2020 Marketing Trend Predictions

Somediafy posted a 2019 marketing trends review last year (see blog post titled, “2019 Marketing Trend Predictions”).  Below is  recap of Somediafy’s 2019 marketing trend predictions (with outcomes).

2019 Marketing Trends Review:

1. The Rise of Google My Business.

Google ‘My Business’ was important in 2019.  It will become more important in 2020 as ‘near  me’ searches continue to trend upward (Source: Podium.com).

2. Increased focus on retention.

Organizations that retained customers benefited (and will continue to benefit) from lower marketing costs.

3. Consumers’ trust in reputable content.

Consumers will continue seek and rely on reputable content.

4. More Voice Search Usage.

Twenty-percent (20%) of mobile queries are voice search (Source: Brafton.com).  Voice search will continue to rise.  See 2020 predictions below.

5. Growing popularity in USPS Informed Delivery®.

USPS Informed Delivery® had 15.5 million users in February 2019 (Source: Mailomg.com).  USPS Informed Delivery® now has now has 21.6 million users (Source: USPS.com).  USPS Informed Delivery® grew at a solid 39% growth rate.

Somediafy’s 2019 marketing trend predictions held up quite nicely.  The year 2019 will soon be in the rear-view.  Let’s now look forward to the year 2020.

2020 Marketing Trends Predictions:

The year 2020 will bring several trends to follow.  These trends include (but are not limited too) a continued rise in voice search, increased business intelligence use and the rise of Tik Tok.

Here is a snapshot of potential marketing trends to watch in 2020.

1. Voice Search will continue to rise – The Wall Street Journal recently reported that voice devices (e.g., Echo Dot) were among leading 2019 holiday items purchased by consumers on Amazon. Increase voice search platform participation will ultimately lead to more voice search usage.

2. Organizations with abilities to aggregate data will gain competitive advantage(s) – Organizations with abilities to aggregate data across multiple sources will be able to better leverage business intelligence.

3. The Rise of Tik Tok – The social media platform Tik Tok is gaining traction at a steady clip. Tik Tok’s growth is expected to grow in 2020.  The graph below depicts Tik Tok’s recent global internet traffic (Source: Alexa.com).

Tik Tok’s Global Internet Traffic:

TikTok Growth Trend

The 2020 marketing trends above are not meant to be comprehensive.  The marketing topics above warrant attention going into 2020 based on growing interest and necessity.  Somediafy hopes you find this blog posting useful.  Contact Somediafy if you have any questions, or comments.

2019 Marketing Trend Predictions

The year 2018 has come to an end.  The new year will bring about many marketing opportunities.  I have identified several marketing trends to monitor in 2019.  These marketing trends include a) the rise of Google My Business, b) an increased focus on retention, c) consumers’ trust in reputable content, d) more voice search usage and e) growing popularity in USPS Informed Delivery.

Here is a snapshot of each potential marketing trend to watch in 2019.

  • The Rise of Google My Business.  Google My Business is a platform to help businesses reach and engage with customers across Google Search and Maps.  Businesses should complete Google My Business profiles and utilize the service.  Using Google My Business can potentially help businesses with SEO (Search Engine Optimization).  You can learn more about Google My Business by visiting https://www.google.com/business/.
  • Increased focus on retention. It is becoming increasingly difficult acquire new customers.  Retaining current customers and generating positive Word-of-Mouth buzz will help businesses gain and sustain competitive advantages.
  • Consumers’ trust in reputable content. Consumers can overlook your magazine ads, skip through your commercials and avoid seeing your billboard ads.  Consumers will trust the advice they get from family, friends and co-workers.  Provide outstanding service and encourage customers to speak [positively] about interactions with your brand.
  • More Voice Search Usage.  Voice-based commerce sales in the United States surpassed $1.5 billion in 2017.  Voice search sales are projected to reach $40 billion by 2022.  Surfacing among traditional organic online search requests is becoming harder.  Consider optimizing your website for voice search in 2019.
  • Growing popularity in USPS Informed Delivery®.  I must first admit that I work for USPS (United States Postal Service).  I have not seen Informed Delivery® mentioned as a potential 2019 marketing trend in mainstream marketing publications.   USPS Informed Delivery® allows organizations to connect their hardcopy mail and digital marketing strategies by providing users (aka direct mail recipients) with a preview of their mail before it arrives.  I am seeing more marketers use USPS Informed Delivery® across financial, non-profit and retail sectors.  You can learn more about USPS Informed Delivery by visiting https://www.uspsdelivers.com/creating-interactive-experiences-with-informeddelivery/.
Informed Delivery
This is an example showing how ESPN is using USPS Informed Delivery® .

