2019/2020 Marketing Trends
Updated: Mar 20
As 2019 comes to an end I wanted to layout some of the marketing trends that I saw this year as well as what I think we can expect to see in 2020, and what we can leave behind.
This was an interesting year for the marketing industry. There was a lot of changes and I saw some older trends come back into play. I want to start this by identifying what a "trend" means to me. These are methods that have not only been used on a regular basis but they work and are proven to drive results.
Content marketing - I feel like companies forget about the content that they're putting out there. How else are you supposed to become a trusted source that your customers rely on? There's something to say for companies that become thought leaders in their industry. What is content marketing? Weekly/Daily Newsletters, Blogs, Webinars, etc. Showing up for your customers on a consistent basis outside of the products or services that you provide. Bringing that extra level of service and information that people really appreciate.
Paid advertising - Is it me or was digital advertising on steroids this year? I would think about something and the next hour it was coming up in my social media feeds. I even found I was seeing memes that related to what I was experiencing in my life at the time. These were coming from blogger/online personality-type accounts. The process to set-up an ad has got a little trickier, but the algorithm's are now smarter and our paid ads are getting better results. Not the best news for those who rely on organic reach, but that leads me to believe that companies should be making room/more room in their budgets for advertising online. I don't know about other marketers but I'll be spending 2020 expanding my knowledge on online advertising and mastering multiple platforms.
Micro-influencers & customer brand ambassadors - With all these new forms of technology rolling in, people are craving a more personal touch to companies marketing efforts. They see professional ads and beautiful instagram models talking about products "they love" all day, they want to hear what their friends think and get recommendations from trusted sources. Companies are using influencers with small but loyal followings to get their products seen. In addition, companies are using their customers to go above and beyond the regular testimonial process. I think bigger influencers with large followings aren't going anywhere, there will always be a market for them. But smaller scale influencer programs are proven to be more attainable by not only the influencer but the companies. The ask of a positive public mention, to existing happy customers, in exchange for future discounted/free product along with other small incentives, goes a long way.
Quality over quantity - While it's important to remain consistent in producing content and keeping your digital channels alive, audiences have made it clear that they want to see quality over quantity. Marketing managers face a challenging yet exciting task of keeping their strategy and calendar full with premium content. No more posting just to post.
As for what I think we can look forward to trending in 2020, I think it will all revolve around experiences. I think we'll see a lot more street teams out this year not just handing out free swag but providing people with a memorable experience. Companies will make a huge effort this year to connect more with their customers and learn about what they want and need. I see bigger budgets for conducting market research and hosting focus groups. I believe that companies have been experiencing a disconnect with their customers, so this year efforts will be made to hear from them and bring a more personal touch to how they market their brand. Also simple and witty campaigns will be launched and will be successful. Case-and-point: Canada's largest food retailer, No Name. They plastered Toronto subway stations with simple yet clever advertisements that had people laughing while reminding them that No Name makes food that's simple, affordable, and accessible.
There's enough question and conflict in this world. At the end of the day, when are we going to return to what really matters? I like a clean and simple marketing campaign that displays the good of a product and service. Most of all, a campaign that shows that companies care about their customers and want to improve their life experience. Not just take their money and run.
2019 was a great year for marketing but I'm looking forward to 2020 where I hope to see companies connecting more with their customers and listening to what they want.