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What’s to come: marketing trends to prepare for in 2020

We saw many trends become the norm this year and quite a few fizzles. GDPR dominated headlines and its effects proved a worthy adversary for many (even fining Google $57M for violations). Social media entered the eCommerce space with shoppable Instagram and Pinterest posts. Facebook stumbled in public opinion several times after the Cambridge Analytica breach, which even landed them in front of Congress. Ad messages in 2019 also saw more inclusivity, diversity and purpose with brands featuring more LGBTQ+ stories, sustainability, political statements as well as a more significant focus on plant-based products.

What can we expect to dominate the marketing conversation around the watercooler in 2020? We collected trends across the agency’s leadership to uncover how our industry will shift in the coming year, so that we’re all prepared.

Moving towards impression-based measurement

NBC, CBS and ABC, among other groups, will move away from ratings and begin using impressions as their measurement. With the rise of cord-cutters, cord-shavers and cord-nevers, this shift will provide agencies and brands with a standardized currency to aggregate audiences across multiple video viewing platforms.

Radio could follow suit but might run into challenges to value sponsorships and events without ratings as the currency.

– Tom Greisch, Director of Traditional Media

The streaming battleground

The OTT marketplace is looking more and more crowded in 2019. The arrival of Apple TV+ Disney+, as well as new players projected to launch in 2020, will surely create a more dense landscape. As a result, 2020 is going to witness a protracted battle where some providers will be forced to retreat. Netflix holds an unbeatable advantage: the subscribers. But as far as content, it is fair game, and they are all equally invested in providing a balance of popular reruns and new original titles, which comes at a cost. To the consumers, with all the available options, it’s a matter of what fits their budget and preferences.

Live sports are king and the NFL is the million-dollar gorilla in the room. While the NFL TV contracts run through 2022, NFL Sunday Ticket is up for grabs next year. Direct TV, which has had exclusive rights for the past 14 years, decided not to renew the contract to avoid increasing prices at a time when consumers are canceling pay-tv subscriptions. We’ll all be watching closely to see who comes out on top between Amazon and ESPN+ in securing the NFL Sunday ticket rights.

– Tom Greisch, Director of Traditional Media

Privacy concerns changing how advertisers track

The general public, privacy advocates, lawmakers and governments will continue to debate the role of data and privacy in the digital world. This will propel digital giants to discover more ways to promote their products and services while maintaining a positive image in society’s eye.

In 2020, brands will continue to rely on tracking cookies while they test alternative measurement solutions. From a tracking standpoint, Safari and Firefox already block 3rd party cookies by default with 1st party limitations. Chrome implemented opt-out settings this year as a way to stay transparent with users while continuing to profit from their cookie-based advertising solutions.

– Felicia Foster and Mariana Arias Duval, Client Partner Managers

Google will increase efforts to produce “zero-click searches”

Google aims to answer user questions on their first page without the need for users to click on any result links. In 2018, Featured Snippets accounted for 55% of Google SERP clicks and that number is growing. The best way to adapt is to optimize content for Key Features, meaning properly structured data is an absolute must. While this may not affect rankings, it highly impacts SERP click-through rates.

– Vanessa Santa Cruz, Director of SEO

Mobile-first is the new normal

Google will prioritize indexing and the ranking of a website’s mobile version first, which means optimizing for desktop takes a backseat. The design, technical optimizations, and overall UX of your website must be crafted specifically for mobile users or you risk getting left behind in SERPs! Mobile-first design includes utilizing themes that are optimized for small screens, allows for enlarging text, and also gives users the possibility to space clickable elements.

– Vanessa Santa Cruz, Director of SEO

Designing for Dark Mode

Something new to look out for will be the increasing number of apps with dark mode options, which means we have to learn how to optimize for in order to make sure our design and tech look good on desktop, mobile, etc. Dark mode functions differently across apps, which means it isn’t just thinking about black text on a white background or the inverse. In order for our designs to look great no matter what mode you’re in, we have to keep in mind image transparency, background colors, font choices, testing processes and more. Dark mode will mean letting our eyes relax for improved focus, but also putting a bit more thought into our designs.

– Chris Mora, Project Manager

It seems 2020 has us more connected to our digital ecosystems than ever before with everyone vying to be top dog. What hasn’t changed is our need to adapt and overcome challenges as we continue to redefine what it means to be a marketer today. Share more trends you expect to be top of mind in the new year by visiting our Facebook page or send us a Tweet.