2020 is upon us, which means it’s the time of year when predictions on new technologies or impending trends are very prevalent. While every marketer begins a new year looking at what was successful in the prior, and more importantly, where they can improve for the next, 2020 will certainly be a year where brands shift their focus to the power of the consumer.
The fact of the matter is, brands and marketers have underestimated consumers when it comes to the power of their voice, and more significantly, that consumers are sometimes the only ones heard across online channels.
Today, it’s less about boosting a brand’s exposure on the various online channels available today, and more about building a connection – one that is strong, authentic, and unique in order to boost brand affinity.
In 2020, marketers should be shifting the focus for their online strategies by taking a harder look at all the various ways on how they can work with consumers.
Here are a few trends that show we’re moving towards a more consumer-driven era:
According to SocialTimes, social media marketing budgets will double in the next five years.
This is bolstered by reigning platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and now, the most recent video sharing platform, TikTok.
While many brands view social media as the hot spot for marketing innovation, the reality is that the social media sphere is “run” by consumers.
Brands are now starting to realize that social media is more impactful to their brand when the consumers themselves are promoting the content.
Taking a look at TikTok specifically, some of the world’s biggest brands are challenged with making the platform work for them.
As a result, a quick search on the platform will show you that there are many brand accounts that have been abandoned or show inactive as they try to restrategize their approach.
Platforms like TikTik and even Instagram have become similar to a conversation between friends, and are online communities where people can share every aspect of their lives.
In many cases, consumers are not looking for a brand to join their conversation, or worse, sell them their product while they’re trying to solely engage with other followers.
It’s important for brands to evaluate each platform and acknowledge which are appropriate for them and where – and if – they can add value.
Content marketing has been around for some time, and it’s been restructured and executed in various ways to fulfill different needs.
The rise of the visual web brought us millions of content creators, from both the brand and user side, as there are so many different channels today that allow everyone to become a content creator in their own right.
While it’s important for brands to invest in the creation of engaging, attention-grabbing content, the best content creators have become the consumers themselves – all of whom have a myriad of filters, stickers, and applications to create powerful and relevant content for their peers.
To capitalize on this, brands need to work smarter to ensure they are within those conversations so they can get in front of their key audiences.
This comes with leveraging things like social listening, working with the right key influencers, and empowering consumer engagement.
At the end of the day, brands need to remember that whether it’s a video, an infographic, or a vodcast, content that is authentic and offers value to consumers will be the most successful.
The retail industry especially is increasingly moving towards offering more omnichannel experiences that are complementary to the consumer discovery, search and purchasing journey.
From Alibaba’s Hema supermarket in China to Adidas rolling out digital experiences within its London flagship store, we’re seeing more brands merging online and offline experiences to give consumers the best of both worlds.
Today, the most successful brands are those that are looking at the customer journey more holistically as it’s been proven that in-store and digital shopping experiences are no longer mutually exclusive of each other in the eyes of the consumer.
All in all, we’ll see 2020 become the year of the consumer as brands are recognizing more that they hold all the power – most of the time at their fingertips with more mobile optimization.
Brands that capitalize on this shift in power, and ultimately use consumers who are building a brand for themselves to their advantage, will be the ones that come out on top.
After all, nothing matters more to a consumer than personal branding, so brands need to envision how they can add value to that.
Cheryl Guzman Ng is the Global Head of Marketing at ViSenze, an artificial intelligence company powering visual commerce at scale for brands and publishers. Cheryl is an experienced marketing and communications professional, entrepreneur, and speaker with 15 years of regional experience. In her current role, she is responsible for marketing, communications, and brand strategy functions, creating awareness for ViSenze’s solutions and its brand, as well as building its position as an industry and market leader.
Reblogged 9 months ago from www.clickz.com