Key upcoming trends in 2020 for the marketing industry
1) Voice Marketing
Indians already use voice for over 20% of their online searches, and by 2020, around 50 % of global online searches will be done through voice. Since the introduction of voice enabled devices a few years ago, these devices have quickly become household items that have easily integrated themselves into our daily lives. India itself is seeing 270% yearly growth in this sector, owing to the vernacular diversity of the country. Since most new internet users are from tier 2/3 locations, it is easier for them to interact with their devices or surf the internet using voice instead of keypads. Moreover, the way we interact with voice enabled devices is more conversational than the traditional typed searches – for example, instead of searching for ‘top rated restaurants around me’, one would ask their device ‘which restaurants have good ratings around me’, which will lead to a change in the way search engine optimization is used for voice, and even for advertising.
2) Social commerce
There is barely any internet user who doesn’t have at least one social media account today, a statement that holds true even for India, where 85% of mobile phone users own Facebook accounts as well. This phenomenon has made social media platforms rich with all kinds of target audiences available in one place – making them great tools for marketers in the digital age. Having noticed that many users use platforms like Facebook, Instagram and even Pinterest to search for ideas and products, the platforms have made it possible for users to shop for the products they are looking at from the social media post itself. This has given rise to ‘social commerce’, or the practice of shopping through social media platforms without ever having to leave the app at all.
AI has been revolutionising industries ever since its inception as a technology, and marketing is no different, as marketers are heavily using the technology to analyse the data they collect from users. AI can help marketers discover new leads, verify them, and know when and where to be present for a marketer to successfully reach the desired audience. AI has also been creeping its way into automating certain parts of the relationship brands gave with their consumers – in terms of recommending products according to their previous searches and choices, use of AI enabled chat bots, etc. AR/VR or augmented and virtual reality are also beginning to make their mark as methods of digital marketing. With users gravitating more and more towards experiential and interactive advertising, the incorporation of augmented or virtual reality technologies is helping marketers create new and innovative campaigns to get the attention of new target audiences and retain existing ones.
4) Data privacy
Data is said to be the new oil – and the news that Facebook and Cambridge Analytica created earlier has made both marketers and users wary of their personal data and how different companies use it to their advantage. The future will bring about new privacy regulations for brands to comply with when advertising and collecting customer data from their campaigns. The trend of marketers complying with data privacy regulations will lead to more collection of data through first party channels rather than third party mediums. Marketers will be seen striving for more transparency between themselves and their targeted audiences, which could in turn lead to better customer relationships in the future.
5) Growth of anti-fraud solutions
Marketers have become more familiar with the various facets of brand safety and the causes of ad fraud in the past year. Many Indian marketers are trying out different methods of battling and preventing these fraudulent activities. While some have begun by giving their internal practices the look-over, others have resorted to adopting third party solutions to reduce ad fraud in their campaigns. In spite of this, 9/10 marketers are still not sure of their efforts have been successful in eradicating ad fraud in their brands. Many surveys have been carried out which educate the industry about various methods and solutions that marketers can adopt to protect their campaigns. Although not a mainstream solution in India yet however, blockchain will be taking a front seat as a possible solution for combating ad fraud in the coming year.
6) Customer relationship management
In the world of mobile, personalization of every experience is the key to maintaining the relationship brands have with their consumers. Throughout the evolution of advertising and marketing, how a brand interacts with its audience has remained as the prime driver of a brand’s shelf life and customer loyalty. As the focus on user experience and personalization continues to grow, brands will have to work on creating personal, individual relationships with each customer by seamlessly incorporating themselves into the consumers mobile universe. Consumers today are aware of how marketers and brands use technology to target specific audiences, and unlike before, audiences have much control over the content they see on their screens. In 2020, customer relationship management will focus mainly around personalising user experience and allowing users to customise how they interact with a brand.
The author, Moneka Khurana is Country Head, MMA India