Zubeida Goolam, Co-Founder and Creative Partner at Brandtruth//DGTL, explains that the digital and social media marketing landscape is in constant flux because of software updates, changes to platforms and new ways of consuming content. 

The key is to keep improving the experience for consumers, to know where they are going next and to be there when they arrive – staying ahead of the trends. Here are five expected major trends for 2020:

1. Slide into the DMs (chat messaging)

This is a line of marketing that speaks directly to customers, it is personal and direct. This will continue to grow as it is a direct way of starting a conversation with consumers and it caters to the fact that we are becoming more demanding in that we expect helpful, personal and emphatic interactions with brands.

Some of our previous insights from our Brandtruth//DGTL team highlighted that chat messaging will definitely need to form part of a brand’s integrated marketing strategy for 2020, as it directly impacts your brand’s hypersegmented audience that actively engages online.

2. Staying secure (digital privacy)

The progress of digital privacy and transparency is an opportunity for solutions. Online privacy and the protection of personal information has been on the tongues of consumers for years. First-party data and cookies will soon be a thing of the past, meaning it’s time to test and learn.

This browser identification tool makes audience targeting, data trading, measurement, attribution and frequency capping for the open web possible. But now Apple, Google and Mozilla have made moves towards blocking ad-related cookies in an effort to protect the privacy of users. Marketers need to find innovative ways of targeting and should engage with partner agencies on where the future of targeting and privacy will lead.

3. Make it an experience (content experience)

Google research has shown that 72% of consumers engage only with customised marketing. The experience of personalised content is an expectation, and the execution considers where and how a specific audience consumes it.

To cut through the noise, marketers will need to create experiences that are engaging and speak to content and context. Users want to feel connected to the subject matter, and to do this, careful consideration needs to be given to a combination of design, placement and environment.

4. What does it all mean? (Analytics)

Analytics is growing in prominence, helping to identify strengths and weaknesses, and quantifying efforts and results. Making use of available tools to track not only the success of marketing campaigns but also to track the performance of businesses, is becoming more important. Results obtained from analytics data will lead to more insight-driven marketing, meaning content that is very specific and hypertargeted.

4. Let the machines help (AI and machine learning)

Artificial Intelligence and machine learning in marketing aim to personalise customer service and minimise the need for extensive human intervention by making use of chatbots and task automation. AI offers data-driven insights and allows for the tailoring of the experience for users, as it learns what they like and engage with. The technology helps marketers to streamline their processes and offerings. The key takeout is to automate as much as possible, pilot solutions and see what works for you.

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