A quick google search for 2020 advertising and marketing trends shows up 61,80,00,000 results. So rather than regurgitate what Google’s already serving up, I thought I’d share with you a tip that’s served me well.
And it’s simply this - Don’t ask yourself what the trends will be, ask instead, what people will be like in 2020? Will the emotions that drove them in the past year – fear, love, empathy – continue to move them this year? Will they continue to engage with stories that connect and resonate with them? My guess is Yes! If you keep that in mind, chances are, no matter how you end up reaching your consumer – there’ll be a new delivery platform every quarter - you’ll always remain relevant in their lives.
Having said that, here are a few pointers (call them trends if you will) on how brands and us advertising folks can stay relevant in 2020.
Mission and means
Brands that have a well-defined purpose or mission will continue to outperform brands that don’t. People will increasingly start to gravitate towards brands whose purpose is aligned with theirs. But more than that, it will be the brands that give consumers the means to take action - whether it’s solving a problem, or providing the tools to improve your life - that will thrive. Acts, not Ads is what will win minds and hearts.
The big idea isn’t big enough anymore
The explosion in media channels and content has shifted the way people experience brands and engage with them. Consumers aren’t comparing you to the competition anymore, they’re comparing you to the last best experience they had. Traditional formats pushed through traditional channels are tapering. It isn’t about an ad anymore, it about experiences. And that means there is no one big idea that’s going to save the day. So it’s time to stop looking for Big Ideas, and instead work on Complete Ideas. Ones that work across sophisticated consumer journeys and multiple touchpoints. And that means working across capabilities to deliver seamless purpose-driven experiences.
Data is just people in disguise
‘Data-driven’ - if the term makes you recoil, I don’t blame you. It’s been used and abused to the point that no one quite knows what it means, or does. So maybe it’s a good time to step back and remember that data is ultimately just a representation of the people and it’s derived from their behaviours. It’s just people, doing what they do, in disguise. And like money it’s not intrinsically good or bad, it just depends on how you use it. So use it well.
Speaking of data, the best place to find it isn’t always on a screen, it’s outside. So this holiday season, switch off, step outside, meet people and gather some real data. Happy 2020!