How Clear is Your Advertising Vision for 2020?
The holidays are over, the decorations are packed away again, and here we are in full swing, taking on a new year. And it’s 2020, no less…kind of science-fictiony sounding. In marketing and advertising, though, there are some scientific facts about how consumers, and the marketers trying to reach them, will change behaviors in 2020 and the new decade.
Over the last few years, we as consumers have been taught to skim when we read, in spite of the fact that content is king for so many reasons. From ensuring there is a substantial enough message that resonates with prospects, to needing a specific character count for Google and its ever-changing algorithms, attention to content will continue to gain importance as consumers continue to become more savvy and hungrier for solid facts, immediately, not fluff.
All of that certainly doesn’t mean great design is second to content. They’re even, tied, 50/50, so attention to design will still be a key focus for years to come.
While the data doesn’t lie, much of what we’ve relied on to-date (page likes – doesn’t matter if there’s no engagement), click-through (still doesn’t show quality clicks, only quantity) and so on, conversions are still key and without the known point of sale, we all struggle to position the best reporting possible. This area of expertise is not something simply learned in college; it’s a skill set that is scientific and intelligent, communicated in a confident and alluring manner. We are constantly learning, reading, participating in educational opportunities and staying ahead. We surround ourselves with many scientific brains to stay ahead of this ever-changing world.
Of course, we can’t talk about our unfolding future without mentioning technology. Video and mobile will continue to dominate as the channels of choice for consumers, no doubt. I’m still surprised when our clients see that mobile is their leading online driver and think it’s a fluke. I once had a superior tell me the Internet was a fluke, too. Need I say more?
Increased Use of Mobile Devices
Clearly, mobile is the worldwide communication platform of choice. The average American spends 3.6 hours a day on a mobile device, accounting for over half their daily digital media usage. Up to 70% of web traffic happens on a mobile device, and nearly 60% of all U.S. online traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets.
And keep in mind, those are current numbers, but they’re growing every day.
Chatbots – Who Needs People?
According to HubSpot, 85% of consumers will engage with businesses without ever interacting with another human being by the end of 2020. Many factors will propel this change, but the biggest driver will be businesses’ use of chatbots for customer engagement.
The HubSpot research tapped the opinions of consumers and businesses, and the two audience segments were closely aligned on their views of chatbots and similar communication tools. According to responses, the top benefits of chatbots are 24-hour service (64%), instant responses to inquiries (55%), and answers to simple questions (55%)
For brands chatbots are an easy way to offer additional services without adding a lot of new staff. Chatbots enable communication with users through messenger apps and on websites, allowing businesses to “answer” questions immediately, any time of day or night, with little or no impact on payroll. By 2022, it is estimated that chatbots will help businesses save over $8 billion a year.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Yes, I AM a Robot
AI will soon be the driving force behind many online services. According to research by digital marketing agency Single Grain, 71% of B2B marketers are interested in using AI for personalization. Current uses of AI-driven communication tools include product recommendations, content creation, e-commerce and the aforementioned personalization in emails. By the end of 2020, Single Grain’s research estimates that 60% of companies will be using artificial intelligence for driving digital revenue.
All in all, the names of the advertising game in 2020 and into the new decade will be customization, ruthlessly vigilant tracking, and nimble flexibility to adapt the message on the fly. It won’t be easy, but then the things that bring the greatest rewards never are. But challenges are often just opportunities in disguise, and if met with resolve and attention detail, the challenge of keeping ahead of ever-smarter consumers will bring definite rewards to advertisers who skip the gimmicks, and stick with the authentic facts to build transparency and trust.
So, how can advertisers know how effectively their strategies work in an evolving consumer climate? Here’s the “triage” Red Thinking performs when an advertising patient comes into our emergency room: If it’s a rebrand, we’re quick to consider a web crawl to see what hits or misses there are behind the scenes. Has the necessary SEO work been done to ensure they didn’t launch a site onto an island, but instead launched a fine tuned site that’s visually engaging, user intuitive and set up to mesh with search engine algorithms and relevancy checks?
From there we have a deep dive about the client’s target market(s), and through research we can rather quickly assess what’s going to spark the most traffic, conversations and conversions. A solid mix of digital and somewhat traditional outreach is typically the route, but like advertisers’ messages to potential consumers, every campaign must be customized and flexible. Every marketing plan must be a “living document.”
Let’s chat about your 2020 plans, shall we?