It’s been one heck of a decade for us digital marketers.
Since 2010, we’ve seen radical changes in the industry: SEOs have had to adapt to 74 Google algorithm updates; we’ve seen a shift in how users search and shop online; there’s been more focus on marketing analytics research; and we survived a full rebranding of Google’s lineup of advertising products (R.I.P. AdWords).
So, we can only imagine what the next decade has in store for the marketing world as technology surges. And while we’re not at the point of robots taking our jobs, there’ll be lots of new toys and tactics for marketers to experiment with across the next decade.
Here are some digital marketing trends coming in 2020 and beyond that you probably aren’t ready for, but should be aware of.
Relying on Google Analytics alone could spell doom
Don’t let the headline fool you: Google Analytics is still essential to a business that does any semblance of online advertising. We outline why GA is so crucial here; it’s in fact so important, we wrote a follow up, too.
We know what you’re thinking – “if you love GA so much, what’s with the doomsday prediction?”
There’s nothing wrong with GA, it’s a fantastic free tool that we use every day. But, as marketing has evolved over the decade – and will surely evolve over the next 10 years – we’re seeing new channels emerge, like voice search (more on that later).
Even the nature of transactions has changed; it’s no longer, ‘I sell, you buy, you go.’ Instead, there are upsells, down sells, repeat buys, checkout bumps, etc. And then there’s the added ways to generate revenue – partnerships, affiliate marketing, webinars, and so on.
Google Analytics isn’t equipped for all this, at least not yet. So in 2020, you’ll see more companies (some have already started) using analytics solutions that tie a company’s entire database together like Amplitude, or business intelligence solutions like the free Google Data Studio.
With these fancy new toys, marketers can tie all data from these new channels of revenue, helping them make better-informed advertising decisions that’ll enhance lifetime value instead of short-term gain.
If you’re not familiar with Google Analytics, don’t sweat it – you can download our free guide that simplifies all the terms and concepts.
We assume you’ve heard about personalization – marketers have spoken about it all year. (In fact, it was one of the key takeaways from the 2019 Traffic & Conversion summit in North America.)
You may’ve already noticed your marketing may not be as effective as it once was, and that problem may be that you’re speaking to a broad audience. No matter how clever you are, one single marketing message won’t speak to every individual.
Enter personalization. This is key in converting visitors into customers now, and even more so in the future. The best example of this is Amazon. You hop onto the website, and you’re never served a bunch of stuff you’d never buy. Instead, you’ll see a curated spread of goods that’ll pique your interest. If you love hockey, you’ll see sticks, jerseys, pucks, water bottles, etc.
Add in the fact that both ad and general marketing expenses continue to rise, making each marketing dollar all the more precious, expect to see more focus on personalization in marketing – both online and offline – in 2020.
Appeal to emotion
What’s considered a logical fallacy in psychology is an up-and-coming trend in digital marketing.
AI is emotionless, but they’ll be able to read our ’emotional states’ – which will parlay into marketing strategies. AI’s will scrub text from users and pickup ‘keywords’ that’ll help identify the person’s emotional state. Users are bound to use a word like ‘love’ or ‘trash’ in a product review, for example.
It’s already been given a shorthand (hey, we are in marketing here) – sentiment analysis. More and more marketing tools will feature this ability to analyze human communication online, helping companies deliver marketing messages that say the right thing, at just the right time. Mad about the sweater you ordered coming next week, rather than next day? You’ll get an ad that’ll deliver a product of similar quality, the day you expect it.
We should expect nothing less of Google’s technological prowess. They already have robots writing music these days.
Voice search – now with revenue
Stop us if you’ve heard this before: “50% of searches on the web will be done via voice search in 2020.” Everyone’s been talking about it for years (we’re guilty of this too), and it’s a refrain we’ve heard over and over again.
And for that reason, many marketers are skeptical. Adviso makes a compelling argument against the rise of voice search in 2020, for example.
But we’re on Team Voice. Companies like Jetson are paving the way for companies to bank on that sweet, sweet voice search traffic, and we expect similar solutions to sprout in 2020.
The key to this new voice search technology is it allows users to shop online via voice. Voice search was dominated by informational queries (“Alexa, is this a pimple or a boil?”), but will now expand into ecommerce territory. The AI will keep pace, too, learning from each customer to customize (there’s that personalization again) their experience. For example, reordering the same product will become a breeze, requiring nothing more than a sentence and a Google Home or Alexa device.
We hope your marketing endeavours are just as fruitful in the decade ahead! To stay on top of all things in the digital marketing world, be sure to bookmark our blog!