Top Marketing Trends for 2020

With 2020 underway, we thought we’d share some key marketing trends from 2019 that will, no doubt, shape the year ahead. New technological developments dominated the marketing landscape, but print and traditional tactics still proved to be an essential part of the integrated marketing mix. Curious to know what marketing approaches were most effective last year that are sure to impact results in 2020? Here are our top trends to watch.

1. While AI continues to improve consumer experiences, SkyNet isn’t coming for your job…yet

Once a subject reserved for sci-fi movies, AI is now used for voice assistance, content marketing, and digital advertising. Nearly 2 out of 3 consumers are already using AI, and we expect AI will in 2020. Although AI is not yet writing personalized content, it proved to be helpful in identifying trends, gathering data, and conducting research on market competitors.

2. Personalized marketing put the person back in brand communications

When brands use customer names, talk about their passions, or mention them in a shout-out video, they generate good feelings and make their advertising content more enjoyable and shareable. This tactic was deployed in a variety of ways, including personalized product recommendations, targeted emails, and targeted web content. Ultimately, this helped to cement brand loyalty and recognition.

3. Video marketing isn’t just for Hollywood

Videos on multiple social platforms inspired entertaining content for users. Consumers today want content that is informative and narrative focused. These videos ranged from how-to content, product walkthroughs, influencer interviews, and behind-the-scenes shots of the company itself, among others. Companies know how attention-grabbing videos can be, and they effectively used them throughout 2019.

4. The clock started on Tik Tok

Tik Tok, the new social media platform with over 500 million users, became a hit among younger generations. With 66% of their users comprised of people under 30, this was a prime platform for marketers to use in 2019. Although the channel is still in beta for advertising, we should expect to see popular brands flock to this app in 2020.

5. Micro-influencers drove major conversions

Micro-influencers, or users who garner thousands of followers but aren’t celebrities, helped connect brands to hyper-specific audiences. These small celebrities range from women’s fashion and millennial humor to pet adventure accounts. Although these users may have fewer followers compared to celebrities, their posts garner more overall engagement and thus, make them hugely influential. They can be the perfect brand spokesperson because their followers view them as their friend; therefore, they are more likely to trust the influencer’s recommendation.

6. On Facebook and Instagram, consumers kept an eye on stories

These short videos worked well because they’re lively, artistic, and colorful, and connect users even more closely to brands. Since they can be created by anybody, no matter their skill level, we expect to see more in 2020. Also, GIFs, boomerangs, polls, and open questions will continue to dominate the Instagram landscape.

7. QR codes continue to convert

While QR codes are divisive among creatives, and some consider them to be “old school,” they’re undoubtedly valuable at tying together digital, print, traditional, and out of home advertising. In fact, 11 million U.S. households are expected to scan QR codes by 2020. Using both print and digital tactics together helps reach audiences that use these two different avenues. For example, audiences who don’t spend much time on digital outlets but read magazines can still be reached by using a QR code that connects them to the brand’s website. QR codes are more consumer-friendly than pasting a link on a flyer. Thus, consumers loved them for their easy access to brands in 2019 and will continue to use them in 2020.

8. Unique textures touched consumers

Potential customers are far more likely to keep flyers, business cards, and postcards that have a unique texture. Texture is pleasurable to touch and has an enduring influence on memory. When building out a print or traditional campaign, remember to differentiate through texture or gloss to make your brand memorable to your audience.

9. Out of home marketing continues to hit home runs

Touch screen signage, movement-sensitive changing screens, and data feed outdoor boards all helped to catch potential customer’s attention. Throughout 2019, the use of innovative outdoor marketing improved brand recall and made passerby’s take notice. We expect brands will invest in more out of home opportunities in 2020.

10. If content is king, personalization is queen

Building a meaningful relationship with audiences was key to marketing success in 2019. Consumers are looking for brands to make their message personal to them. A brand must know their audience extremely well. Once they do, sending meaningful messages that are relevant to their customers will increase brand awareness and generate leads.

For 2020, we expect the use of new technology like AI, video marketing, and dynamic outdoor billboards to drive successful campaigns. Personalized marketing, unique textures, and emotional content will keep consumers wanting more from brands. And digital and traditional advertising will bolster one another, proving that they are more powerful when used in conjunction with one another.

The key to success in 2020 is understanding how and where your consumers are seeking valuable information to enhance their lives. This is especially important considering the variety of choices available to consumers today.

Need help determining the right channels, tools, and messages? Contact our team today.

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