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Major Marketing Themes To Note For 2020

Lexi Tucker
Posted on February 16, 2020

Another example of flexibility is in-social shopping: Shopping within a social media platform

Another example of flexibility is in-social shopping: Shopping within a social media platform

Getting your brand noticed on the web at a time when people check their social media accounts religiously can be tough. That’s why you should stay abreast of the latest digital trends and adapt your marketing strategy accordingly.

Stephanie Carnes, director of LMC Spotlight, a division of The LMC Groups, hosted a January webinar called “2020 Branding And Marketing Trends: Make Sure You Get Noticed” for the Global Ground Transportation Institute that reviewed all you need to know about getting noticed on the web.

Flexibility

The first theme Carnes addressed was flexibility. “Because so much of marketing is digital, we can change course, try something new, and give it a certain amount of time to troubleshoot. If it's not working, we can do something different,” she said.

Another way flexibility plays into marketing strategy is by using resources and tools you create for marketing in multiple ways. Creating takes time. If it's valuable content, you want it to be seen, read, or heard by as many people as possible. Anything you create should be used at least three times to get maximum usage out of it.

Stephanie Carnes, director of LMC Spotlight, a division of The LMC Groups

Stephanie Carnes, director of LMC Spotlight, a division of The LMC Groups

Carnes gave the example of a blog post. “You can take different excerpts from it and share it on whatever social media platforms you have. You could turn that blog post into an article, and if you write a series of articles, that could turn into an ebook,” she suggested.

Another example of flexibility is in-social shopping: Shopping within a social media platform. “Every step or direction a consumer has to make to be able to purchase is potentially a loss conversion. The idea of in-social shopping is to make that path to purchase as simple and clear as possible,” she said. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and even TikTok are working on developing smoother, seamless purchasing capabilities through their platforms.

Authenticity

In 2020, you'll continue to see brands align with influencers and micro-influencers (people with smaller social media followings than, say, Kylie Jenner) who go beyond just reach and have a genuine connection and level of trust with their followers, Carnes says.

In 2020, you'll continue to see brands align with influencers and micro-influencers (people with smaller social media followings than, say, Kylie Jenner) who go beyond just reach and have a genuine connection and level of trust with their followers, Carnes says.

Authenticity is being real, human, and trustworthy. So much of what a marketer does is now digitized or automated. Brands need to connect with potential and current clients on a deep, genuine level. In 2020, you'll continue to see brands align with influencers and micro-influencers (people with smaller social media followings than, say, Kylie Jenner) who go beyond just reach and have a genuine connection and level of trust with their followers, Carnes says.

Visibility

When you're thinking about social media and connecting with your potential clients, go where your people are. Know which platforms are used by the demographic you are targeting, and make sure you're there. Visibility has a new place in marketing as a way of lifting the veil on the people behind a company. Letting your customers know you, your leadership, and your team is something you can do on your website, blog posts, and social media as well.

Did You Know?

If you use the word “video” in an email subject line, it boosts open rates by 19% and click-through rates by 65%. Also, people remember vastly more of what they see than what they hear.

Branding

Seth Godin, a well-known marketing influencer, says a brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that taken together account for a consumer's decision to choose one product or service over another. Carnes says one specific element of branding she gets a lot of questions about is logos.

“People want to know if their logos are outdated, if they are still current and fresh, if they should update or completely change it and reinvent themselves. They also want to know which kind of logo is good for their type of business,” she said.

Because of the trend of needing to be on all types of social media channels, many companies are now choosing to create shape-shifting logo designs. This means logos change in size, complexity, or color depending on what they are being used for.

“For example, you can have a master logo you use for your website and create a simpler icon for your Instagram account. Another option you can consider is creating a one-tone logo that can be used as watermarks on photos.” If you brand the content you create with your logo and people share them because they're awesome images, then that expands your reach.

Creating Trust

Photoshopped ads and picture-perfect models don't have the same allure for modern shoppers that they used to. People are just looking for honesty.

Photoshopped ads and picture-perfect models don't have the same allure for modern shoppers that they used to. People are just looking for honesty.

