If you’re not familiar with Alexa then I’m afraid you’re behind the times. A friend, a speaker, a recipe book or a researcher, she can be whatever you need her to be. Just a simple “hey Alexa” will wake her up and she's all ears.
In 2020, businesses are going to be experiencing a new wave of marketing. Artificial intelligence or AI, is no longer a surprise to us. We have bots gathering data, generating reports, responding on our behalf, even making us drinks on cruise ships. They are truly becoming a part of our everyday life. Businesses will soon be forced to update their technology to stay relevant and keep up with their competitors. But what exactly is in store for 2020?
Here are my 5 predictions on the top marketing trends in 2020.
- Is AI taking over?
I’m sure every tech or trend blog you have read this year has mentioned AI. But the truth is, it’s evolving EVERYWHERE. According to Forbes, 2020 is not the year it will change the world but it is getting even noisier.
We may not have flying cars (yet), but what we do have is AI. AI has been used to streamline business processes through the use of automating form filling, data reports and responses. In 2020, we can expect to see more personalisation, more useful and accurate data, optimisation through voice searches and overall, less powered technology run by human beings (Forbes).
With AI, we’ve seen voice activation become more prevalent. So much so, ComScore says voice searching will count for 50% of searches in 2020. We’ve all seen home automation systems become increasingly popular over the last few years, Google Home, Alexa (Amazon Echo), Wink Hub 2, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings etc. Businesses are now optimising voice search as a way to gain brand exposure.
- Is email a failing marketing channel?
While email is a convenient communication channel, direct-to-consumer companies are about to get a shock to the system with customers showing a 40% increase in unsubscriber rates (Forbes). As AI excels, chatbots are taking over. As a result, consumers are now utilising other communication channels, like Facebook and Instagram, before they turn to email. According to Campaign Monitor, Tuesday was the day for highest open rates as well as the highest unsubscriber rates - interesting. Gmail is in no way helping by now giving customers an unsubscribe notification (see photo below). No longer do you have to open the email, scroll to the bottom, open the external link and provide a reason as to why you want to unsubscribe. Nope, thanks to Gmail and it’s new unsubscribe feature, all you have to do is press a single button.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that email marketing is on its way out. No, email is here for good. But, it does mean that businesses are now being forced to utilise other social media channels to reach their audience. While a monthly campaign was enough back in the day, customers are now harder to reach than ever before.
Have you heard of the rule of seven? It basically means that a customer has to see or hear about your product or service seven times before they even consider action. Whether that be on Facebook, Instagram, TV, radio, magazine or email. Who knew marketing could be so intricate.
- Boring content is so 2019
In 2020 customers are looking for exciting, engaging and interactive content that will grab their attention. Customers are now looking for new experiences that go far beyond the standard. In fact, 91% of customers are seeking more visual and interactive content (Forbes). Why? For many reasons.
Here are some quick facts about visual content (Marketing Insider Group):
- - 65% of us are visual learners
- - Coloured visuals increase people’s desire to read by 80%
- - People are 85% more likely to buy your product after watching a video about it
- - Posts with images produce 108% more engagement.
As we expect to see email unsubscribe rates increase and click through rates drop, it is evident that customers are no longer interested in a standstill three page long monthly enewsletter. Instead, they seek content that is different, new and unusual - the type of content that will keep them entertained - the type of content that is shareable and immensely relatable.
- Mobile browsing - what’s a desktop?
80% of people used a mobile device to search the internet in 2019 (Quoracreative). As a result, mobile browsing has now surpassed desktop browsing (Smart Insights). With mobile optimisation becoming a priority for most businesses, we can expect to see these numbers rise. Ensuring your website is optimised for mobile could make a huge difference to your revenue at the end of 2020. According to Smart Insights, revenue generated through mobile browsing has increased 23% year-on-year. If you haven’t got a mobile friendly website, I strongly suggest you get onto this as soon as possible
And no, I’m not talking about monogramming a customer's initials onto a product they purchase from your company or merging their name into an email subject line. Personalised marketing is a form of strategic marketing that converts visitors into customers. It’s a form of collecting data from your visitors and using it to accurately market to them based on what they have previously searched for/purchased. A good example of this is eBay and Amazon. You’ll find that once you purchase from these sites, the next time you go to buy something, they will recommend the same product if not, something similar. You may even receive an email about it. Personalised marketing is on the upwards for 2020. In fact, 80% of consumers said that they’d be more likely to do business with a brand that provides a personalised experience (Marketing Insider Group). Customers are always looking for convenience and personalised marketing is definitely a good way to give it to them.
By the time you nail your marketing strategy new trends roll in and before you know it, you’ll be looking at ways to adapt. That’s the beauty of marketing - nothing ever stays the same for very long. It does however, take a lot of time to get right - test, test and test again until you find a strategy that works for your business. Oh and don’t forget about your existing customers. Retaining an existing customer is five times cheaper than acquiring a new one - so retention strategies are crucial. To learn more on this topic, check out this blog.