Marketing trends to watch for in 2020

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By Andrew Witkin, founder and president, StickerYou

As 2019 comes to a close, we’ve got our eye on the marketing trends to watch for in the new year. New technology, new uses of social media, and new ways that people communicate and connect will all define marketing in 2020. Below, we list some of the top marketing trends emerging in the new year.

1. Targeting and personalization

Consumers no longer just want, but actually expect marketing content to be targeted toward their needs. Spamming audiences with irrelevant ads will at best not do anything for your company, and at worst turn people away. Instead, marketers now need to focus on delivering targeted, personalized content to customers in all marketing materials. Any kind of ads should clearly demonstrate value to your customers’ lives.

It isn’t only ads that should be personalized, either. Consumers now increasingly want products that they feel are customized and meaningful in some way. Even the unboxing experience has become personal; companies that deliver physical products should invest in branding their boxes or using custom stickers, and labels to engage their customers from the moment the product arrives. When developing packaging, ask yourself: Is it Instagrammable?

2. Artificial intelligence

AI is no longer just a thing of science fiction: It’s here, and it’s defining marketing in 2020. According to Gartner, AI technologies will be pervasive in almost all new software and services by next year. For CMOs, this means embracing the world of new possibilities, not running from them.

For instance, AI can help you collect and analyze consumer data, predict trends, and even engage with your customers in the form of chatbots.

3. Video advertising

Video marketing has been on a strong upward trend and will continue to expand its influence in the new year. A company’s digital strategy should include space for videos, including paid ad spots on Facebook and live broadcasts on Instagram or LinkedIn.

And don’t forget about optimizing for mobile: As many customers now browse social media apps on their phone, your visual content should be easy to watch on any smartphone or tablet.

4. Retail and physical locations

Retail isn’t going anywhere. More and more digital-native companies like Amazon or the mattress company Casper have been opening brick-and-mortar locations across the country. Many customers now expect a hybrid experience that includes things like order online and pick up in-store, or try on in-store and ship-to-home.

This blend of the physical and digital world will become increasingly important for companies in 2020, and retailers should have a robust, easy-to-navigate presence both on the internet and in person. For example, StickerYou’s retail location features sticker-bombed walls, an experience center where customers can touch and feel the product, and kiosks where customers can customize orders for online purchases.

5. Instant results

In 2020, consumers will increasingly want things delivered at top speed, whether that’s information, services, or products. Smartphones have put the world at our fingertips, so marketers need to be aware of having a presence, 24/7. This includes things like creating video “stories” on Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook, and using chatbot services to provide customer support around the clock.

Companies that deliver products should also be cognizant of their delivery times, as most consumers now expect items to get to their doorstep within a few business days: the shorter, the better.

6. Content marketing

It’s not enough for companies to simply make a product and create ads around it. In 2020, companies need to be experts and the go-to resource for their customers, enhancing both trust and visibility. Companies with regularly updated, complete content are favored on the SEO level by search engines, so it’s vital that marketers create a strong, knowledgeable presence online. This helps retain customers, educate them on the use of your product, establish authority, and draw potential new customers to your website to have a click around.

Technology and connectivity are defining marketing as we approach 2020. Companies need to consider investing in these areas to keep engaging consumers and attracting new audiences. The best marketers are the ones not just observing, but also staying on top of these emerging trends, being the first to try new technologies to see how they can enhance the company. 

Andrew Witkin

As the founder and president of StickerYou, Andrew Witkin believes in the enormous power of customization. With over a decade of StickerYou success, he is one of Canada’s leading experts in e-commerce, customization, startups, marketing and the tech economy. He is a graduate of Dalhousie University and holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business, York University. Witkin has previously served as VP North American Licensing for Nelvana/Corus Entertainment and Director of Marketing for MegaBrands/Mattel.