Another year has gone, and we will soon begin to see the trends that will define marketing in 2020. Several things will follow us into the new year, including the never-ending streaming wars and the nostalgia marketing that seems to know no limits. Still, we will experience many other changes in the marketing industry. As we look back at some of the more exciting innovations in 2019, we can carefully map a trajectory of what is sure to come in 2020. Here’s our take on what to expect:
Across all social media platforms, video keeps bringing in the numbers. Stats show Twitter users are 10x more likely to interact with a post that contains a video and Instagram users engage with video more than any other type of content. Brands that are serious about increasing engagement and effectively reaching their audience need to start investing in their own branded video content. As social platforms like Instagram and Twitter start fine-tuning their video-sharing capabilities, brands will have a surplus of opportunities to deliver engaging content to consumers in the year ahead.
Our phones are saturated with apps and pages and platforms. Marketers have caught on, and they’ve turned to in-app interactive content to streamline jumping from app to app. Instagram, for example, is designed to showcase products attached to aspirational lifestyles and “insta-worthy” settings. They’ve convinced you to buy a product with visually appealing aesthetics, and they want the ease of purchase to encourage you to spend. We are becoming accustomed to instant gratification, and in-app purchasing removes several steps in a process that used to redirect you several times before you got to the checkout. Social Media Today believes that this will be essential for the growth of smaller brands who haven’t had access to these tools in the past.
You might have noticed that most of the trends we expect in 2020 stem from adverse reactions to the way things used to be. Megastores and corporate giants had their time, and now the people want local. Are they going to get local? No. But store design, customer service, and personalization will make it seem like they are. CEO, Tom Buiocchi, focuses on how this trend pertains to healthcare: “Expect to see more and more core medical services offered at pharmacies or even purpose-built locations. In doing this, retailers can provide shoppers with a convenient and efficient experience.”
Redefining the influencer
As consumers become more skeptical of influencer marketing, many assume that 2020 is the year where influencers meet their maker. Sorry to disappoint, but experts say that 59% of marketers are going to spend more on influencer marketing next year. However, it will look a little different. Micro-influencers, users with 10,000 or less, are being targeted by brands trying to connect with their audience on a deeper, more impactful level. Millennials and Gen Z inspect all content for authenticity, and a brand that seems dishonest will not survive. Niche-influencers and activists are kicking out the Kardashians and taking over feeds.
Tech never goes away
Tech is better labeled as the trend of the past two decades. It continues to grow at an unprecedented rate and has inevitably shifted marketing practices. Martech expert, Scott Brinker, released a supergraphic displaying all the software available to marketers. It’s shocking, but it perfectly encapsulates how large the market is for software that facilitates digital media. As far as tech that’s readily available to the consumer, artificial reality (AR) is about to have quite a year. People are becoming more comfortable with the technology, and soon enough, brands will be looking for any and every way they can use the interactive tool to give consumers an even more immersive experience than we’ve seen in the past.
All these changes directly affect the c-suite. Ten years ago, the title of Chief Experience Officer didn’t exist, but now it’s as common of a role as any. As brands become more ingrained in the daily life of the consumer, marketing teams are adjusting so that they can be there to fulfill increased demand. The balance strikes as Martech begins to carry some of the weight, but marketing teams are somehow becoming bigger while also more specialized. It’s a phenomenon that we’re still trying to understand. Goodbye CMO, hello Brand Evangelist (yes, that’s a real job title).
The truth is, no one can know what 2020 will bring us. Every year, experts make predictions, and we base our practices around them. These trends should be taken as a look into prevalent occurrences within the marketing industry, but not necessarily the best things to consider when managing your brand. In 2020, stay true to your identity and make decisions based on the principals that are important to YOUR brand. Trends are ephemeral, but they are vital in inspiring marketers. Test the limits on the risks you’re willing to take and let these new opportunities lead you towards the unexpected insights that define your audience.