I hope 2019 brings you good tidings!  The marketing trends above are not meant to be comprehensive.  The marketing topics above warrant attention going into 2019 based on growing interest and necessity.  I hope you find this blog posting useful.  Contact me if you have any questions, or comments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Forbes.com –  “5 Marketing Trends to Pay Attention To In 2019

Entrepreneur.com – “10 Marketing Trends to Watch in 2019

Duct Tape Marketing Podcast – “The Top Four Marketing Trends for 2019”

USPS.com – “Creating Interactive Experiences with Informed Delivery®

 

Millenials and the Mail!

Millenials will outnumber any other generation by 2019. Millenials are the members of the population born between 1980 and 1996. Millenials are known for extensively using mobile devices and multi-tasking. A recent report by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) finds that millenials like the United States Postal Service (USPS). Millenials prefer direct mail more than you think! Other USPS OIG findings are as follows:

  • Millenials grew up using digital devices; however, still prefer print. USPS research shows that half of millenials agree they “like to discover what the mail brings every day and consider time spent looking at/reading mail time well spent.”
  • A Gallup poll found that 95% of adults 18 to 29 enjoy receiving personal mail.
  • Ninety-percent (90%) of people ages 25 to 34 find direct mail reliable.
  • Sixty-two percent (62%) of millenials said they have visited a store in the past month based on information received in the mail.
  • Sixty-nine percent (69%) of millenials like receiving, and using, coupons by mail from local restaurants and retailers.

What does this mean?

Millenials are extremely familiar with digital devices and marketing; however, prefer print. Furthermore, millenials interact with mail in different ways than prior generations. Advertisers and marketers that can build seamless links between direct mail and digital advertising through a “multi-channel” campaign can perhaps most benefit from direct mail advertising.

Do any of the findings above surprise you? Feel free to leave a comment.

Source: The Postal Record, October 2018

Become Informed about Direct Mail!

Organizations focusing solely on digital marketing should highly consider using direct mail as part of an overall cross functional marketing outreach. Many customers prefer to receive tangible marketing items. Consider using direct mail by:

  • Creating and fostering a loyalty program
    • Reach out to loyal shoppers through direct mail offering deals to encourage shoppers to return
  • Following up with current e-mail responses
    • Many organizations use e-mail to solicit customer contact information. Send direct mail to current and prospective customers to reinforce e-mail communication. Remember, some customers prefer tangible marketing mail.
  • Reaching out to lapsed customers
    • Send a friendly reminder to customers who have not frequented your establishment in a while.
  • Sending out Happy Birthday offers
    • It never hurts to say Happy Birthday.
  • Sending personalized post-purchase discounts
    • Encourage customers who already shop with you to return. Furthermore, offer discounts for frequent shoppers to return with a friend.
  • Mailing out “welcome kits”
    • Hallmark sends welcome kits for members joining its Crown Rewards program.
  • Inviting customers to exclusive events
    • Make customers feel special by creating an invitation only event for your best customers.
  • Targeting seasonal shoppers
    • Send direct mail to shoppers who have visited your location around specific seasonal timeframes.
  • Reinforcing digital marketing efforts through USPS (United States Postal Service) Informed Delivery®
    • USPS Informed Delivery® will let your brand send a physical mail piece with an ability for that mail piece to appear in a direct mail recipients’ e-mail inbox (along with a link going back to your brands’ website).
    • The Post Office scans mail piece images; however, you must set-up an Informed Delivery® campaign to link back to your brand’s website.  Here is a pretty good USPS YouTube video illustrating how Informed Delivery® works (from a marketing standpoint).  Click here to see video.  Informed Delivery® is a FREE service offered by the USPS simply for paying postage.

Direct mail is extremely targetable. Furthermore, it can be used to personalize marketing outreach in ways other marketing channels simply cannot. The USPS is promoting Informed Delivery® as a service to further integrate digital and direct mail capabilities. Successful marketers are using direct mail in ways that complement existing marketing efforts. For example, JC Penney is currently using USPS Informed Delivery® to promote sales (see picture below).

JC Penney Informed Delivery

Direct mail can be used to complement digital marketing. Your business should consider becoming informed about direct mail!

Source: Blog.ometria.com

Voice Search Leads to Directions Requests

Search Engine Land posted a study (featured on Chatmeter) reporting that 9 out of 10 smartphone owners use virtual voice assistant services.  Almost half of smartphone owners use voice assistant services daily.  Most impressive is a study claim that almost ninety percent (90%) of smartphone users say they are likely to request driving directions to a business after a local-voice search.

Study results like the one mentioned above suggest that voice search is already impacting marketing.  Businesses should consider finding ways to implement voice search into existing multichannel and omnichannel marketing efforts.

Source: Searchengineland.com

Is Interest in Voice Search on the Rise?

