Key marketing trends to watch for, from 2020 onwards.

Technological evolution and digital connectivity are two defining features of the past decade. The digital explosion has opened new paths of connectivity and market functionality. But, as we move ahead in 2020, predicting expected trends in a segment that’s evolving almost on a day-to-day basis is no easy feat. As the fulcrum of marketing shifts to digital–which is expected to soon generate 50% of total advertising revenue–technology is something no business, big or small, can afford to miss out.

Here are some key marketing trends to watch for, from 2020 onwards:

1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: These two buzzwords have dominated business tech discourse, often, being touted as the future of humanity. Going forward, AI and ML will remain a mainstay of technology-led growth. With data on social media becoming increasingly complex, Social media AI algorithms need to adapt. From 2020 onwards, AI will do a better job of segmenting data. This will ensure that social media providers present users with the most relevant content, at any given point of time. Companies will be able to understand user preferences and offer deeply customised promotions.

2. Deep Personalization: Personalized advertisement is set to become more important than ever. As data mining improves, and as users consume and generate petabytes of unique information, we will see marketing tailored to better address individual needs. Targeting will become laser-focused. Long-time stalwarts–Google, Facebook, and Amazon, among others– have offered personalized advertisement for a long time. But going forward, smaller platforms will get in on the action, too. By 2020, over 90% of online advertisers will start
using marketing personalization in some shape or form, per a Gartner report. Dale Carnegie once wrote that “there’s no better music to human ears than his own name.” 2020 marketers will strive to cash in on this maxim.

3. New Social Media: New forms of social media are on the rise. They will increasingly pose a challenge to conventional giants. In 2019, Tiktok reached 500 million active users, and that number is increasing by the day. Brands, influencers, and marketers have capitalized on its exponential growth to reach out to audiences in new formats. 2019 has also been a watershed year for podcasting. Millions of new creators have jumped onto the podcasting wagon. Meanwhile, dating platforms like Tinder and Bumble continue to grow and show immense potential for non-conventional promotions. As 2020 draws closer, watch out for these disruptors of the social media industry.

4. Augmented reality: AR is a medium with tremendous marketing potential. Till date, though, it has been punching far below its weight. However, with continuous development and increasing use in eCommerce, product discovery, offer promotions, and more, AR set to become a major disrupter in 2020. Brands across industries, from FMCG firms to Car manufacturers, to real estate agencies, to Makeup manufacturers, have all invested considerably towards AR. 2020 could well be its year.

5. Influencers and video content: Much like 2019, Influencers will stay relevant and in popular demand. Research shows that 59% of marketers plan on increasing their influencer budget in 2020, complementing the upsurge in digital content creators across platforms. Vlogging is becoming extremely popular and offers new opportunities for brand integration. The one-is-to-many communication between vloggers and their audience presents the opportunity for brands to turbo-charge word-of-mouth promotion. As the circle of trust grows
between viewers vloggers, people will be looking out for reviews and recommendations. Greater engagement with vloggers, and influencers in general, offer manifold opportunities going forward.

Conclusion

Digital is transforming from just one aspect of the marketing mix to an integral part of multiple marketing processes. As we move into the coming decade, analytics, machine learning, AI, and automation are becoming increasingly important. Every aspect of marketing, from the high-level marketing strategy to mass outreach, is experiencing profound digital transformation. The platforms businesses use to connect with audiences are also changing. Google itself is focusing efforts on addressing the needs of “The Next Billion.” Tomorrow’s audiences will engage with brands predominantly through mobile and digital platforms. Marketing is becoming digital. Smart marketers will leverage this opportunity to reach out to more people, more effectively, than ever before.

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