Well, we’ve nearly made it! For years I’ve been looking to the future, predicting how innovations in digital media, platforms and technology will shape marketing in 2020. The cutting edge examples certainly show the exciting opportunities available – there is almost too much choice…
In this article, I’ll explore six key marketing trends based on examples and research on the adoption of the latest marketing techniques and technology marketers can use. For recommendations on tapping into the innovations in different digital marketing channels, including email, social media and search engine marketing, see all the other posts from the Smart Insights team covering Digital marketing trends for 2020.
Now we’re nearly at 2020, we can see the huge impact that digital marketing has had. Looking at advertising alone, these eMarketer predictions show how the duopoly of Facebook and Google dominate paid media investments online, although offline media buys remain important for many larger brands.alfred
Trend 1. Lifecycle marketing
Although it’s often said that the ‘funnel is dead’ since consumer follows non-linear journeys, regardless of the product or service you’re involved with marketing, it will always be the case that to grow a business, your primary focus is growing awareness, closely followed by increasing customer leads and prospects.
This focus is shown by the latest Altimeter / Prophet State of Digital Marketing report, which shows a primary focus on increasing awareness.
The role of digital in creating a unified customer experience is also high in the response, but it’s shocking that digital marketing isn’t seen as a driver of boosting revenue from existing customers. It’s an artefact of the question since digital marketing is effective in achieving all of these goals, including customer retention.
A more practical way to plan to integrate online marketing into marketing activities is to consider communications from a customer point-of-view through the customer journey. I call this always-on lifecycle marketing and recommend you review your use of online AND offline media across the customer lifecycle.
An example of an audit is shown by this example of the use of marketing activities by a B2B company, which although strong at the top-of-funnel in terms of activities used, is less strong in the middle and bottom-of-funnel nurture and re-targeting activities. Many businesses are adopting marketing automation and account-based marketing technology to implement these touchpoints. See the article linked to above for all of the potential activities that can be audited.
Trend 2. Conversational marketing
For me, this is the most exciting trend in marketing today, bringing together rapid consumer adoption of smart speakers and innovation in search query processing, conversational interfaces and messaging. Conversational marketing was highlighted as a key innovation in the latest Gartner hype cycle alongside Artificial Intelligence, which often fuels it. You can see that of the technologies on the Innovation Trigger slope, many aren’t expected to become mainstream for 5 to 10 years. Of those forecast to hit the mainstream within the next 2 to 5 years, the three most significant for marketers to consider are personification, real-time and conversational marketing.