Many publications and podcasts have been touting the rise of voice search since 2018 began.  For example, Forbes recently published an article titled, “The Continued Rise of Voice Search and How Your Business Can Leverage It” on January 29, 2018.  Voice search poses many benefits for both businesses and consumers.  Is interest in voice search actually gaining traction despite recent praise by prominent sources?

Voice Search

Source: Google Trends

The trend graph above shows that online search requests for the phrase “voice search” on Google are noticeably lower than reported in years past.  Roku and Amazon Fire are contributing to a resurgence in voice search interest though.

Businesses and consumers can benefit greatly through improved voice search technologies.  Do not to go overboard with recent voice search hype until voice search technologies prove to be viable staples for your search optimization strategy.

What are your thoughts about voice search?

When is Right Time Marketing Best?

Abstract

There is an ongoing debate about the overall effectiveness of traditional versus digital marketing.  Determining the best way(s) to measure marketing success is what keeps marketers up at night.  Asking the right questions can help bring about the best answers.  Knowing what digital marketing questions to ask and how to definitively track success can significantly boost an organization’s competitive advantage.

Marketers can weigh digital efforts by monitoring a variety of metrics.  It is recommended that marketers use only a few metrics as guided by their organization’s mission and goals.

Can digital marketing really be the Crème de le Crème?

Organizations engage in digital marketing when they promote brands, products, or services through electronic media channels such as internet advertising, mobile phones, and display advertisements (Alexander, 2016).  Digital marketing practices are commonly used to connect organizations with customers through RTM (Real-Time Marketing).

Marketers acknowledge that digital marketing hype has risen over the past few years but question whether digital marketing efforts yield significant ROI (Return on Investment).  For example, the monetary return on digital technology investments can be questioned when consumers fail to download appropriate applications (Briola, 2016).

RTM approaches do not work when they fail to incorporate variables like behavioral data, predictive analytics and personalization.  Inability to track the correct variables means that organizations will fail to contact consumers in the future at the right time, through the right channel and with the right content (Naragon, 2016).

Technology, travel and entertainment are among the most discussed topics by consumers in the digital realm (Smith, 2013).  Many organizations, especially within the CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) industry, are spending more on digital advertising while questioning its overall effectiveness (Neff, 2017).  It is not surprising to see that traditional advertising remains a steadfast option for CPG firms.  Digital marketing gives CPG firms an opportunity to reach consumers in real-time; however, traditional advertising allows CPG firms to engage consumers at the right time.  For instance, CPG firms send coupons to consumers which can be used at a later date, or time when a consumer desires to shop.  Coupons are generally considered a form traditional advertising; however, they can present in digital form.  Traditional advertising can be deemed more effective than digital marketing within the CPG industry since traditional advertising can effectively market to consumers at the right time.

Digital marketing has received much hype in recent years, as mentioned above.  It makes sense to question whether digital marketing is one of the absolute best marketing methods to reach consumers given the amount of time and money required to create and sustain capital investments in digital technology.

It is important to ask the right research questions prior to engaging of problem solving.  Popular methods utilize the ‘5W + 1H’ (who, what, when, where, why and how) technique (Reid & Smyth-Renshaw, 2012).  Analyzing digital marketing effectiveness can help organizations better understand who they are marketing to, what content needs to be marketed, when and where advertisements should be placed.  Organizations can further improve right time marketing practices if they better understand how and why consumers react to digital versus traditional advertising.

In conclusion, digital advertising appears to be relatively popular among technology, travel and entertainment market segments.  The verdict is still out to whether digital marketing is the best form of promotion for every industry, especially within the CPG realm.

Is social marketing brilliant, or what?

Coming up with and devising good research questions is one of the most important parts of research and perhaps more important than the answers (Alvesson, M. & Sandberg, J., 2013).   Components leading to good questions include available funding, publishing opportunities and practical experience (Alvesson, M. & Sandberg, J., 2013).  Marketers can use social media for a wide array of communications.  Social media can be used to address public relations issues, fix customer service problems, promote products and disseminate information.  Practical experience using social media reveals critical pitfalls for organizations using social marketing strategies, especially when it comes to measuring social media ROI.

Social media can be considered a subset of digital marketing since it falls under the umbrella of electronic media for marketing purposes.  Both organizations and consumers use social media when blogging, tweeting, messaging and engaging in discussion on popular boards.  Organizations are ever increasingly trying to find ways to utilize social media to achieve both RTM and right time marketing objectives.  Ultimately, organizations desire to learn how social marketing can be used to bring consumers together at the right place and at the right time (Bernhardt, Jay MMays, DarrenHall, Amanda K., 2012).

Social media marketing has garnered much attention over the past decade.  Organizations continue to struggle with how to measure ROI of social media (Powell, G. R., Dimos, J., & Groves, S., 2011) despite all of its Brew Ha-Ha.

