I know I’m a little late to post this, but the last few weeks have been so full.

From entertainment to fintech, 2020 is going to be a big year for marketing strategy changes, especially in the digital space. The new decade is going to take us in new and exciting directions as businesses try new strategies to reach out to their favoured demographics in hopes of leaving a bigger footprint on their market. Here is my 2020 forecast for marketing trends predictions, and how I think things will play out in the digital marketing sphere going forward into the new decade.

1. The Fall of Stock Photos

We all know that stock photos are a fast, easy way to add pics to a website, or as a way to draw eyes to social media posts. However, Google has been steadily growing more and more abrasive towards stock photos in their ever-expanding quest to promote originality. This means that any photo you use that has a duplicate somewhere else isn’t going to do your site any favors, and in fact, it might just push you down the rankings.

This reason this is such a big deal is that it has the potential to impact a variety of industries such as consumer goods, gambling, and fintech (and financial technology trends in general). It could also lead to the demise of the stock photo industry as well. Will the fall of stock photos be a new major SEO factor? Only time will tell.

2. Immersive Tech

Virtual reality and augmented reality aren’t new, but they’re being adopted at a rapid pace and becoming more ‘mainstream’. These technologies are making it easier to take your product or service to your customers and assisting in accessibility globally.

3. Monetising Controversy

In the past, most companies have shied away from divisive rhetoric (political, cultural, or otherwise) in their marketing campaigns for the most part because they want to capture the largest share of their demographic as possible. However, as the US (the second-largest consumer market in the world after China) becomes more divided, it becomes safer to run more polarising ads that take advantage of the “us versus you” mentality.

This means we should expect to see more ads that have political undertones that resonate with the core audience of the company running the ad. The message is basically this: “We’re on your side, so buy our products.” We’ve already seen some of this kind of advertising to a degree, but it remains to be seen how far businesses are willing to take this strategy. Personally, I expect to see it intensify so long as there is no major backlash from their core audiences. To my STIR and SwiftX clients, prepare yourselves 😉

4. Greater Focus on Hype Cycles

This is probably the biggest prediction in my 2020 forecast because the use of hype cycles has really exploded in the past few years. And it doesn’t seem like it’s going to slow down anytime soon. A hype cycle is a marketing strategy in which a company uses various resources, such as social media and targeted advertising, to generate tons of hype for an upcoming product (most often in the entertainment industry) to get a boost in initial sales.

Of course, this can also lead to disillusionment when the product is released and doesn’t meet expectations, but this too is simply a part of the cycle and accounted for in the strategy. As the hype fizzles out, the company squeezes out a few last sales before moving on to a new hype cycle for a new product.

At this point, hype cycles are practically a science with some models having up to 22 points of engagement. In many cases, the cycle is very short, lasting only about a year or two after the product is released. In other cases, a cycle may be planned out for up to 5 years or more. Many hype cycle strategies are fluid by design and take into account the product’s initial performance. In any case, hype cycles are here to stay, and will only become more refined as time goes on.

5. Data. Data. Data.

Again, data is nothing new. However, we need to stay on top of how it is interpreted. It irks me when agencies provide lengthy, complicated Excel spreadsheets, but lack insight, further strategies, and solutions.

We need to remember that marketing is not an art, but a science. A science that feeds directly into sales and profits.

New Strategies, Timeless Psychology

Unlike marketing trends, basic marketing psychology never really changes. This is because basic human psychology itself doesn’t change. What does change is how marketers reach out to their core demographics, and how technology can help them do that. The rules of digital marketing change rapidly, making it incredibly important for businesses to keep up with the latest trends, and most effective strategies in 2020, and beyond.

Just a reminder: I’m not an expert, but you should trust me anyway.

Hello there