2020 will forever be known as the year that everything changed. Industries and economies have been turned on their heads - including Marketing - but that doesn't mean there is only bad news. The changes occurring in the world means it's the perfect time to adapt, optimize, and re-orient your entire Marketing strategy for the "new normal".
Let's talk about the future of Marketing 2020 and the biggest changes that Marketing will see in the coming years:
In-Person to Virtual
Due to the global coronavirus outbreak, large events will be on the decline in 2020 and beyond, being replaced by virtual meetups and webinars. With everything forced online during the toughest months of the outbreak, many more companies - and customers - will have come around to the cost benefits and other advantages of everything digital. Businesses need to find a way to proportion nearly all of their services online.
- Webinars: Great for the awareness stage of the Buyer's Journey, webinars address a certain topic for a certain segment of people. While platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams are popular now, there are also up-and-comers like Remo, whose mission is to "humanize online events and remote work".
- Product/Service Demos: Leading us into the consideration stage of the Buyer's Journey, demos are great for showing off the specific characteristics of your offerings, usually to a small group of prospects or even one on one.
- Sales Calls: Sales won't be solely done in-person or over the phone anymore. Sales video calls will be normalized and people will want to see and get to know their sales agents.
- Networking Events: It doesn't have to be all business all the time. Take some time to get to know your prospects as people, connecting with them on a more personal level. For example, La Latina Valley in Spain and Latin America have begun doing virtual afterworks.
You've probably noticed that when you Google something, a lot of diverse options come up. Search algorithms are no longer based solely on keywords - and going even further - businesses are not only competing with text entries. Videos, definitions, memes, maps, and more are all dispersed throughout page results. Knowing this, diversity in content formats is a must.
For B2B, blog posts and ebooks (including white papers and case studies) still tend to be the most popular content types, but try branching out into video. Videos are highly consumable, visual, entertaining, and easy to understand. Incorporating Video Marketing into your lead generation or sales processes could see your conversion rates jump!
Finally, you're already familiar with Siri and OK Google, but voice search will be even more of a hot topic in the coming years. The rise voice platforms/home assistants like Alexa, Echo, and Cortana will force companies to think about voice-oriented SEO. Not doing so will mean getting left behing.
With downsizing in full effect across the global economy, many businesses large and small will have to make do with a smaller workforce. Luckily, there's almost nothing that can't be done with automation and an agency partner. Automation lets you scale your efforts without more employees, resources, or time. See some examples below:
- Database: Clean, organize, and optimize your database, plus implement lifecycle stages and Buyer Personas.
- Lead Nurturing: Create workflows and do email marketing campaigns based off of your prospects' characteristics and activities.
- Chatbots: Set up a Facebook or web chatbot to send messages to visitors, provide useful information, and direct them to specific pages.
- Internal Notifications: Send internal notifications to your team members; this is especially useful for sales agents, who can quickly take action after leads submit forms or perform certain actions.
Branding and Social Media
It's more important than ever to create a strong brand presence, especially when consumers are cutting non-essentials and unfamiliar brands out of their budget. Moreover, how your company responds and acts during this crisis can affect public perception of your brand and overall company.
A visible social media presence can help you solidify and bolster your brand positioning. Social media channels are abundant, diverse, and generally free to use. Discover 2020 Social Media Marketing trends and learn which channels are right for your business based off of your target audience.
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have really taken off this year (see FB/Snapchat filters, TikTok), and brands that can afford it should invest in VR/AR in some way. Interactive content like polls and quizzes are also quite popular. Any business can take advantage of user-generated content, which helps display your brand through the eyes of its ambassadors. Finally, personalization with smart content is a must for the future of Marketing 2020, because people are not one-size-fits-all, so your content shouldn't be either.
Sales with Value Added
Sales has to go above and beyond, investigating and really knowing specific information about every lead. Cold calling won't cut it in a time when every potential customer counts more than ever. Marketing and Sales must be united and on the same page; now is the time to clearly re-define your processes, discover gaps and bottlenecks, and optimize every step in the process. Without your Sales department involved in what's going on with Marketing, you'll find that it's harder to address prospects questions and doubts, and convert them into customers.
Do we even need to go into detail on this point? Data and analysis will be crucial for using your Marketing investment in the right places. Companies looking to survive and grow this year and in the coming years can't afford to not look at the numbers in detail. Luckily, most Marketing platforms and social media channels have built-in metrics that you can use to measure your efforts and re-orient according to results.
2020 is a year no one will ever forget, but let's make it for the right reasons. The "new normal" doesn't have to be a scary situation, in fact, if you study these trends and chart a course for this year, you'll see your business come out on top. If you're looking for ways to re-orient your Marketing, download our ebook below or reach out to us!