Road to 2020: Digital marketing cheat sheet for the New Year

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Prachi Bali, Business Head - North at FoxyMoron creates a handy cheat sheet containing digital marketing trends, that one can refer to at any point.

It is that time of the year where most of us are either looking at trend reports or working on plans for the next financial year. While brands start the year aiming to embrace innovations and capitalize on digital trends, somewhere during the course of the year they lose focus or deprioritize.

This tends to happen because we, as marketers don’t always align these activities to business objectives and are usually parking the expenses under experiments. There are changes in the way consumers are utilizing digital platforms and our campaign objectives need to adapt accordingly.

As India moves rapidly towards hyper-personalization, brands who strategically and consistently focus on improving the customer engagement experience are the ones who will be laughing their way to the bank.

Voice – While most believe that Voice is something they don’t have to think about, this year if done well, it is a platform that can drive the competitive advantage for a brand. Voice isn’t restricted to Alexa & Siri but is, in fact, the gateway to every phone which is Google Assistant-enabled.

In the current eco-system where brands are engaged in constant bidding wars over Search, voice has to become an integral part of every search strategy in 2020.

Regional Content – While we’ve all spoken about it in meetings at some point, very few brands have actually created content with a regional focus. India is obviously a multi-lingual country and today the consumer expects customized content. Aligning content strategy to cultural nuances is important but localized storytelling will really help to move the needle.

Also read: Road to 2020: Influencer Marketing Trends brands need to watch out for

Digital-First Video – Digital platforms and attention spans have forced creators to concise their message and get to the point within a few seconds.

Additionally, digital not only allows you to A/B test content but also run different assets within the same campaign to multiple audiences. Logically it only makes sense for brands to make digital-first videos and then take the best-performing assets onto television or cinema.

Communities – It is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to reach out to the core consumer while breaking the clutter with communication. Consumers are engaging more and more with communities where they can be themselves while feeling a sense of belonging to a larger group.

Brands should look beyond loyalty programs and rewards, instead build a loyal customer base by giving them what they want or are expecting from the brand.

Chatbots – Chatbots, if used correctly, can serve a larger business purpose as they can talk to the consumer through all stages of the marketing funnel from awareness to post-purchase.

Brands need to build this consumer journey independently as it is a unique platform with its own strengths and weaknesses while striking a balance between automation and customization.

Mapping Online to Offline – Most brands split their efforts and budgets across various channels, whereas the consumer today doesn’t undergo a linear journey anymore. Even two brands within the same category could have completely different consumer journeys between online and offline platforms. The truth is a consumer could go through the awareness and consideration stages online but purchase the product offline or vice versa. Both Google and Facebook dashboards are now enabled to track online to offline attribution.

As a result, it becomes increasingly important for brands to move from consumer journeys to consumer experiences. Today with the advent of advanced media technologies, online media advertising could also be used to drive an offline sampling activity for instance and deliver great results. With the right measurement tools in place, the possibilities are endless.

Micro & Nano Influencers – The value of influencers is undeniable in the current digital ecosystem and social commerce is picking up steam rapidly. There are enough and more case studies to prove that influencers alone are able to drive sales for brands and deliver great results. However, with the clutter in each category, top influencer content being saturated by brands and rising costs, having a Micro + Nano influencer strategy is essential this year.

Brands should be mindful of what the communication strategy for these will be, but it is definitely something that cannot be ignored.

In conclusion, 2020 – is the beginning of a new decade. Brands should embrace the changes that digital marketing is bringing to advertising in India. Our audiences are consuming content and ads online like never before. The wide mix of consumer behavior in our country brings with it multiple opportunities for brands to engage with audiences in interesting ways while focusing on ROI. All brands have to do is observe, innovate, build consistency and have some guts to pivot themselves.

This article piece is authored by Prachi Bali, Business Head- North, FoxyMoron

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