Publishing opportunities exist for academic and practitioner content that properly addresses proven methods to measure social media ROI.  Current interest in measuring social media ROI exists.  In fact, the popular online retailer Amazon.com returns more than 250 publications when searching for content using the search phrase “social media ROI” (Social Media ROI, 2017).

Social media marketing has its place of importance with the marketing mix.  It is subject to several shortcomings.  At a minimum, marketers can utilize social marketing to promote in real-time even though it may not be the right time.  Additionally, shortcomings arise as organizations struggle to accurately measure social media ROI.  Organizations should leverage social media but not forget about traditional communication methods (i.e., press releases for public relations issues) as well.

What is the best way to measure the value of a digital marketing?

Measuring the impact of digital advertising on a brand’s (or product’s) success, or lack thereof, can be extremely difficult.  Defining digital marketing success in terms of sales as a ROI is good; however, a complete focus on sales is short-sighted.  Companies that merely focus on ROI in the short-term will limit their ability to build long-term on-going relationships with their customers.  For instance, an organization might post content about a product on its blog, or website.  Expecting consumers to immediately buy is a fallacy.  Organizations should use blog, or website as a digital platform to showcase products (or services) and interact with current or potential customers.  Building solid customer relationships is a key to long-term business success.

Monetary gains are important; however, marketers can use other metrics to measure the success of their digital marketing campaigns.  Such metrics include website traffic, conversions, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) ranks among top search engines, number of comments and brand sentiment (Alim, 2017).

Ultimately, marketers need to understand the goals and mission of their organization.  Garrett Sloan on Adage.com suggests marketers determine metrics based on an overall set of priorities (Sloane, 2017).

Better understanding methods to evaluate digital marketing effectiveness is crucial for businesses to be successful.  This research question is extremely relevant and thus warrants further study.  Most important is that answers can be found through proper research.

 Conclusion

             Well formulated research questions can provide a pathway answering important questions.  Digital marketing is viewed as a very important component of the marketing mix.  Digital marketing can help organizations if used correctly.  Digital marketing has its pitfalls despite all the hoopla.  Traditional advertising remains a very effective means of advertising for certain industries.  More research is necessary to ultimately determine the best ways to measure digital marketing success.  For now, marketers should assess achievement based on their goals.

References

Alexander, L. (2016).  What is digital marketing? Retrieved on March 5, 2017 from website https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/what-is-digital marketing#sm.0000a6zzvm1ebhf9ir6jtc7wize1f

Alim, R. (2017). 10 Simple and Reliable Digital Marketing Metrics.  Retrieved March 7, 2017 from website http://www.convinceandconvert.com/digital-marketing/10-simple-and-reliable-digital-marketing-metrics/

Alvesson, M. & Sandberg, J. (2013). Research questions: a core ingredient in developing interesting theories. In Constructing research questions: Doing interesting research (pp. 1-9). London, : SAGE Publications Ltd doi: 10.4135/9781446270035.n1

Bernhardt, J. M., Mays, D., & Hall, A. K. (2012). Social marketing at the right place and right time with new media. Journal of Social Marketing, 2(2), 130-137. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/20426761211243964

Briola, E. (2016). Why have Beacons Failed to Live Up to the Marketing Hype? Retrieved on March 5, 2017 from website http://digitalmarketingmagazine.co.uk/digital-marketing-features/why-have-beacons-failed-to-live-up-to-the-marketing-hype/3352

Naragon, K. (2016). Why Real-Time Marketing Isn’t Always The Right Time. Retrieved on March 5, 2017 from website http://www.cmo.com/opinion/articles/2016/11/14/why-realtime-marketing-isnt-always-the-right-time.html#gs.3c8BQpI

Neff, J. (2017). Study: CPG Now Spends More on Digital Than Traditional Ads, but Shoppers Doubt They Work.  Retrieved on March 3, 2017 from website http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/study-cpg-spends-digital-traditional-advertising-combined/308077/

Powell, G. R., Dimos, J., & Groves, S. (2011). ROI of Social Media : How to Improve the Return on Your Social Marketing Investment. Singapore: Wiley.

Reid, I., & Smyth-Renshaw, J. (2012). Exploring the Fundamentals of Root Cause Analysis: Are We Asking the Right Questions in Defining the Problem?. Quality & Reliability Engineering International, 28(5), 535-545. doi:10.1002/qre.1435

Sloane, G. (2017). How to Get the True Measure of a Mobile Ad.  Retrieved March 7, 2017 from website http://adage.com/article/digital/true-measure-a-mobile-ad/308186/

Smith, C. (2013). These Are The Six Most-Discussed Topics on Social Media. Retrieved on March 5, 2017 from website http://www.businessinsider.com/most-discussed-topics-on-social-media-2013-5

Social Media ROI. 2017. Retrieved on March 5, 2017 from website https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1/157-2244760-8128263?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=social+media+roi