on your social accounts
• Create video content for your website and product pages
• Develop Q&A sessions using video
• Offer behind-the-scenes video clips
Visuals are usually easier to remember than written content too. Adding data visualizations, infographics, images, and videos to your text will instantly make it more appealing and attractive. You might even find that video descriptions are more valuable on your product pages than text alone.
5. Strategic Marketing Transformation
Finally, if you want to succeed in 2020, then you’re going to need more than just a plan to adapt to the latest trends. The marketing world is evolving at a rapid pace -more so than ever before. The companies that win are the ones that know how to stay one step ahead of the competition.
You’ll need to think beyond what you’re doing at any given moment and make sure that you’re always paying attention to the current changes and trends of the marketplace. Ask yourself what your goals are for your company, and how you can constantly work to make your marketing more successful and efficient.
For some companies, it will be crucial to start looking into things like automation. For instance, you can set up email marketing systems online that automatically respond to triggers like when someone clicks out of your cart and leaves products behind. These automatic campaigns can then follow up with your customers and give them a second chance at making a purchase.
Other organizations will need to think about how they can combine customer service and marketing into a more comprehensive experience. For instance, chatbots and AI can be used to answer customer questions today, but also deliver opportunities for upselling and cross-selling at the same time.
Whatever you decide to do with your marketing, make sure that you’re constantly measuring and tracking your results. That way, you can ensure that you’re growing with the dynamic world of advertising, rather than just falling behind.
Are You Ready for 2020
Now is the ideal time to make sure that you have a strong 2020 marketing strategy in place.
If up until now, you’ve assumed that you can get by relying on the same techniques that you used back in 2019, it might be time to refresh your thinking. After all, while some of the strategies that you used in 2019 may still work, you could miss out on a lot of opportunities if you allow campaigns to lose their relevancy.
Keep track of what’s happening in the marketplace around you and keep your finger on the pulse. The world of marketing and the needs of customers are always changing. However, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If you can learn how to adapt and pivot to the changes in the industry, then you can differentiate yourself from your competitors, and show your customers how valuable you truly are.
Make sure that you’re ready for anything in 2020.

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