I promise to avoid (almost all) references to 2020 hindsight, but it’s hard to talk about 2020 marketing trends without looking back at 2019. In researching earlier marketing trends, I learned that ANA started surveying their members in 2014 to determine the marketing word of the year. Here’s their list:
- 2014 – Programmatic
- 2015 – Content Marketing
- 2016 – Transparency
- 2017 – Artificial Intelligence
- 2018 – Brand Purpose
- 2019 – Personalization
It’s easy to see how personalization became the 2019 winner. Its predecessors all have connections to personalization. The connections exist as a platform, a process, or a purpose, all leading to personalization and relevance as an outcome.
However, Gartner published a provocative report that throws what we think we know about future trends into the blender: “By 2025, 80% of marketers who have invested in personalization will abandon their efforts due to lack of ROI, the perils of customer data management, or both.” And yet, personalization is still extremely popular with marketers and consumers alike, so how do these two seemingly disparate facts align?
Data Drives Personalization
The Gartner report suggests there’s a significant missing link to making personalization a lasting marketing best practice, and that missing link is data, which 27% of marketers told Gartner is the key obstacle to personalization.
With this in mind, it makes sense the immediate marketing focus would be on how to resolve the limits that data puts on personalization success. This is driving additional 2020 marketing trends, including:
- Marketers needing to reverse the continuing decline in consumer trust;
- Increasing scrutiny by regulators as consumers demand protection and transparency;
- Making advances in test and learn platforms to develop more effective acquisition and retention tactics;
- Responding to consumers’ desire for value and their willingness to explore “brandless brands” by putting value over marketing and brand loyalty.
Another 2020 Marketing Trend— Harnessing Data to Build Direct-to-Consumer Brands
While eMarketer principal analyst Andrew Lipsman was writing about retailers when he coined the term, “brandless brands,” his statement that brands have never been more and less important applies across market sectors. He states, “Today’s consumers are looking for value and aren’t necessarily attached to particular brands—or possess fondness for the retailer over the brands on the store shelves. In one sense, the growing popularity of direct-to-consumer (D2C) illustrates the value of differentiation, product innovation, and addressing unmet customer needs.”
The growing popularity of D2C is one more 2020 marketing trend that can’t be ignored. According to Omer Artun, CEO of AgilOne, “It’s always been popular, but it’s finally getting sophisticated and much more effective. Successful D2C businesses have aligned their teams behind the idea of the single customer view, and they have adjusted their teams’ KPIs and priorities around this shared initiative.”
“D2C brands that embrace this shift toward the empowered consumer will be the ones that thrive,” Artun predicted. “Overall, the industry is shifting toward making first-party customer data more leverageable and profitable by focusing on giving customers the experiences they want. The old-school ‘batch and blast’ approaches don’t fit within the new regulatory environment; nor do they fit with consumer’s expectations of a modern brand relationship.”
Looking for help to better use data and personalization to drive the ROI of your marketing campaigns? Contact me here to learn how IWCO Direct’s marketing strategists can provide the tools you need to power your campaigns in 2020 and beyond.
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