Chatbots and Influencers and AI, oh my!: and other marketing trends for 2020

Hannah Brice Written by
Hannah Brice

As 2019 enters its final few months, it’s time to consider what communication and marketing trends might blossom and carry through into the next year. Below are the marketing trends for 2020 that are most likely to survive the cold winter and play a key role in the marketing world.

Chatbots

Yep, chatbots are expected to thrive in 2020 so if you’re already using one, you’re ahead of the curve. Chatbots will be used more for quick answers (that are not frequently asked), and to help customers make decisions faster. This should  also help sales as the customer won’t need to wait for their information and will receive the right response at their will.

Plus, it’s fun. Some people talk to Siri, or Alexa just to get weird answers out of them: chatbots, unlike humans, are never sarcastic, or intentionally mean. Customers are much less likely to complain about a conversation they’ve had with a chatbot than with a real person because they know their answers are programmed.

Simply, chatbots make up for what some sales assistants typing away at a computer lack: information, directness and speed.

Voice search

We first talked about this back in January 2018 and it’s not surprising it’s a key trend: “Hey Siri, you hear millions of people every day say.

The future of typing is here: according to ComscoreComscore, around 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020, and around 30% of all searches will be done without a screen by the same year. 

Using your voice will be important. For digital marketers this means changing long tail keywords to shorter ones. So, instead of “Chatbots and Influencers and AI, oh my!: and other marketing trends for 2020”, maybe we should try “marketing trends 2020”. Keeping this in mind for SEOs, and for search engine appearances will be key.

Video content

Due to the rapid nature of online information, it no longer suffices to read manuals, or explanative lists. Companies, and organisations will need to focus more on creating videos to explain their products or services.

Marketing has always been about eye-catching material (whether it be ads, or pictures): now that video-making applications are readily available, investments in in-house digital content creators will be up and coming. Statements, campaigns and information will no longer be written, but described and drawn out and color-coded for greater engagement and audience reaching.

Private messaging

Instead of using emails or messaging platforms, apps like WhatsApp, Viber and. WeChat are becoming extremely popular for offices. The prediction is that these will soon become monetised, so that messaging apps will no longer serve a single purpose of communication, but customers will be able to pay for products directly.

Venmo and PayPal users have already paved the way by mixing messaging with money transferring: soon WhatsApp and Viber will jump on the same train and help personalise the process of payment for customers.

Personalisation

This brings us on to the next trend: personalisation!

No one wants to see a junk email from Urban Outfitters that is selling their socks 30% off. But as soon as the tagline is: Hello, Sarah! Or Tom, or Jennifer, or Mark, you listen up.

By personalising customers, you are able to efficiently sell them their user history. By showcasing products that they might be interested in based on assumptions of their purchasing behaviours as well as saying their name, companies are able to get more business and sell more. This has worked exceptionally well for Amazon, who first used this upsell tactic: all you need to have is a data storage algorithm, and (as Destiny’s Child once said) say their name.

People like to feel understood. They like to have things made for something they need. The Functions’ shampoo is an example of this: one of the most successful shampoo companies in the world has become so because it is personalised to the individual’s hair needs (following a survey), with the benefit of having the shampoo whatever colour they wish. And, you can put your name on the bottle.

Personalisation is and will be the best tool for increasing sales. Not only will you attract more people and retain loyal customers, but by collecting user data, your company can create more relevant and effective campaigns towards the audience you want to target.

Influencers

Have you heard of Emma Chamberlain? Or Caroline Calloway? Or any of the stars from Love Island?

If so, congratulations: you are aware of an influencer. Which is, basically, how they operate. Even if you are not actively engaging with their online presence, or stalking their account, or following them on all platforms, you are aware they exist. Somehow, the algorithms on Instagram will creep these people onto your explore page. Maybe you’ll press on their account….see a picture you’re interested in….perhaps they’re drinking a kombucha that looks cool. And then maybe, the next day, as you’re doing your food shopping, you see the same kombucha. And then you buy it.

Influencers increase awareness of brands and products. Their online presence and popularity introduce millions of people to these products, and even subconsciously makes the individual more likely to test it out.

More than this, studies show that about 86% of women have to consult social media before deciding on a product. Influencers make these products accessible but also, digestible. They give real feedback, from a real person and their real-life opinion on it.

Influencers can be extremely useful in selling and pushing out a product. However, as I mentioned to the i newspaper in an interview last year, some do inflate their influence so tread carefully.

Transparency

Finally, be truthful, and have good values. People care a lot about  your thinking on sustainability, or diversity. Customers want to know your company’s intentions. The lack of transparency in most institutions means that when it comes to the things we eat and wear, and the services we select, people want transparency.

Establishing a company’s core values, being honest about your clients and who you work with, and having a direct line of communication with customers are all very important nowadays.