In 2019 the marketing funnel shifted, vertical video was on the rise, AI continued to grow in prominence, voice search became more of a priority, companies began to emphasize how well-secured their networks were, chatbots were everywhere, and content was everything. This was the year in which there was no shortage of new technologies and techniques that could be adapted. But as we venture further into 2020, we’re starting to see new trends form. In this article, we’ll discuss what marketers should expect this year.

1. Predictive Analytics

Customers are no longer engaging with brands over a single website or social media network. In fact, these days, there’s really no structure to the way in which most people consume their content. And that’s because customers are able to access their favorite brands through multiple channels.

While this abundance of data is a huge advantage for people who want to comparison shop and make better buying decisions, it presents a challenge for companies. And businesses are responding with an advanced form of analysis. Specifically, we’re noticing that many are turning to predictive analytics.

With predictive analytics, marketers gather all of their unstructured interactions and compare them to existing data patterns. Ultimately, this makes it possible for brands to predict the behavior of their customers. Companies are able to identify which of their newest leads is most likely to make a purchase, which of their channels are best for delivering messages, and what types of messages they need to send out based on what stage the buyer is in.

Many industries are investing in this technology, including hospitality, finance, healthcare, and transportation. The industry that seems to be benefiting from this technology the most is e-commerce. Business owners can leverage predictive data to recommend products that their audience is most likely to purchase. They base this knowledge on click behavior and purchase history. Perhaps one of the largest and most well-known users of predictive analytics is Amazon. According to statistics, predictive analytics is expected to be worth more than $10 billion by 2022.

2. Shoppable Posts

Shoppable posts are nothing new. In fact, they’ve been around since 2018. As the number of Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram users increased, so did stories and feeds. Marketers soon realized that they could actually get measurable traffic and numbers if they exploited these posts and made them buyable. They also discovered that interactive ads could reduce the sales funnel and minimize their bounce rates because the shopping experience would be seamless.

However, recently, there have been advancements in e-commerce marketing technology. Specifically, it’s becoming easier to integrate these posts with third-party apps. This means that we’ll see huge growth in shoppable posts this year.

3. Structured Data

Studies show that at the beginning of 2019 nearly half of Google searches resulted in zero clicks. And this means that these sites completely missed out on the traffic from those searchers. Not only that, but we’re noticing that the number of visits that websites get from organic traffic seems to be decreasing.

This is partly due to Google’s prioritizing rich snippets. Users are able to get all of the information they need at the very top of the search results so they don’t have to click through to websites. The good news is that rich snippets result in traffic that’s more informed and less likely to bounce. The bad news is that the competition will be more fierce for businesses that want this top spot.

One of the 2020 marketing trends we expect to see is more businesses working on technical implementation for their rich snippets. Schema Markup will be a hot topic among those in the SEO community. Luckily, there are dedicated plug-ins for platforms such as Shopify and WordPress which will make it easier to implement rich snippets.

4. Interactive Email

One of the biggest changes that we expect to see in 2020 is the interactive email. Email marketing has always been a pivotal part of any campaign, however, there’s quite a bit of evolution taking place on this front–specifically, as it relates to the way in which email is consumed, designed, and delivered. Marketers are creating emails that are simpler and more interactive.

The goal is to entice customers to take action directly from the email instead of having to click through to another page. We expect to see more surveys and polls. Customers will be treated to call-to-action buttons that are animated.

5. Social Messaging

As mentioned earlier, there’s no structured way in which customers consume content. Potential buyers tend to be scattered throughout the web. But the interesting thing is that most potential buyers have a preferred messaging platform and they’re willing to do transactions directly from there.

New messaging apps are being created all of the time. Among the most popular are Facebook Messenger and WeChat. These apps, particularly, feature APIs that give consumers and businesses the ability to communicate. As the number of users on these platforms grows, we’ll see more businesses adopting them as channels to engage their customers.

Not only will this help to ensure that they’re able to reach their audience, but it will also help them to further personalize their marketing strategies. Customers will be able to personally reach out to brands and interact directly from the channel that they prefer.

We also expect that in 2020, businesses will be able to create better attribution models as these platforms have the ability to track data in a way that’s more accurate. They’ll be able to identify exactly where their sales are coming from.

The Takeaway

2019 was a busy year for most marketers, but the 2020 marketing trends are even more interesting. Brands will use more in-depth analytics to better predict the behavior of potential buyers. Shoppable trends will become explosive as they’ll be easier to implement with third-party apps. There will be a lot of competition for rich snippet spots on Google, which will require a bigger focus on structured data. Email design will be simpler, but email will be more interactive so as to encourage purchase directly from the message. Also, more brands will sign up for messaging platforms as the APIs encourage communication between customers and businesses.