Digital Marketing Trends for 2020
The modern world has seen a dizzying array of new and emerging technologies in the last several years. From streaming TV to smart speakers like Alexa and Cortana, many technologies are making the transition from novelty to trend — and some trends are just beginning to really pick up steam.
Trend 1: Messenger Marketing
Messenger marketing is the process of increasing interest in your product or service through messenger-powered conversations. Messenger apps used in this strategy may include Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, etc. In cases such as Facebook Messenger, conversations can be automated with simple chatbots.
A messenger marketing strategy acknowledges the fact that a large subset of consumers have become increasingly unresponsive to traditional outbound marketing techniques such as an email blast. Instead, the objective of messenger marketing is to engage the prospect in a conversation and then personalize his or her experience in terms of ads, promotions, and special offers.
In the future, messenger bots may become sophisticated enough to handle more than routine customer inquiries. For now, messenger marketing serves as an excellent supplement to more traditional advertising and support channels.
Trend 2: Programmatic Advertising
Programmatic advertising is a system that automates the processes and transactions involved with purchasing and dynamically placing ads on websites or apps. The automated nature of this marketing strategy enables companies to reach a wide swath of their consumer base without overextending their human resources. Programmatic advertising also enables organizations to provide a highly personalized ad experience to their target audience and re-market to prospects that once showed interest but moved towards the outer edge of the sales funnel.
In the future, expect to see programmatic advertising become more personalized and “segment-friendly.” Marketers will continue to refine their bidding strategy in order to gain the most impactful impressions on their “ideal customer” demographic.
Trend 3: OTT Advertising
It’s no secret that OTT (“over the top”) media has grown increasingly popular in the last decade or so. Research indicates that as of January 2020, there were 1.64 OTT subscriptions for every household in the United States and 1.32 subscriptions for every Canadian household. Moreover, at least 65% of consumers aged 18-34 use some form of OTT media.
With those statistics in mind, it’s no wonder that advertisers are allocating more of their marketing budget for OTT channels. Ads on streaming giants like Hulu often perform very well among specific audience segments in comparison to TV commercials. Moreover, the tracking and analytics capabilities enabled by OTT advertising platforms ensure that companies will have a wealth of consumer data to sift through and leverage for future campaigns.
OTT advertising will no doubt become more sophisticated with each passing year in terms of personalization and analytics-informed ad creative. Even now, OTT advertising presents a huge opportunity for extended reach and enhanced ROI.
Trend 4: Smart Speaker Advertising
An increasing percentage of the global population enjoys access to smart speaker technology. For instance, in the United Kingdom, approximately 1 out of 3 individuals have a smart speaker in their household. In the United States, the ratio of smart speakers to households is about 1:4.
As of this writing, there are no paid advertising opportunities on smart speaker systems like Amazon Echo or Google Home. Nevertheless, savvy marketers are working around this “roadblock” in one of two ways:
- They are investing in technical SEO initiatives to ensure that they obtain the highest rank for voice search results.
- They are creating Alexa skills or Google Assistant actions that either entertain users or provide a helpful service, thus driving brand recognition.
Voice search is usually a zero-sum game, and smart speaker “skills/actions” make up an entirely new field of marketing for most companies. However, smart speaker marketing promises to yield rich rewards for progressive businesses that are willing to invest the time and resources required for success. In the future, there may be direct advertising options on smart speaker systems, but, for now, marketers are continuing to explore this relatively new advertising trend for new opportunities.
Trend 5: Integrated Marketing
Integrated marketing can be defined as the process of presenting a unified marketing message across all channels and touchpoints. While most companies acknowledge the benefits associated with integrated marketing, few have developed a truly integrated experience for their customers.
Integrated marketing campaigns offer several advantages. For instance:
- Companies that deliver consistent messaging across radio, TV, the Internet, and physical spaces build customer trust in their brand.
- Integrated marketing reduces spend on ad creative, since one unified message can be adapted to different mediums.
- An integrated approach increases top of mind awareness in consumers.
Expect to see more and more organizations invest in integrated marketing campaigns in the years to come. Integrated marketing allows companies to take advantage of all the trends mentioned above with the goal of providing a consistent and unified customer experience.
While some of these trends may be more relevant to your business than others, integrated marketing should be a top priority for your future marketing efforts no matter what industry you’re in.
In the end, be sure to keep an eye on these 5 digital marketing trends — not just in 2020, but in the years to come.