​Predictions: 9 digital marketing predictions for 2020

CMO asks the experts about what digital marketing will hold in 2020

6. B2B and B2C marketing will converge

The convergence between B2C and B2C marketing will continue in 2020, with consumers demanding similar experiences in their work and personal lives. Datorama CMO and head of marketing cloud at Salesforce, Leah Pope, is one who believes marketing experiences from both camps will look increasingly similar next year.

“You’ll continue to see that B2B and B2C customers want the same experiences and marketers will need to evolve to meet those expectations," she said.

"While B2B marketers have historically trended toward short-term sales activation, they need to think more long-term about their personalisation strategies and how to create long-lasting relationships with customers. First party data is core to delivering those experiences.”

7. CMO tech remits get revised

The Lumery co-founder and managing director, Rajan Kumar, said capability will continue to increase within marketing functions come the New Year. However, the need to augment a team due to new, more advanced technology offerings will be necessary in the year ahead in order to ensure teams can operationalise their work.  

“Importantly, as the dynamics of data, tech, people and process continues to shift, we’ll start to see a change in the CMO responsibility," he said. A big one he predicted was technology shifting back into chief digital or technology officer.

"This will allow the CMO start to re-focus on growth – the leading pack will get behind this,” Kumar predicted. 

8. Content is king

 IAB Australia CEO, Gai le Roy, said digital marketing continues to face relentless innovation with every part of the advertising ecosystem being re-invented through a digital lens.

“While this innovation is creating a welcome supply of new commercial opportunities for marketers, it also places extraordinary demands on them to dramatically improve their understanding of the underlying technologies," she said. "In 2020, it will become even more important marketers fast track their digital knowledge so they can better understand which levers they need to control as they manage their brand’s digital marketing and manage the every changing governance requirements around consumer data." 

And with consumers increasingly demanding companies become more transparent about data usage, marketers are being forced to develop improved creative marketing and content experiences, le Roy said.

"In 2020, this will advance considerably and we expect to see a new breed of companies that seamlessly deliver marketing, content and commerce experiences direct to consumers which will change people’s expectations of both product and marketing activities,” she said. 

BLASTmedia senior vice-president, Kim Jefferson, said since content marketing exploded, brands created mounds of content simply because they had to.

“In 2020, brands will produce punchy copy with actionable, valuable takeaways that can be featured everywhere from the brand’s blog to national publications hungry for guest contributions," she predicted. "One forward-looking, original content idea will have more impact than five expected, keyword-stuffed blog posts from 2019."

Avionos integrated marketing practice director, Mary Koberstein, said Google Ad’s update leveraging machine learning to optimise PPC bids will allow marketing teams to spend less time on PPC campaign management and more time focusing on SEO content optimisations.

“Voice search with devices like Alexa, Google Home and Siri are here to stay, and organic search strategy and optimisations will put an emphasis on structuring content to answer consumers' questions," she said. “Interactive media and content will continue to be drivers for increasing engagement and conversion for customers."

For years, marketers have been bogged down by the manual work of combing through data and building segments to execute campaigns, Libretto added.

“But with the increased use of AI models, much of this work can be automated – which will drive a shift in attention towards the creative aspects of marketing," he said. "AI is now able to scale the number of personalised offers organisations can send. These means graphic artists and other creative types will be in high demand to help fuel these campaigns with eye-catching content.” 

9. Empathy and authenticity take centre stage

For Forrester, however, group-targeted experiences are soon to supplant personalisation. Marketers will move away from laborious and often-unwanted personalisation efforts and instead, seek to authentically connect with customers through group-targeted experiences, the analyst firm said.

Libretto also believed marketers will go all in on empathy in 2020.

“As more businesses focus on customer retention, marketers will get smarter about demonstrating more empathy with their customers and prospects. Instead of trying to squeeze every last dollar from customers, businesses will focus on sending more relevant offers in context with customer needs while phasing out ‘spray and pray’ strategies across broad segments," he said. 

“Early adopters of this empathetic approach are already seeing results, such as in banking, telco and airlines. Now that the bar has been raised, other industries will be forced to follow suit and deploy their own empathetic strategies." 

With the 2020 US election cycle heating up, Libretto said a new level of awareness on how information can be presented and manipulated to influence behaviours.

"While this is extremely healthy for society at large, this increasing scepticism toward content puts added pressure on marketers: How can they ensure they get their brand message across to customers without inadvertently tripping their ‘fake news’ radars – which are only becoming more sensitive with increased education?" he asked.

"Expect brand authenticity to become a rising topic among marketers trying to stay true to their brand who need to cut through the noise.”

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