5 Ways Marketing will Change in 2020

Bet on AI, chatbots this year, as well as more visual content than written

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By Tamara Alaveras • Jan 1, 2020 Originally published Jan 1, 2020


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With a new year (and decade!), we can all expect to see new marketing trends on the rise and being crucial to a companies and brands' success. As a marketing professional, and one that loves to dive headfirst into all the content around marketing possible, I've deciphered what the 5 biggest trends of 2020 are shaping up to be.

Now, I'm no fortune teller with a crystal ball, but I am a huge fan of data and research, and the facts and figures are in the favour of these forecasts.

Consumer Mindset Shifting Towards Privacy Concerns, Social Responsibility and the Digital World

Every year sees massive shifts in consumer mindsets: what we care about, how and why. With technology on the rise, the planet warming and political divisiveness more intense than ever before, expect more concerns around privacy and greater care for social responsibility.

Companies should expect to receive ongoing questions from their consumers around data privacy as they seek reassurance, especially around their data use. As McAfee's global survey reported, 43 per cent of consumers feel they lack control over their personal information and 33 per cent are unsure they can control how companies collect that information. This isn't especially surprising considering mammoth corporations such as Facebook, Google, Optus and NAB experienced data breaches in the last two years.

Consumers are also going to become more socially and environmentally driven, caring about not only the impact a product has but the corporate responsibility of the company behind the product too. Salmat reported that 34 per cent of shoppers are willing to pay more for environmentally friendly products, while 31 per cent admit to not purchasing a product because of unaligned brand values and ethics. The care for ethical consumerism is particularly on the rise in Millennials and Gen Z, who are growing in size within the consumer market.

As reported by Marketing Mag, Salmat and ACRS' research shows that the environment is the most important social issue to consumers with more than half (57 per cent) of consumers surveyed identifying climate change and environmental woes as their most troubling issue, closely followed by data privacy and security (51 per cent) and locally-sourced products (49 per cent).

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

2019 saw a huge increase in the development of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), and in 2020, we can expect this to only accelerate. Forrester reported that 29 per cent of global developers have worked on AI/ML software in the past year, and 16 per cent of global B2C marketing decision makers planned to increase spending on data and analytics technologies, including AI, by 10 per cent or more this year. AI will continue to reshape user experience with more augmentation embedded in products and devices.

Also, expect AI to shape the products we see enter the market or modify existing ones. Take self-driving cars for example. There's been whispers of autonomous vehicles for decades and the past few years have seen a particular increase in talk about this innovation. In 2020, we might even start to see some cars coming out. As CabForward puts it, self-driving cars rely on technological modules, which are looking to be assembled next year.

Visual and Purposeful Content Marketing

We all know the significance of content marketing, and in 2020, expect the content to get more visual and purposeful.

People are reading less and watching more. When there's a lot of text, expect your audience to be skimming it. Because of this, in 2020 you can expect a lot more visual content – and a lot more creativity in that space. Think infographics, videos, dynamic imagery, animation, graphics, short-form written content and lots of popping visuals across all platforms.

Consumers also want higher-quality, more purposeful content over fluff. And marketers are going to be listening. According to Content Marketing Institute's B2B report, 90 per cent of the most successful content marketers put their audience's information needs first over their promotional message. In 2020, expect content to be focused on providing thought-provoking value-packed content to their audience over simply pumping out anything for clicks.

Chatbots (Bits and Bots)

In the new year, expect more bits and bots. As reported by Hootsuite, Facebook predicts that by 2020, 80 per cent of all smartphone users will be using a mobile messaging app. With more users conversing via messaging apps, you can expect marketers to be right there with them. Think more customer service, chatbots and sponsored messaging posts.

You can save you a ton of time and help your customer with the correct programming of chatbots. Chatbots are most popular with messaging platforms such as live chat on your website or Facebook messenger. These bots talk directly to your users and do all of the hard work for you. Messenger bots are especially handy for e-commerce stores. You can sell your products without ever lifting a finger. The bot does it all.

One client used Facebook Messenger instead of a more traditional channel like email or paid ads. The results? 88 per cent open rate and 56 oer cent clickthrough rate. That was enough to convince me that Facebook Messenger bots have huge potential. It's inexpensive and many platforms can take out the coding and tech, making it easy for any business to implement chatbots into their existing channels: Many chat, Zendesk and Mobile Monkey.

Voice and Mobile Search

We spend around three and a half hours a day on our mobile phones. This, plus an increase in voice recognition, we can expect to see an increase in voice and mobile search.

Everyone in the digital marketing world has been talking about voice search for a while. Consequently, Google has switched its priorities by introducing Mobile-First Index, which means that Google predominantly uses the mobile version of a page for indexing and ranking. In other words, if your page doesn't look good on a mobile device, or if the mobile version has less content, you may lose rankings in both mobile and desktop search results.

So, there we have it. 2020 marketing predictions. There'll of course be a lot more in this coming year that we could never have predicted (will Zuckerberg finally change his haircut?) but the above seem to be areas we will almost be assured to see growth, change and development.

Tamara Alaveras

Co-founder and managing director, 3 Phase Marketing

Tamara Alaveras has more than a decade in marketing roles including experience in Victorian government agencies and corporate teams.

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