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Digital marketing trends in 2020

Technology has brought us closer to each other than ever before, effortlessly connecting people all over the world. Now information can be shared with anyone with just a simple click – and because of this connection, the power of digital marketing simply can’t be ignored. According to eMarketer,

“Worldwide digital ad spend is predicted to reach over $ 357 billion by 2020 – and that’s 49.9% of total media ad spending.”

Thanks to massive digital penetration, there has been a big increase in internet users across social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and this translates into increased opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to advertise and build their brands.

Caitlin Gevers, Marketing Manager for Jellyfish SA, part of a global digital agency says, “Five years ago, there were a lot of questions as to whether brands who were prominent in above-the-line spaces even needed to tackle the digital space. However, with every passing year, the understanding of the true impact of digital marketing increases, opening up opportunities for higher budgets, and more impactful activity by brands. As South Africa’s big brands begin to take digital more seriously, the landscape is becoming increasingly competitive. With impressions so hotly contested the only way to stay ahead of the curve is through increasing digital maturity.”

So, given that we all have access to just about everything because of our smart-phones, digital marketing continues to grow and there’s no sign of it losing momentum. Instead, business needs to fully embrace digital marketing in all its forms so that their businesses can grow and evolve.

Here are three exciting trends to watch out for in digital marketing in 2020:

border triangle Make it personal

These days it’s all about the personalisation – and this strong trend is set to continue its rise into 2020. We take technology for granted and given its consuming presence in our lives, it’s not surprising that the newest digital marketing trends suggest customers’ priorities have also changed. Customers expect convenience and want 24/7 availability, a direct conversation style, accurate information, customised services and recommendations.

Today’s consumers are bombarded with advertising, which means they’ve become quite adept at tuning out generic ads that have no real connection to them. Research by Adweek, a leading source of news and insight serving the brand marketing ecosystem, shows that in a survey of 1,000 people, 90% said that they found personalisation appealing. The big takeaway from their research was that 80% admitted they’d be more likely to give their business to a company that offered them a personalised experience.

One of the primary benefits of personalised marketing is having the control to reach a specific group of customers. And there’s the bonus of being able to collect user data from list segments, surveys, or studies, so you’re positioned to create more relevant and effective email campaigns towards targeted audiences based on their buying habits, interests, and behaviours.

This ties in with what the team from Jellyfish SA also said about the upcoming trends, “Marketers will start to prioritise creating more seamless omnichannel experiences. With higher quality measurement frameworks in place, marketers will have the freedom to start embracing omnichannel marketing, and to focus on creating more personalised experiences that are integrated across channels and media.”
Sending out personalised correspondence helps a business deliver relevant messages with the right tone. By simply adding in a name, you can inspire greater customer loyalty and build stronger ties to your brand. But once you get your customer hooked, you have to show the same level of care and attention. A core part of any digital marketing strategy is about offering the same level of attention to all of your customers, whether they’re first-time shoppers or repeat purchasers.


 The rise of Artificial Intelligence

The growth of artificial intelligence (AI), like using chatbots to interact with customers via instant messaging is another big one to watch. Artificial intelligence is going to take customer service into the tech age.

AI is at the heart of this, as it works by analysing consumers’ actions and search patterns and pulls together all this information from social media channels to better train the chatbot.

Think of a chatbot as modern customer support assistant. Not only are chatbots efficient but they save businesses money, time and resources. The cherry on top? This technology can help brands develop a deeper understanding of how to better serve their customers.

It’s not just chatbots that are leading the way, now voice-based assistants like Alexa and Siri, are also taking on the role of real-life assistants. This technology is also changing the way people search online – as voice searches are changing the principles of search engine marketing. According to a survey by OC&C Strategy Consultants in December 2017, the voice shopping market is expected to grow from $2 billion in 2018 to $40 billion by 2022.

These smart speakers/ virtual assistants offer a human touch to technology and have made browsing and searching more fun. This, in turn, has led to the creation of fun, interactive and sometimes surprising digital marketing strategies.


Purp triangle Private messaging apps

What better way to reach your customer than with private messaging? Once thought to be just for friends and family – now messaging apps in the business space has become a powerful marketing tool. Companies have started to shift their focus to messaging apps like WhatsApp, Viber and WeChat, as opposed to sending out emails.

What’s exciting about this trend is that there’s plenty of room for this trend to grow. Currently, some big brands are working on experiments to monetise messaging apps. Imagine being able to complete your whole shopping process on WhatsApp, from browsing to ordering and paying for products directly through the app. This will not only take convenience to a whole new level – but it will also change the way we send and receive money.

Digital marketing trends are counting on shared experiences to make better products, advertise them appropriately and enrich the lives of customers. The technology is at our fingertips and we just need to use them cleverly and creatively in order to maximise a business’s full potential.

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