A Look Back. A Look Ahead.

As we say farewell to the 2010s, we revisit a decade that has brought the most dramatic changes in marketing trends and media in the 21st century.

The beginning of the decade brought Instagram, Snapchat and domain authority – and later, the rise of influencer marketing, Facebook Live, TikTok and Google BERT. The 2010s also brought us the death of brick-and-mortar brands such as Payless, Borders Book Stores, ToysRUs and Blockbuster. Additionally, we saw the demise of many venerable advertising powerhouses that included J. Walter Thompson and Young & Rubicam, among others.

We saw a shift in advertising budgets that went increasingly online. Brands increased their online spend 10% each year for the last eight years. As reported by AdAge, 2020 will be the first time that online spend will account for more than half of US and worldwide ad spend.

We saw the beginning of the “streaming wars” with the rise of Netflix, Apple TV, and Amazon Prime. And now, 2020 is bringing us:

  • HBO Max
  • Peacock: NBC Universal’s streaming service launching in May 2020 and which will likely include a new version of The Office
  • Quibi: a streaming service with short-form videos of 10 minutes or less, launching in April 2020

With this new glut of streaming services and investments in exclusive content and programming, we continue to see the trend of cable channels lose their footing and viewership and adjustment to television advertising strategies:

Lastly, we witnessed the world’s largest companies get much, much larger. Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft amassed a value that is larger than the GDP of several European countries, including France. We watched the formation of the online advertising duopoly: Facebook and Google, which at press time account for over 70% of all digital advertising revenue. And as the decade closed, Amazon chased closely behind them, having increased its US ad revenue by 50% in 2019.

How will all of these changes shape our future? What will 2020 and beyond look like for media and marketing trends?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in marketing is one of the most talked about marketing trends going into the new year. But as our own research shows, many still don’t have a tactical plan to implement AI in marketing. We will see the most common uses of AI in media optimization, predictive analytics and chatbots, as detailed here in a recently published presentation.

The end of the 2010s raised many questions about data privacy, regulation and the responsibility of Facebook and Google. Both built their companies through user data – your data. As a new regulatory climate emerges, and as competitors such as Amazon and TikTok gain traction, we may see an end of the duopoly by the end of the new decade.

According to ComScore, 50% of searches will be via voice in 2020. The rise of digital assistants like Alexa and Siri means that people are finding you in new ways – not just by typing a keyword into a search box. The 2020 SEO plans for clients have begun to address this with entirely new strategies for keywords, prioritizing schema markups and beyond. The year 2020 also brings the launch of a new platform to manage all of this for local businesses. (Stay tuned for our February 1st launch.)

Decline of organic reach on Instagram and the death of the Instagram ‘like.’ Both having an already-felt impact on the influencer economy. But there is the rise of TikTok. According to a leaked advertising pitch deck (AdAge, October 9, 2019), TikTok reported having 800 million monthly active users worldwide. The advertising revenue can mostly be attributed to big brands. (Worth noting is the same pitch deck points out that the cost of a hashtag challenge is $150,000 per day.) So, while this might not be your current paid platform of choice, you or your brand should be launching an account while organic reach is still free. As with the early days of Facebook, now is the time to establish an audience on the TikTok platform.

A rise in live and organic video: Currently, over 33% of marketers use Facebook Live as a channel (Wyzowl) with a differentiated content strategy from any other platform. Users are much more likely to watch and engage with your live video than they would a traditional video.

As our very own Angela Mertz reports, 2020 will bring more use of interactive content designed to help enhance the seamless shopping experience.

The year 2020 will see a continued increase in the use of analytics and insights to optimize digital marketing results and drive business performance. At our agency, we’ve already implemented data-driven and dynamic creative campaigns, in addition to data-driven CRM programs. And we will see much more data-driven personalization this year, including personalized websites and micro-segmented marketing campaigns.

All of these marketing trends ladder up to an overall trend of the disintermediation of media channels and the need of real-time content backed by data and insights. What will work in 2020 will not be very different from what has helped brands win in the past. Smart, compelling, and entertaining creative will find their way through the noise. So, more Important than ever is “The Big Idea.” For some examples of how we’ve helped brands win the battle for attention, check out our Agency Work Page.”