As we’re rapidly approaching the end of the year, it’s a great time to review where we’re going and the marketing trends we’re likely to see more of in 2020.
At one time, artificial intelligence (AI), data-driven marketing and voice search engine optimisation (VSEO) were ambitious concepts bordering on the ridiculous. Today, these innovative digital marketing trends are among the top priorities for most business owners in 2020.
And why wouldn’t they be? After all, if your business has any intention of remaining competitive in today’s online landscape, you must adapt to the rapidly evolving changes in digital marketing. Make no mistake: We live in a time when marketing technology moves fast and consumer interests and behaviours are hard to predict. Marketers can no longer stick their heads in the sand and hope that educated guesses and the same old methods will work forever.
1) Voice Search
According to ComScore, over 50% of the searches in 2020 will be from voice search. But that’s not really a new trend. In fact, everyone has been talking about that for years.
So, what’s the big deal?
Let’s take a look at some numbers:
- 50% of all searches will be via voice by 2020
- 72% of people who own voice-activated speakers say that their devices are used as part of their daily routines
- Voice shopping is set to jump to $40 billion in 2022, up from $2 billion today
- Global smart speaker shipments have almost trebled between Q1 2018 and Q2 2019, growing from 9.36 million units to 26.1 million units
Overall, people expect to be using voice search far more in the future.
Many brands are already including voice search in their digital marketing strategies to deliver value-based content effectively to their customers:
- Patrón Tequila helps consumers access personalized cocktail recipes
- Domino’s allows pizza-lovers to order from the comfort of their couch without having to pick up the phone
- PayPal users can engage Siri to send money to friends, family or businesses
- Nestlé created a skill that provides voice instructions as you cook
- Campbell’s has a skill that helps hungry consumers choose and cook recipes
While optimising for voice search is a great way to spread brand awareness, how is that going to convert into sales? Well, in 2020, we’ll see more businesses try to tap into this potential, experimenting with new ideas to use smart speakers as a lucrative channel for driving sales.
Surveys show that:
- Chatbots will power 85% of customer service by 2020
- Top benefits of chatbots are 24-hour service (64%), instant responses to inquiries (55%), and answers to simple questions (55%)
- 63% of respondents prefer messaging an online chatbot to communicate with a business or brand
- By 2022, chatbots will help businesses save over $8 billion per annum
- 80% of businesses want chatbots by 2020
Many customers prefer interacting with chatbots as they are responsive 24/7, give answers promptly, accurately recall your entire buying history, and never lose patience. These virtual assistants offer outstanding customer service by meeting customers’ expectations and automating repetitive tasks – which means that you can focus on more important work.
Additional benefits of using chatbots in digital marketing include:
- It Saves Time: Unlike humans, a chatbot can provide answers quickly to all kinds of questions and quick responses mean that customers can make decisions faster.
- Customer Satisfaction: Unlike humans, a chatbot doesn’t need time to rest. Any time the customer wants information, it’s right at their fingertips. And as the chatbot responds more accurately, your sales conversion rates will increase as well.
- Good Humor: A chatbot is never moody. You will never hear customers complain about being turned away. They are unbiased, clear, and informative- all the qualities that make your customers feel at ease.
The problem with marketing as it exists today is that 95% of your visitors will never convert into a customer. And that’s if you are lucky.
Chances are you are more likely looking at 97% plus of your visitors never converting. The big reason isn’t that your marketing sucks or that all of those visitors are junk and unqualified. It’s that your message doesn’t fit every single one of your visitors.
But through personalisation, you can convert more of your visitors into customers. Personalisation is truly the future of digital marketing. And these days, it’s what consumers expect.
Consider these personalisation stats:
- 63% of consumers are highly annoyed with generic advertising blasts
- 80% say they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalised experiences
- 90% claim they find personalisation appealing
When you want to study examples of the power of personalisation, it’s hard to overlook Netflix and Amazon, with their tailored recommended products or movie titles. Here are a few other companies that are successfully using personalisation today:
- Cadbury’s created a personalised video campaign that matches a Dairy Milk flavour with users based on data from their Facebook profile, including age, interest and location. The campaign generated a 65% click-through rate and a 33.6% conversion rate, proving that the personal touch works.
- Starbucks uses a gamified mobile app that draws on data like purchase history and location to get as personal as possible, allows customers to customize their drinks, and encourages further use with its rewards system – which skyrocketed their revenue to $2.56 billion.
4) Automation + AI
If you haven’t already realised it, 2020 may be the year that a lot of people wake up to the dominance of AI. It’s sure to be at the heart of global business and industry in the future – and it’s already taking over many simple jobs.
Gartner projects that 30% of businesses will incorporate AI in their sales processes in 2020. In fairness, we should expect more, especially when you consider the amazing benefits of AI and automation for sales and marketing:
- Improve customer retention and loyalty
- Predict the behaviour of your customer with propensity modelling and predictive analytics
- Use AI-powered chatbots to improve user experience
- Leverage the power of audience insights to boost search ads
- Scale up your content marketing with AI-generated content
- Deliver a highly personalised website experience to every user
- Optimise for voice search queries
- Identify “hot leads”
- Reduce cart abandonment
- Target customers across different channels
- Boost customer lifetime value (clv)
- Upsell and cross-sell to customers
- Improve blogger outreach
- Generate leads from thank you pages
- Automatically suggest content to visitors
- Identify bottlenecks in your sales pipeline
- Measure the performance of your marketing campaigns
- Maintain a central hub for all your marketing activities
- Cut costs and save time
5) Social Commerce and Shoppable Posts
With e-commerce and social media both growing at alarming rates, it’s no wonder brands are using the two together to maximise opportunities for sales.
In March 2019, Instagram unveiled Instagram Checkout, which lets users complete their purchase from within Instagram. E-commerce brands hope this will reduce the risk that customers will abandon their purchase because they have to switch apps or sign in to an unknown store.
Social media is integral to digital marketing, and visual platforms like Instagram are gold for marketers. Better yet, visual commerce is taking off as more consumers are willing to buy products through ads they see in their feeds. Instagram reports that the platform has 1 billion users, and 90% of them already follow active shopping brands, with many visiting these profiles on a daily basis. So what better way to leverage this massive potential than by using shoppable posts?
E-commerce brands can create and post interactive ads that allow users to click and shop with ease. Instagram believes this will make it easier for businesses to reach prospective new customers, as it will effectively shorten the sales funnel, giving consumers the instant access they desire.
If you are operating a business, it’s important to know about the current marketing trends and be able to stay on top of where digital marketing is headed in the future.
Now is the time to start planning for your 2020 marketing strategy if you haven’t already. Make sure you start off the new decade with a clear plan of your goals and how you’re going to achieve them.