As much as I would love to claim mystic powers, I'm afraid my skills extend about as far as reading Tarot cards for friends!
However, I thought it would be useful to share my predictions for the world of marketing in 2020. So much has changed recently, but I do believe that some things will make a reappearance as we near the end of this year. So, here's my predictions...
Voice branding will be a focus
While some brands are already considering how their brand will be heard through voice search, I think this will become a lot more commonplace by the end of this year. While branding has always included tone of voice and considered language and key messaging, I think it will shift more towards embracing natural language processing technology. Websites will need to optimised more for voice search and so will advertisements. It seems strange to predict this when Google Voice Search has been around since 2010, but with increased awareness about accessibility and consumer need for speed, I think this will come to the fore in 2020.
Smaller marketing teams will cope best
While it is always the dream to have a big marketing team capable of engaging with the masses, I think the smaller marketing teams across the UK will fare better. The ability to be nimble and the courage to explore and test marketing approaches will help smaller teams react to current circumstances. Bigger, more process-driven teams will struggle to do the same.
British brands will increase loyalty marketing
Retention is usually more cost-effective than recruitment, and I have a hunch that British brands will return to loyalty marketing with a vengeance in the coming months. Focus will be on growing and retaining existing customers through incentives as well as highlighting how trustworthy a brand is.
Positivity fatigue will hit sooner rather than later
I am a staunch advocate of positive marketing messaging. I genuinely believe that a great brand will lift spirits, inspire engagement and create a lasting impression. That said, positivity fatigue is fast approaching. Brands will need to adapt to this wave of negativity in the right way to retain their supporters by showing a sensitive, honest side. Instead of keeping the tone light and friendly, I believe brands will need to offer added value content and support their audiences more. This is already happening across the globe so it will be interesting to see how brands handle the next six months and how their tones adapt (or not) to tap into new attitudes.
We will slow down
I keep hearing 'when we go back to normal'. I would not wish to go back 'to normal' as I found I worked long hours, never really switched off and estimated my value based on the amount of work I produced, rather than the quality. Personally, I found a slowing working pace very difficult to handle to begin with. I felt frustrated and demoralised and I yearned for when things began speeding up again. However, I am beginning to realise the benefits of slowing down and taking stock more often. I feel many organisations will approach staff well-being in a different way once businesses reopen and take the time to slow down a bit.
A couple of other things will crop up...
There's a few things which I think will come to the fore in the coming year. Artificial intelligence (AI) will be embraced more thoroughly, especially in the health sector, instead of remaining as a 'trend' that we intend to see coming soon. Charities with clear purpose and the ability to explore alternative funding models will be in a better position to return to the public arena once the pandemic has subsided. We will trust technology more and people of all ages will engage with the world on a more digital level in their day-to-day lives, for example through online banking or grocery orders.
All of these predictions are based on my own experiences of the marketing sector, so they cannot be objective, but I think they may still be useful. I would love to know your predictions for the year ahead in your field of work, just get in touch to share your thoughts.