The year 2020 marks the beginning of a new decade and technological changes so rapid it may be hard to keep up at times. A look back at 2010 to present day is a reminder of how rapidly advertising changes. Ten years ago, digital ads weren’t nearly as prevalent as they are today. If you’d told a marketing professional in 2010 that the majority of their budget would go to online advertising or they’d pay everyday people to share info on their products, they likely would have laughed at you.
Analysts at Statista predict social network ad spending will reach $37 billion this year, with around 90% of companies using social media for some marketing. More than likely, you’re already using online strategies to drive sales and growth, but expect digital expenditures in promotion to increase rather than decrease. As more and more data becomes available, analysis of marketing campaigns will make up a lot of the work involved in advertising.
It might be difficult to keep up with all the changes, new platforms and methods of advertising, so we made some predictions on what you can expect in the next 10 years and how you can keep up with advances.
1. Prepare for New Search Features
A recent Pew Internet Research survey conducted in June of 2019 found that around 25% of U.S. adults have at least one voice-controlled smart speaker in their home. As you plan out various advertising campaigns, think about how you can tap into this new market that grows every year. One key is a voice-enabled site so machines can seek out information.
However, there may be other ways to integrate advertising into smart speakers. For example, apps that integrate with smart speakers are quite popular with owners of the devices. Can you create an app that taps into what you do as a business and will alert users to special sales and new product offerings, or remind them when it’s time to re-order?
2. Focus on Brand Awareness
Building a recognizable name for your brand is something that never goes out of style. Since companies first started coming into the mainstream, business owners have tried to get their names out there with marketing and make their organizations a household name.
As the new decade ramps up, brand awareness may become even more important. Most people wouldn’t care if a brand went out of business, so you have to make your company timeless and important to those users. Embrace a cause they care about, offer the best customer service around or create a unique product unlike anyone else’s. How you can innovate depends on the type of business you run, but the key is finding out what your customers care about and exceeding their expectations.
3. Create Stronger Business Signs
No matter how global the economy becomes, local customers are always going to be more loyal and a great place to start when building your brand. If you own a brick-and-mortar store, bringing in foot traffic is a vital component in your overall success. One way of letting people know where you are and what you offer is adding signage to the outside of your store or office.
Signs have many essential uses, including setting a mood, serving as a locator and even serving as its own advertisement. Make your signs the best they can be by enlisting the help of a professional designer and then viewing the finished sign from different distances and angles to make sure it meets your needs and attracts attention.
4. Don’t Forget Traditional Methods
While the technology of the next decade includes things not yet invented, there are some traditional methods that will never completely go out of style. Connecting with people on a personal level requires getting out into the local community. Host a booth at the local craft fair and sponsor a little league team or two.
Don’t forget how effective print advertising can still be. While you want to embrace digital whenever possible, don’t do so to the point that you neglect getting mailers and other materials to your regular customers and leads. Remember that other possibilities as well, such as local cable television appearances and radio spots, can also help to get the word out about your brand.
5. Ramp up Social Media
Not only does social media advertising generate billions of dollars a year, but social video advertising spending alone should reach $15 billion by 2021. If you’re already marketing on social networks, think about investing in videos for more impact.
Even though the ways people interact with social media changes over time — such as more and more people using mobile devices — the impact of advertising doesn’t change. However, it is smart to stay on top of trends as they change frequently. Clickbait ads are very past tense and almost offensive to target audiences, for example. Know what works and what people prefer and change your tactics to match.
6. Automate Basic Tasks
One thing you can count on in this next decade is machines becoming more intuitive and powerful than ever before. Machine learning is going to new levels with computers learning common sense tasks and ways to think more like human counterparts. The implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) into the advertising medium has already begun. Services such as Buffer and Hootsuite track best response times and even automate posting on social media.
Customer relationship management (CRM) programs help to personalize emails and offers that are most attractive to your client base. In the future, as machines do more and more, expect basic reminders and offers to become automated. This allows marketers to focus on the more creative aspects of reaching new people.
What to Expect From the 2020s
More than likely, some things will remain exactly the same as they have in advertising since the age of Mad Men. However, automation and new technology will definitely create an impact in other areas. The biggest changes will likely be seen in digital advertising rather than more traditional mediums. Stay on top of new inventions, watch what your competitors do and don’t be afraid to try something unique.
Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.