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There is certainly no shortage of research, surveys and reports that tell us what should be important in the year ahead. But this newest one from Deloitte, 2020 GLOBAL MARKETING TRENDS, hits the nail on the head when it comes to what trends marketers should consider when developing their 2020 strategies.

Below we’re summarizing each of the seven trends and sharing some thoughts on how your marketing team could tackle them effectively. After each of the trends, take a minute to determine if you have the right resources, team and mindset to pull them off. If not, you’ll need to prioritize what you can handle, and take the necessary steps to get yourself ready to take on the rest.

1. Purpose.

Why does your organization exist? What problems do you solve in the world? Before any marketing activities take place, organizations must define their purpose. Here’s just two reasons why.

First, purpose-driven companies report greater business success overall. They grow three times faster than their competitors, are 30% more innovative and have 40% higher employee retention rates. And second, purpose creates connection - especially with younger generations. Seven out of 10 Millennials want to work for brands that focus on societal or mission-driven problems.  

Are you ready? Branding and messaging exercises will help bring clarity to what’s important to your business and how to articulate it to potential and existing employees and customers. But it’s not a one-and-done situation. As your company grows and the world around us changes, so too should your message. Engaging a third-party agency or consultants for these projects will help you better see your company through the eyes of outsiders.

2. Human experience.

In our digital world, it’s easy for businesses to rack up experience debt. Deloitte defines this as when the rapid pace of digital change leaves people feeling isolated, underrepresented and unfulfilled. 

Technology is critical to achieve global growth and scalability. While digital tools are a blessing for this reason, they’re also a curse. It’s impossible to adopt technology without it impacting the human experience in some way. Digital solutions lack the essential elements of human connection, like eye contact or empathy, which is how businesses create high customer engagement and loyalty. 

Are you ready? The right marketing strategies can go a long way to paying down the inevitable experience debt created by technology. Taking the time to conduct user research to understand your customers’ values and what drives them to buy lays a solid foundation to market to them. Then, communicating your common values and executing campaigns that embody them will help to build personal relationships with customers.   

3. Fusion

New technology and pools of talent thanks to the gig economy has blurred the lines between industries today. Determining which ones offer the biggest growth opportunities comes from examining the customer need vs. what your company sells.

Operating in this new business environment requires businesses to think beyond their own offerings and explore how partnerships can help them expand, or where their data can create mutually beneficial relationships with other companies.

Are you ready? Data holds all the keys to a successful expansion into new industries. By conducting customer surveys, interviews and focus groups, marketers can get a deeper understanding of their audience’s pain points and how to solve them. Marketing can also partner with third-party research firms to validate assumptions about potential partnerships or new offerings.   

4. Trust

In the digital age, your business won’t be successful without a strong data strategy. Data can be used for everything from personalizing the customer experience to developing your product roadmap. 

But consumers expect businesses to keep their data safe - and use it only for their benefit. The Deloitte study reported that 53% of consumers would never buy from a company that sells customer data, yet 86% shared that they would be more likely to trust companies with their information if they understood how it enabled a better experience for them.

Are you ready? The right messages about customer data can actually help to build trust, not break it. Transparency and honesty is key, as well as staying true to your company’s core values. Marketing can ensure message consistency across all communication channels and monitor for any customer concerns that arise. 

5. Participation

Customer loyalty is earned, not given. Done right, customer engagement initiatives can amplify your own marketing and sales efforts by creating customer advocates who endorse and promote your company. But the real potential lies in not just engagement, but customer participation.

What does this look like? Some customer participation initiatives include beta testing, crowdsourcing new ideas and developing online communities to drive two-way communication between users and employees alike. Customer participation is all about leveraging the customer voice, experience and influence to uncover how to deliver the highest possible customer value. 

Are you ready? Customer communities offer a lot of bang for your buck when it comes to driving customer participation. Marketing typically owns these, pulling in other departments to interact with customers and answer questions when needed. But running a customer community isn’t foolproof. You can do more harm than good if you fail to answer customer questions or concerns in a timely manner, or fail to diffuse negativity or combative online behavior.

6. Talent

Your company’s customer experience is directly tied to your employee experience. To create a great employee experience, businesses need to embrace each employee’s individuality, help them be successful and engage with them in deeper, more meaningful ways.

Many of the trends here in this list can be applied to employees. They, too, care about your company’s purpose, and should be an audience you take into consideration when crafting messages. They also have experience debt from technology tools used in the office like Slack, Zoom meetings, etc. While these technologies can enhance collaboration, they aren’t a 100% replacement for face-to-face communication.

Are you ready? Marketing can help increase engagement but inviting employees to participate in their efforts. Asking them to share company news on social media, leave reviews on sites like Glassdoor and encouraging customers to take the latest survey or download the newest offer. Having an internal communications manager on your team will help ensure all employees are up to speed on all marketing initiatives.  

7. Agility

Once reserved for software development teams, the agile project management approach is now widespread across the organization. The rate of technology innovation - and subsequently how that impacts everyone else - demands it. 

For marketing, the agile approach can be a huge differentiator. To reach customers, timing is everything, from real-time marketing via social media when a customer has an issue to building “if/then” campaigns to take advantage of in-the-moment marketing when a predicted outcome comes true (like your company winning an award). 

Are you ready? Agile marketing requires a unique team structure similar to a newsroom operations, where everyone can collaborate easily and more quickly. Before you jump into agile, ensure you have the right means to enable it. For example, executives must be on board with tight turnaround times for communication approvals in order for near real-time marketing to work.There you have it. These seven trends are helping shape 2020 marketing strategies. Do you have the right team in place to tackle each of these? Wunderland Group can find you the talent you need to be successful. REACH OUT TO US to learn how we can help.


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