As exciting as it is to keep yourself fully synchronised and in-the-know when it comes to the latest trends in advertising, marketing and design, all this research can end up being wasted time if you never actually apply the knowledge. It’s time to take all of those insights and turn them into marketing action.
We’ve scoured the marketing landscape for the latest golden nuggets from the most visionary thinkers on the topic.
Comparing them with insights gleaned from our unique viewpoint – working with a myriad of brands across a plethora of industries and sectors gives us a solid understanding of the way the industry is developing and where it’s likely to go next.
Although the temptation exists to give this article the click-baity title ‘Top Marketing Trends for 2020’, the reality is that many of the insights we’re about to point out have been developing for the past few years and will likely still be relevant late into next year and beyond.
We hope this gives you the necessary grounding to begin implementing the strategies needed to capitalise on these trends and if you need any further help then you can always pick up the phone to Threerooms to bounce some ideas off us!
Creating an offline experience that’s as engaging as your online one
As our lives become increasingly centred around our screens, there is an inevitable growing hunger for more engaging offline experiences. Brands have worked hard over the past decade to master digital marketing as it has evolved from TV advertising to browser ads, to youtube influencers to social media stories.
It’s much less risky to invest in online marketing but with that lack of risk can come a lack of reward in this saturated landscape.
A trend of providing offline experiences that seamlessly blend with and complement a customer’s online experience has been evolving for many years now. As early as 2011, Coca-Cola cottoned on with their ‘Share a Coke’ campaign featuring bottles that swapped their logo for the UK’s most popular names and accompanying hashtag.
In 2014 Adobe’s Mathieu Hannouz commented:
“As a new marketer, you must also find ways to use online and offline to make every customer experience relevant and personalized in real-time whether consumers are browsing a website or walking down a store aisle.”
And in 2017 Amazon’s purchase of grocery retailer Wholefoods in the US signalled that their strategy was evolving beyond screens.
“Amazon invested over $13 billion in the acquisition because they understood an undeniable reality about consumers: Despite all the fascination with devices and digital services, most sales still happen in physical stores.” Digital Marketing Institute
“Amazon invested over $13 billion in the acquisition because they understood an undeniable reality about consumers: Despite all the fascination with devices and digital services, most sales still happen in physical stores.”
Digital Marketing Institute
How can I apply this?
Ensuring that your marketing activity hits on target is increasingly important as brands venture into offline marketing as the stakes are higher. It’s crucial to get to know your customer personas if you’re going to effectively target them with real-world activations.
“We expect to see an increase in brands to prioritising real-world experiences that reflect their target audiences’ personal passions.” (Sarah Tortoreti, vice-president of marketing, VidCon)
As your number of brand touchpoints increases, so too does the importance of a focus on consistency. Ensuring that your brand is recognisable in its visual language will prevent any exposure being lost via misattribution.
Personalisation and customisation of your customer’s experience
Personalising customer experience with your brand is another ‘trend’ that has been around for some time. If the idea of ‘personalisation’ brings to mind a newsletter with the subject line of “Hello,#CUSTOMER_NAME” it might be time to update your thinking.
Over recent years, various data breaches and usage scandals have resulted in consumers being much more aware and guarded of their data and how it’s used by the organisations they interact with, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t willing to give it up for a more rewarding experience.
57% of consumers say they’re willing to share personal data in exchange for personalised offers or discounts, according to a 2016 survey conducted by Salesforce
It seems that personalisation could be somewhat of an untapped marketing tool for many businesses. A 2017 study by Segment concludes that 71% of consumers express some level of frustration when their shopping experience is impersonal. With 44% of consumers agreeing that they will likely become repeat buyers after a personalised shopping experience with a particular company.
How can I apply this?
Email remains an integral part of the marketer’s tool kit and the easiest way to provide personalised brand experience. With advanced automation techniques and a solid email marketing strategy you can begin to experiment with what works for different customer personas.
Being creative about reaching your customers when they’re not at their screens is key to gaining ground with your O2O (online to offline) strategy. Again, an in-depth awareness of your customer personas will make this possible.
Consider your existing offline marketing strategy, does it currently link with your online strategy in any way? Perhaps take steps to remove the barriers between your online and offline touchpoints with solid visual language or a campaign that spans the two.
Read more: What makes great email design?
Expressing your opinion on current affairs
You may assume that this trend only applies to the big boys, the likes of Apple, Nike and Pepsi, who have all famously held strong stances on political and social issues in the past. Perhaps this assumption is partly justified, these large brands can afford to engage in hot button issues because they have such large and varied income streams providing them with the security that they won’t lose much income over a divisive campaign.
Marketing week points out, however, that “it could actually be riskier in the long-term to sit on the fence”, citing research into consumer trust of brands and an important statistic that reveals over half of UK consumers now consider themselves “belief-driven buyers” according to Edelman’s 2018 Earned Brand study.
Another source, a YouGov whitepaper finds that “More than half (52%) of people in Britain think that brands should be able to express how they feel on a certain topic”. An undeniable trend of brands becoming more active players in current affairs is taking place. Some causes are less risky to get behind than others, but whether you take baby steps or strike bold with passion, it’s going to be important over the next few years to not get left behind on the fence.
How can I apply this?
Nuance and timing are key.
A well-timed campaign that coincides with the peak of a social issue can gain virality and become very effective marketing for your business.
It’s important to bear in mind the nuances of the campaign; the message, imagery as well as where it is seen (both geographically and on what medium). These factors may mean the difference between the campaign being celebrated versus being denigrated.
Read more: Finding your tone of voice
How we can help
There are a few commonalities between these trends that are key to the success of their application. At Threerooms we help business leaders and marketing teams with effective brand strategy, creative design and effective marketing. We have years of combined expertise in strategising and producing successful marketing campaigns, here are a few of the skills we bring to these marketing trends…
Whether you’re taking a stance on a social issue or developing your online to offline marketing strategy one thing that will always be a major determinant of success is your level of insight into the people you’re targeting.
We run workshops to help you to define and build your customer personas.
Having a range of fully fleshed-out personas to target your marketing towards helps you create more engaging campaigns and messages and allows everyone to quickly and easily get onboard, allowing you to provide consistent and targeted marketing.
A solid brand
As you venture out into more advanced marketing techniques it becomes increasingly important that your underlying brand and visual language is solid. Having clear and well thought-out brand guidelines allows for quick turnaround of projects and ensures that no matter how you’re reaching them, your customers will always recognise you.
Bursts of creativity
Sometimes a fresh perspective is all that’s needed. Whether it’s at a strategic level, or in the nitty gritty of look and feel, Threerooms is your creative partner and fresh, original ideas are our bread and butter. We’re always on hand to provide some extra creative magic to your marketing campaign.
Get in touch today to find out how we can assist you in implementing your next marketing strategy.
An award-winning branding agency, Threerooms has spent over 14 years making brands stronger and businesses more successful. Whether modernising brands, crafting campaigns or building next-gen websites, our amazing team is focused on delivering brand transformation while providing exceptional customer service. Want to work together? Get in touch today.