2020 is a great year to reflect on trends and strategies from the past decade in marketing and business, as well as planning for what will come for the next one. A lot can change in a decade. 10 years ago, Nokia was the leader in smartphones and Instagram was an independent start-up. If it’s impossible to predict where things will be heading towards during the next decade, here are some of the main trends brands should consider in 2020 – and beyond.
Customers have growing expectations when it comes to customisations from brands. A survey from Infosys revealed that 86% of consumers had their purchasing decision influenced by customisation. Beyond looking at demographics, brands have to look at their consumers’ interests and tailor the product or service to be more personalised.
Successful customisation will require customer data to be fully integrated into the brands’ strategies, as well as being more reactive to the needs of the market, in order to successfully leverage customer expectations.
With the increased awareness of climate change and push from customers to make better decisions for the environment, brands have to consider their environmental impact when it comes to running their business and integrating these decisions into their core strategy.
Whatever industry your business is in, you can create sustainability strategies that will involve your suppliers, employees, stakeholders and the communities around your business. Many brands have hired environmental awareness officers or similar roles that champion sustainable thinking and help the businesses integrate eco-friendly actions into day-to-day operations such as manufacturing, packaging or delivery of products.
AI & Machine Learning
You don’t have to be a tech company to benefit from the advancements of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Progress in these two areas is changing the way people interact with devices or wearable tech and is one of the most disruptive trends in terms of communication between businesses and their customers.
Businesses should tread carefully when it comes to these innovations, as these could impact consumers negatively i.e. loss of jobs to a machine. Nevertheless, there are plenty of opportunities to leverage machine learning to find out more about your target market and audience.
With the recent boom in smart speakers, it’s easy to reach the conclusion that readable content is becoming increasingly important as it can be used for voice search. However, research has shown that people still prefer visual content to text. Image-focussed platforms like Pinterest or Instagram are still reigning and showing the growing interest from consumers in visual content.
Brands should focus on all aspects of visual content, whether that’s their branding itself or design for specific products and campaigns. Keep in mind that visuals will be better remembered by consumers than written content. Agencies like Pearlfisher are specialised in helping brands with all things design as well as integrating that all-important concept of sustainability, which we previously mentioned.
Granted, customer experience is not a new concept and certainly not a new trend that appeared in 2020, but we’d be remiss not to include it in this list as its importance continues to have an increased focus in many areas.
For some businesses, customer experience will focus on their online presence and offering a great online shopping experience on an e-commerce site. For others, customer experience will be on premises (physical store, restaurant, bar…). Businesses should always have a goal of bettering customer experience as a way to stay ahead of competitors, get a further share of the market and ensure the company’s longevity.
Of course, it is wise to have your ear to the ground in order to quickly adapt to upcoming trends and changes in your market – after all, no one can predict what the next decade has in store. Have you seen any other trends in business that you think will be one key focus over the next decade?