Customer trust is at an all-time low, Carnes said. Only 34% of consumers trust the brands they buy from. Therefore, having an authentic brand image will help you stand out. 86% of shoppers view authenticity as a huge factor in their purchasing decisions. 90% of millennials say authenticity is important in branding. They prefer companies that are real and natural versus perfect and packaged.

Photoshopped ads and picture-perfect models don't have the same allure for modern shoppers that they used to. People are just looking for honesty. They want to feel like they're purchasing from a company they have traits in common with.

Carnes gave McDonald's as an example of a success story. “There was a controversy about the ingredients they were using. They decided to publish a behind-the-scenes video of how they make their food and they were hoping that would convey transparency. They also launched an ‘Our Food, Your Questions’ campaign and addressed popular questions hey posted in webisodes. That's quieted down a little of the talk and curbed negative rumors because they addressed it head-on, lifted the veil, and showed people what their processes were.”

Customers relate to people, not to products. So, if they can relate to your brand in a more personalized way, they're more likely to trust it. You need to build authentic relationships with customers rather than just trying to sell to them because people are looking for a personalized experience.

Customer Driven

Branding and marketing done with the customer in mind can build a strong connection. If you're thinking about updating or changing your brand, get their feedback.

Branding and marketing done with the customer in mind can build a strong connection. If you're thinking about updating or changing your brand, get their feedback.

Branding and marketing done with the customer in mind can build a strong connection. If you're thinking about updating or changing your brand, get their feedback. Let them weigh-in and they will feel like they had a part in the development of your branding.

Personalization is one of the most powerful ways to make your company stand out and accelerate conversion rates. 72% of buyers say they expect communication they receive from businesses to be tailored to their needs. Keeping it personal plays a critical role in client retention. Carnes mentioned possibly setting up a Facebook group for your clients to join where they can share pictures and tips, and you can share news about the company, including any new services you're offering or discounts. People feel more connected to the company if they have access in a way they normally wouldn't.

Upping Your Tech Game

Creating a mobile app worth downloading is another marketing trend to pay attention to. Apps themselves are far from new, but Carnes said she sees them adding more features like video, voice search, or chatbots to build loyalty and make the experience of using the app more enjoyable. “Most people feel if the app isn't beneficial to them, they won't use it. Enhancing customer experience helps you retain clients.”

Virtual and augmented reality are another technological aspect you might want to consider. Augmented reality involves creating a digital element that's overlaid onto a real-world setting. For example, Ikea has an app where you can visualize what a piece of their furniture would look like in your house before you make a purchase.

Chatbots are AI that augment customer service. It’s predicted chatbots will replace 85% of customer service reps in just a couple of years. Automation may save money, but if you run a high-touch company where you're providing the best in customer service, you may be able to offer superior service with a live person. This is something that will require you to consider what would interest your market the most.

Finally, a top-notch website is vital if you want your company to look modern and on top of things; this is not an area you want to cheap out on. “If you haven't updated your website in a while, you might want to be thinking about that,” Carnes said. “You can pretty much use any web program that provides themes or templates to create a website. You can pick from many good designs that might actually reflect your brand's feel.” However, the downside to this is if it’s one of the more popular themes, you may see it being used a lot on other sites and lose the feel of individuality that will make your client recognize they are on your site.

“A custom-designed website will match your brand perfectly and meet all of your unique ideas. It can be tempting, and it is cost-effective to use one of those themes. But an original website is going to help you stand out.”

For more information provided in this webinar, be sure to join GGTI to view the full presentation on-demand.

The Global Ground Transportation Institute serves as a global community and source of education for all segments of ground transportation. If you have not yet joined GGTI, now is the time. Over the coming months, the group will be unveiling valuable content available to only GGTI members. Click here to learn more about registering.

Related Topics: Branding, Global Ground Transportation Institute, innovative marketing, marketing/promotions, Sales & Marketing, social media, social media marketing, The LMC Group, web marketing, webinar, websites

Lexi Tucker Senior Editor
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