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This is part two of “2020’s Fifteen Must Know Marketing & Digital Trends!”. Click here for the first segment.

I hope that everyone’s winter is going well, and the new year is off to a strong start!

As we discussed in our last newsletter, the world continues to change rapidly and many of these changes directly affect the world of business. The good news is that most of the key
developments that affect most of us are positive…..The economy is very strong, unemployment is low, the stock market is at a record high, we’ve got a partial trade deal with China (despite Coronavirus), Brexit is under control, and Iran seems to be in check (for the moment)…and it’s a major election year! And of course, marketing continues to be transformed in more ways now than in the past 20 years put together.

In January, we outlined the first 8 of those 15 trends and predictions for 2019. These included smart speakers/voice search, artificial intelligence/marketing automation, the immense power of video, shoppable posts, Amazon dominance, Linked In for B2B, lead generation, personalization, and messaging mobile apps. For those who may have missed the January edition with these first 8 trends, you can view them here in our blog.

In this issue, we’re going to cover the second set of 7 trends (for our total of 15). After you read them, I’d love to get your feedback as to whether these do justice for what is really going on within the marketplace, so please feel free to connect via e-mail, LinkedIn or Twitter.

Yosi’s Crystal Ball – The Final 7 (of 15) Marketing & Digital Predictions for 2020:

  1. Visual Search is beginning to take digital user experience to a whole new level –
    Instead of typing in a search query, people can simply upload an image to initiate a
    search and get search results. And people love it. In fact, according to Social Media
    Today, 62% of millennials are more interested in visual search than any other new
    technology!

    Two of the most popular venues for this are Pinterest Lens and Google Lens. Pinterest
    allows consumers to take a photo of an item and find out where to buy it or find similar
    items, and it now has over 2.5 Billion home and fashion objects alone! Marketers can get
    an edge on competitors by jumping on this trend to draw customers and serve up a
    perfect product match.

  2. Content is (still…sort of) king – And it’s low cost too! In fact, content marketing is 62%
    cheaper per lead than traditional marketing. We’ll not only see a continued proliferation of relevant content on websites including articles, videos, and testimonials/reviews, but major increase in branded content across many media platforms as well.

    And “Native Advertising” – which is sponsored content that looks and feels like ordinary content, but is seamlessly weaved in – will continue to be a major content and ad spend growth area, and is predicted to drive more than 75% of all ad revenue by 2021.
    In addition, voice search will alter a lot of content strategies to highlight snippets that can be spoken and are more interactive.

    2020 will also bring big investments in video content, live streaming events and Instagram. So will you somehow leverage solid written, video and voice oriented content in your 2020 marketing plans? Reach out if you need assistance…

  3. Mobile still rules and continues to be the “Prime Viewing Screen” – No question that Smartphones have clearly become the central communications hub for peoples’ daily lives. According to Comscore, mobile last year accounted for well over 60% of total time spent on digital media. The average smartphone user checks their phone 221 times per day! And millennials (those currently between around ages 18-38) are rarely seen without their mobile devices. In fact, 87% of this digital generation admits to never being without their phone. On top of this, according to Forrester, mobile accounts for well over 35% of all e-commerce.

    Brands have also started leveraging smartphones to better blend physical and digital
    experiences; for example, using in-store geo-fencing to guide customers to products they want or allowing them to check item details and in-store inventory in real-time as they shop.

    Hence, your mobile site and apps need to give visitors the same excellent experience they have on their computer. So do you have a solid mobile strategy (that properly integrates with your marketing and business plan) to capitalize on all of these mobile trends and requirements?

  4. Influencers and brand advocates will continue to transform businesses when they are leveraged properly – In fact, 95% of marketers who use influencers believe that it is effective. As purchase decisions are more informed than ever in history, online influencers and niche bloggers can help brands reach targeted global audiences. Even
    B2B and small businesses can get in on this act as the cost can be zero or close to zero.

    And brand advocates and current customer ambassadors who provide referrals to their
    friends can also often be a great way to obtain new customers at little or no cost.
    Consider this…While only 14% of consumers trust advertising, 90% of consumers trust
    peer reviews and recommendations!

    Do you have a 2020 plan in place to properly leverage influencers and brand advocates
    at low or even no cost?

  5. “Outsourcing” of the CMO and CFO functions is starting to become much more common – This is especially true for small and medium-sized businesses who want high level world-class strategic thinking, but cannot afford it. They can hire an outside CMO or CFO to work on a “fractional” basis (e.g. 5 or 6 days per month) to oversee key strategic and financial thinking and planning at a fraction of the cost of a full-time executive.

    I’ve actually done this for a good number of companies…For example…I was brought in to explore a company’s products and financials, articulated key insights, write a strategic marketing plan, and then work with them a few days per month (as a “Fractional Outsourced CMO”) to create budgets, hire mid-level marketing associates, conduct research, create new products, and develop advertising and digital programs, sales materials and the like….with excellent business results!

    By combining the high-level thinking of a former big company CMO and the executional capabilities of a more junior marketing person, the client experienced tremendous increased revenue/valuation growth, but at much lower marketing/sales employee costs.
    Do you wish you had a high level CMO at a much lower cost than hiring one full time?

  6. People are putting more trust in people they know and in reputable content, and
    less trust in “traditional” ads –
    According to a Nielsen study, the four most trusted
    sources of advertising were people you know, branded sites, editorial sites and reviews.
    Regular “ads” lagged far behind. That’s why more marketing spend is going toward
    content marketing, influencer marketing, referrals, and other methods that not only influence, but deliver actual and tangible value to customers.

    A great way to add trust is to add a “purpose” related element to your brand. For example, why not support a charity or a socially responsible cause? Millennials are especially keen to support brands that have purpose as a core component of their marketing mix.

    So how are you planning to capitalize on reputable content, referrals and purpose in your 2020 marketing plan?

  7. Self-Driving cars and other “Mobility” solutions will begin to create a huge paradigm
    shift in how we get transported and how marketers can engage with consumers. –
    While autonomous cars won’t be in every garage anytime soon, today’s cars have never been more “connected”. Radio once held driver’s hostage as the only form of in car entertainment, but as mobility continues to proliferate, car companies, leading marketers and ad agencies are looking to transform cars into the next hot marketing and media platform.

    According to McKinsey, connectivity services and featured auto upgrades will significantly
    increase toward on demand and data driven services. This will allow a car to become a
    platform for drivers and passengers to use their time to consume new and novel forms of
    media and other services….potentially opening new opportunities for marketers to
    connect with their customers. In fact, by 2030, they predict that 15% of new cars will be fully autonomous and self-driving, and 10% of cars being some sort of a “shared” vehicle.

    And what will happen when drivers don’t need to pay attention to the road because their car drives itself? They’ll consume new content and of course that content will come with in-car ads. Stay tuned!