Precautions made by companies during the pandemic significantly disrupted the supply chain, consumer buying behavior, and our associated marketing efforts this last couple of years.
In my opinion, the greatest consumer and business changes happened with online shopping, home delivery, and mobile payments. For marketers, we saw a dramatic shift in the return on investment in digital marketing technologies. We continue to do more, across more channels and mediums, with less staff – requiring us to lean heavily on technology to measure, scale, and digitally transform our organizations. The focus of transformation has been on internal automation and external customer experience. Companies that were able to pivot and adapt quickly saw a marked increase in market share. Companies that have not are still struggling to win back the market share they lost.
Unpacking the Digital Marketing Trends of 2020
The team at M2 On Hold has poured through the data and developed an infographic focusing on 9 distinct trends.
Digital marketing is constantly evolving as it’s one of the most fast-paced industries worldwide. Despite this, headline trends do emerge and show us the key forces driving the market. This blog recaps the trend forecasts of 2020 with an infographic reference guide. Alongside statistics and facts, let’s look at the nine trends of the past 12 months across platforms, technology, commerce, and content production.
Digital Marketing Trends
- AI-Powered Chatbots – Gartner projects that chatbots will power 85% of consumer service interactions and consumers are adapting well, appreciating the 24/7 service, instant response, and the accuracy of simple answers to questions. I’d add that sophisticated companies are adopting chatbots that seamlessly transition the conversation to the appropriate person internal to remove frustration with the experience.
- Personalization – Gone are the days of Dear %%FirstName%%. Modern email and text messaging platforms are providing automations that include segmentation, predictive content based on behavioral and demographic data, and incorporating artificial intelligence to test and optimize messaging automatically. If you’re still using batch and blast one-to-many marketing, you’re missing out on leads and sales!
- Native eCommerce on Social Media – (also known as Social Commerce or Native Shopping) Consumers want a seamless experience and respond with dollars when the conversion funnel is seamless. Virtually every social media platform (most recently TikTok) is integrating ecommerce platforms into their social sharing capabilities, enabling merchants to sell directly to audiences through social and video platforms.
- GDPR Goes Global – Australia, Brazil, Canada, and Japan have already passed privacy and data regulations to assist consumers with transparency and understanding how to protect their personal data. Within the United States, California passed the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in 2018. Companies have had to adapt and adopt comprehensive security, archiving, transparency, and additional controls to their online platforms in response.
- Voice Search – Voice search may account for half of all online searches and voice search has expanded from our mobile devices to smart speakers, televisions, soundbars, and other devices. Virtual assistants are getting more and more accurate with location-based, personalized results. This forces businesses to carefully maintain their content, organize it will, and distribute it everywhere these systems access.
- Long-Form Video – Short attention spans are a baseless myth that may have significantly hurt marketers over the years. Even I fell for it, encouraging clients to work on the increased frequency of snippets of information. Now I advise my clients to carefully design content libraries that are well-organized, thorough, and provide all the details necessary to inform buyers. Video is no different, with consumers and business buyers consuming videos that exceed 20 minutes in length!
- Marketing Through Messaging Apps – Because we’re always connected, timely messaging of relevant messages can drive increased engagement. Whether it’s a mobile app, browser notification, or in-site notifications… messaging has taken over as a primary real-time communication medium.
- Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality – AR & VR are being incorporated into mobile apps and full browser customer experiences. Whether it’s a virtual world where you’re meeting your next client or collectively viewing a video… or a mobile app to see how new furniture will look in your living room, companies are building exceptional experiences available right from the palm of our hand.
- Artificial Intelligence – AI and machine learning are helping marketers automate, personalize, and optimize customer experiences like never before. Consumers and businesses are growing weary of the thousands of marketing messages that are getting pushed at them every day. AI can help us deliver more powerful, engaging messages when they’re most impactful.
In the infographic below, discover the nine headline trends from 2020. This guide unpacks how these trends influence the market and the growth opportunities they present now.