5 trends that will define marketing strategies in 2020

by | Jan 6, 2020 | Marketing, Public Relations

How will smart marketers adjust their strategies as we start the new year? From its own experience leading the marketing industry, marketing and comms multichannel solutions firm R.R. Donnelley & Sons has honed in on five key trends that will be pivotal to marketers seeing success in 2020.

Having been ranked #8 in the U.S. on the 75th annual Ad Age Agency Report, which classifies and analyzes advertising and marketing-services agencies based on U.S. and worldwide revenue, the firm recently unveiled its five trends that will shape marketing decisions for 2020:

Trend #1: From omnichannel to optichannel

For years, marketers have been working to consider every channel in order to be successful. While this may have been realistic a decade ago, the vast number of channels make it ineffective to activate campaigns across all these channels and mediums. In 2020, marketers will take a step back and adopt a more holistic approach, essentially ditching the omnichannel mindset in lieu of “optichannel,” which means making strategic decisions based on the brand promise, customer expectations, personal preferences, and the anticipated return on investment.

Trend #2: The pop-up comeback

In an age where major retailers like Toys ‘R’ Us and Barneys are shutting their stores, these same brands are also making a return via the pop-up. These retailers are now hosting pop-up events aimed at creating unique and memorable consumer experiences. The goal of a retail pop-up store is to build brand interactions that make a lasting impression with customers. In 2020, marketers need to view experiences as the new form of brand promotion and engage consumers through immersive activations.

Trend #3: Voice marketing finds its voice

While voice search and voice assistants were novel just a few years ago, they are on the cusp of becoming a household item. In fact, it’s expected that the base of installed smart speakers will reach 225 million units by 2020 and 30 percent of all web searches will be done without a screen. For marketers to get ahead in 2020, they need to define how voice marketing should be integrated into their overall marketing strategy.

Trend #4: The human element matters

Recent research into Instagram marketing shows that influencer-sponsored posts have grown by more than 150 percent in the past year. This is not surprising as 70 percent of U.S. consumers that follow influencers on social media platforms say they trust influencer opinions as much or more than their real-world friends. The key takeaway is that consumers trust hearing from real people, whether they are online influencers or friends and family, potentially more than hearing from a brand directly. To win and keep customer loyalty, marketers need to make a strategic investment with influencers who embody their company values and have an authentic relationship with their followers.

Trend #5: First impressions count more than ever

Whether a consumer buys a product at the store or gets it shipped directly, the first impression counts, sometimes just as much as the product itself. In-store, consumers are presented with a plethora of choices that can get overwhelming. A product’s appearance can make a difference in the final decision. At the same time, at home, the first interaction with a new purchase is actually the box—not the product. According to a national study conducted by the Paper and Packaging Board and IPSOS, seven in 10 consumers agree that packaging can influence purchasing decisions. In 2020, the most successful brands will use clever, trendy and sustainable packaging to attract new buyers and create loyal customers.

“New technology and channels have made marketing and customer communications more complex in recent years,” said Dan Knotts, president and CEO of RRD, in a news release. “Consumers are being bombarded with advertisements and product choices virtually everywhere. The market is so saturated that standing out as a brand may feel like mission impossible at times. The recipe for success in 2020 is not quite so complex. Brands should focus on building genuine connections and memorable experiences by strategically leveraging physical and digital channels.”

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter