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Top Marketing Trends to Watch for 2020

girl looking through her fingers-full

With 2020 on the horizon, the accessibility of innovative and disruptive technologies are driving marketers to acknowledge, assess, and prepare for emerging marketing trends to remain profitable.

According to John Hall from Forbes, “The world is changing a mile a minute, and it’s hard to scale, differentiate yourself, and maintain trust in the ever-changing marketing world.”

The more you can plan forward, the better equipped you feel to managing those changes when they happen. Here are three top marketing trends that marketers should embrace and prepared for.

woman shopping on tablet - CPG

Social Shopping

Social media, which used to be a network for friends and family sharing emotional input, now becomes an effective sales platform for many brands.

With nearly 25% of brands are selling through social media, it offers brands the ability to reach new customers quickly on users’ own terms. Equipped with a frictionless checkout process, it enables brands to create a seamless shopping experience to build a long-term relationship with their customers for retention. It also allows brands to shorten the sales cycle tremendously for short-term profits.

According to AddThis, 60% of people discover products on Instagram, and 78% of Americans use Facebook to find new products. Social shopping is not just another buzz word. It will shift the way customers find and purchase products, accompanying high expectations of the entire customer journey being frictionless.

Virtual Interaction

Today’s consumers expect new experiences when they are online, and for the majority, this means more interactivity. In fact, augmented reality (AR) is expected to become the most popular interactive technology for engaging consumers in 2020.

Well developed interactive content can keep your consumers on your page longer, increasing your brand exposure. It is highly shareable, meaning you are growing your brand awareness. Consumers enjoy experiencing virtual interaction are more engaging. It is also highly personalizable to fit the customer’s lifestyle, which adds value.

Virtual interactive technologies offer higher emotional intensity and add a new layer of customer experience by placing your brand image close to the eyes of customers.

professional meeting-growth

Content is Still the King

Continuing a steady trend from this year, content marketing will remain as one of the top trends in marketing for 2020. There are advantages of well-crafted content that will bring to your brand. Delivering valuable, relevant, and consistent content attracts and acquires a more clearly-qualified audience with potential conversion in the long-run. Creating and sharing compelling content will build your reputation as an industry authority and influencer. Informative content helps customers to make educated decisions.

Your content is what search engines provide to searchers online; it is critical to produce high-quality content continuously for your inbound and outbound marketing effort. By producing authentic content that adds real value to your target audience, brand marketers will nurture stronger and longer-lasting customer relationships.

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Marketing trends are constantly evolving. And brand marketers need to be aware of emerging trends to leverage efforts to be successful in 2020.

Utilizing social media effectively to create a seamless customer journey, engaging users with meaningful virtual interaction, and creating valuable content that speaks consumer’s language are effective ways to leverage new trends, generate demand, and drive sales for the coming years.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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Three Ways of Capturing What Customers Want Before They Do

thinking girl with digital shopping symbols

Advancement of technology with limitless digital bandwidth opened up a new array of channels for today’s consumers to be more aggressive in engaging with brands. More importantly, it is changing the way consumers shop, forcing brands to present a superior omnichannel experience to meet the expectations and demands of consumers. However, some brands struggle to do so because they lack sufficient awareness of their customers’ needs and preferences.

According to Jorge Amar, Julian Raabe, and Stefan Roggenhofer in their McKinsey.com article, “Companies seeking to keep pace with industry leaders must embark on an omnichannel transformation — one that views touchpoints not in isolation but as part of a seamless customer journey. And since customer journeys aren’t simple and linear but a series of handoffs between traditional and digital channels that can vary significantly by customer type, an effective strategy requires an in-depth understanding of what customers truly want.”

In order to ensure success, brands need to focus on understanding the preferences and wants of their target audience.

Omni-channel-Illustration-shopping

Provide Quality Digital Customer Care

More and more customers prefer to shop digitally and seek out customer care online. Many brands have capitalized on this trend by focusing on developing a robust omnichannel presence. However, brands that design a digital channel prematurely often fail to provide adequate online support channels for their customers.

Some brand marketers believe that the customer’s desire for customer-employee interactions is diminishing due to growing technology. But, trends indicate that the volume of engagement and the number of touchpoints actually continue to increase. This shows that brands need to ensure that they are providing effective and positive engagement with customers through digital channels.

Brand marketers who fail to provide adequate customer care online find that customers make multiple visits to their website in order to receive the help and assistance that they require. This leaves shoppers frustrated and dissatisfied, decreasing sales and conversions for your brand. Concentrate on efforts to understand how to effectively help your customers, and ensure that you offer productive digital avenues through which they can seek assistance.

Know Your Shoppers’ Personas

To effectively reach and engage with customers, brand marketers need to be aware of the different types of segments they’re targeting. The four most common categories of shoppers include: digital by lifestyle, digital by choice, digital by need, and offline society. Each consumer group has unique shopping needs, and brands need to prepare marketing approaches for each of them.

As Amar, Raabe, and Roggenhofer explain, “Best practice is to design primary service for each segment, using contact volume distribution and persona profiles that differentiate by digital behavior to determine engagement strategies and the necessary investments in each channel.” Different types of consumers will respond to different marketing tactics, so brand marketers need to get creative to effectively reach a large audience of shoppers.

More and more customers demand personalized journey fit their needs. The first step for brands to achieve this is to understand the shopping preference of their target consumer groups.

Some consumer segments respond more to online advertisements, whereas others are more touched by physical marketing materials such as direct mail that drives them to brick-and-mortar stores where they can experience a personal connection with the brand. Therefore, brands should focus on developing marketing strategies that serve each persona group based on their shopping preferences in conjunction with omnichannel digital efforts.

cashier handing credit card back to customer - sales person

Train Employees to Put the Customer First

A superb omnichannel experience does not stop at the completed purchasing transaction. It now extends to seamless customer handoffs across the channel from pre-purchase interaction to after-purchase follow-ups by the customer service, via online or face to face. To provide a superb omnichannel experience, brands need to recognize the importance of employee training to fulfill the pre and post-purchase phases of the customer journey.

Well trained brand employees should be able to identify customer needs and cater to their services accordingly. In order to do so, they must receive the right kind of training. Ensure that your training is creative, effective, and designed with the customer in mind. The better the coaching, the better the service, and it translates into higher demand and increased sales for your brand. It’s integral that your workforce has the right skill sets to offer effective customer care. Eventually, this will help to refine the strategy based on brand performance in the long run.

When complex issues arise, employees need to be able to provide feasible solutions and give customers a seamless experience. Positive interactions help employees develop meaningful relationships with consumers, which serves to drive sales and bring in a higher number of loyal customers for your brand. The happier a customer feels when they leave your store or website, it’s more likely that they will recommend your product to others.

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No two consumers are the same. Each consumer segment has unique shopping needs and responds to different marketing methods. Brands need to make an effort to understand what their target customers want and implement ways to effectively deliver it.

Providing high-quality customer service and productive assistance through digital channels, personalizing the shopping experience for target groups, and training brand representatives to follow a customer-centric mindset are useful ways to deepen your understanding of what your customers want, generate demand, and drive sales.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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Three Key Tips to Gain Competitive Advantage in CPG

man looking at consumer product at a grocery store

Undeniably, the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry faces unique challenges. Over the past five years, many CPG brands have experienced a decline in revenue and profits. Brands are struggling to keep up with changes in the industry, and some are consequently falling behind as the broader retail landscape changes.

According to Bain & Company’s Matthew Meacham, François Faelli, Eduardo Giménez, and John Blasberg in their article, “When we analyzed the performance of 34 of the world’s top 50 consumer goods companies in the last few years, we made the unsettling discovery that 85% of those big companies had seen a decline in either revenues, profits or both.”

In order to ensure future success, brands need to find ways to combat the current challenges in the industry. So, what can CPG brands do to overcome the current crisis in the industry?

shadowed people with bubbles - account management

Be Agile with Emerging Trends

With advances in technology and the emergence of a new generation of shoppers, the CPG industry is constantly evolving. The wants and needs of customers are changing, along with the ways they shop. Brands that hope to survive in this ever-changing market need to keep up with the new trends.

One of the most significant trends is rapidly shifting in consumer behavior as they become more socially, environmentally, and health-conscious. This fast-growing trend contributed to the considerable disruption caused by small insurgent brands in many product categories, making the competition even more intense.

In order to support the new wave of consumers and to compete in the current market, brands should focus on establishing a robust multi-channel presence to connect with the target consumers where they are comfortable to interact and share.

When brands are aware of emerging market trends, they can come up with a plan to prepare for them ahead of time. By serving the consumer in the way they want to be served on par with the current trends, brands can outsmart the competition to be successful in the marketplace.

Reinvent Brand’s Image

Brand marketers need to start thinking “outside the box” when it comes to engaging with customers. Instead of relying solely on legacy marketing tactics, brands should consider ways to draw in customers that they haven’t used before.

Meacham, Faelli, Giménez, and Blasberg explain: “Winning companies will innovate their way out with new products, new systems, and new needs that help elevate their categories to premium status while increasing product and assortment penetration.”

If keeping up with the current trends is “today forward” strategy, brands also will need to take “future back” approach to set their own destiny and progressing toward it.

By redefining the vision for your brand, and your company – future back approach – to rearticulate a meaningful, sustainable, and consumer-driven purposes will inspire to reset the brand’s sense of urgency and to become the frontline innovator.

woman shopping on tablet - CPG

Directly Engage with Customers

Traditionally, most CPG brands don’t maintain a relationship with customers after they make a purchase. However, if brands take the initiative to connect and develop lasting relationships with their shoppers, they will drive sales and increase their opportunities for upselling and cross-selling.

Adding the data-driven personalization in every customer touchpoint will significantly improve customer commitment to the brands, especially when a customer feels connected, understood, and valued by the brand.

One way is direct mail follow-ups with customers after they’ve purchased your product. Consumers typically respond positively to direct communication because they appreciate feeling that their feedback is important.

Also, brands should consider opening pop-up brick-and-mortar stores to improve engagement with consumers. Brands can more easily establish impactful connections with their shoppers in a physical store, where the entire consumer experience is curated by the brand.

There is no sales method more effective than good old-fashioned, positive, face-to-face interactions. When a customer leaves your store feeling like they’ve had a good experience, they are more likely to come back and also to encourage their friends and family members to shop there.

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The current crisis in the CPG industry doesn’t mean that your brand is doomed to struggle. Instead, brand marketers should see these market challenges as opportunities to redefine their business by thinking of new, creative ways to engage with customers and drive sales.

Making sure you stay in the know regarding new market trends, coming up with innovative ideas for products and marketing tactics, and putting in the effort to reach out and directly engage with your customers are important steps you can take as a CPG brand marketer in order to flourish in today’s challenging market. By understanding these useful actions, CPG brands are more likely to remain profitable and ensure a successful future for their business.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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Next Generation CMOs: Transformation Leaders

butterfly out of cocoon

The marketing industry is constantly evolving. These changes bring new opportunities and roles for CMOs and the brands they represent, alike. Brand marketers today are stepping away from legacy marketing tactics and inventing new, exciting campaigns to reach customers.

According to Deloitte’s Jen Veenstra in her article, “If CMO roles as we’ve defined them have required proficiency not only in marketing but across multiple business functions, the job has expanded even further in complexity to include sustainable growth, highly personalized customer experiences, and advanced marketing innovation.”

In order to ensure success, CMOs need to embrace and step into key strategic roles. By doing so, you will increase opportunities to enhance brand awareness, driving revenue for your business, and expanding your own professional repertoire.

man on a toy car in flame - growth

Growth Driver

It is vital that CMOs drive growth for their brand. When they fail to establish and implement initiatives for improvement centered on growth, the brand suffers.

Most CMOs measure growth using revenue. However, this seems like a daunting task to accurately attribute, and many marketers experience disconnect when trying to drive growth through revenue.

But CMOs must put in the effort to become comfortable using revenue as a metric for growth by adopting the new role as enterprise business growth leader.

At the end of the day, one of the critical responsibilities that a CMO has is to have an end-to-end view of the customer, acknowledging trends, and making strategic recommendations to outsmart the competition to grow business. It is, ultimately, the bottom line for C-Suite decision-makers.

Customer Champion

Embracing customer data and intelligence are important ways for brands to deliver better customer experiences. You can gain valuable insights by collecting and tracking both emotional and transactional preferences from consumers across all channels.

CMOs can then use this data to become the “voice” for their shoppers. And, consequently, CMOs will more effectively engage with their target group of consumers and provide a personalized buying experience.

When brands know what consumers want and what their expectations are, they can implement marketing approaches that personally “speak” to customers.

businessman holding tablet

Storyteller

Riveting, intriguing stories engage consumers’ interest. So, CMOs should ensure that they effectively assume the role of storyteller. By creating and sharing an entertaining narrative about your brand and value, shoppers will be more drawn to what you have to say, and more attracted to your products. Marketers can reshape their brand’s image through the stories they tell consumers.

As Veenstra explains, “It’s still up to marketers to safeguard and disseminate the news about their companies’ brands and invite consumers to participate in the narrative. Chief storytellers have been defined by their part in promoting brand relevance and consistency, and it appears they aren’t straying far away from this role.” Growth-oriented CMOs see storytelling as a thriving and exciting opportunity to connect with customers.

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CMOs no longer have only one role to follow. Brand marketers who want to remain profitable and relevant in today’s ever-changing market must wear different “hats,” hence, the future roles of CMO are likely to become even more complex. By adopting the enterprise-wide mindset to align with the shared goals, and to become a brand’s voice for consumers, CMOs will become the major player behind their company’s success.

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

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Mixed Reality Marketing: Three-Dimensional Storytelling

man with vr goggle on

Marketers are always seeking the next big thing; whether its an emerging trend, a new generation of consumers, a viral social platform, or a technological innovation. Many experts predict that the “next big thing” for brand marketers is the Mixed Reality (MR).

Mixed Reality (MR), including Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), is becoming more and more attractive. Technological advances give customers a whole new way to visualize and experience products in different settings.

According to David Roe in CMS Wire, “MR, also referred to as hybrid reality, is the technology that is used to merge real and virtual worlds and produce new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time.” It is predicted that a staggering 100 million consumers will be using MR by 2020.

In order to ensure future success, brand marketers should stay ahead of the curve and be able to capitalize on the opportunities presented by advances in MR technologies. So, what can brands do to take advantage of MR technologies?

AR on magazine and direct mail

Reimagine Advertising

MR technology enables marketers to be creative with their advertising experience by placing the brand image closer to the eyes of consumers.

Brands can take customers on an experiential “test drive” of their product before making purchase decisions. This builds confidence in their product with ads that can transform UX and the buyer’s journey into the next level.

Using MR technology, brand marketers can also tailor their ads by applying consumer’s preferences where the content of each ad shifts by specific circumstances and even with different languages.

This will help brands tell a better story in a more compelling and a meaningfully interactive way. With Millennials and Gen Z becoming the prime consumer group, the early adopters will have the upper hand in providing a superb customer experience and staying ahead of the competition.

Let Users to Truly Connect

Where there is content, it gets shared. You and five billion other smartphone users instantly connect via various social platforms. AR and VR are the new channels that marketers should consider to increase brand awareness. It is a new way for consumers to connect with your products on a deeper level, from the first-person perspective

For example, home-building brands can implement ways for customers to visually rotate and move furniture online in 3-D, enabling them to more easily see which products look best to them. They can also “see” how various materials and finishes will look and feel in a digital mock-up of a home.

This new trend also bridges the gap between the old and the new. The traditional marketing tactics are evolving as digital and virtual technologies mature, becoming a new storytelling medium for a new revenue stream.

Especially in the form of AR, where no wearable device is required but your smartphone to connect consumers with your products. Simply point and scan brochures or catalogs with an AR app to make a purchase or receive relevant product information and tips.

female using interactive screen to customize shopping

ChatBots 24/7

Some service leaders are now using artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual customer assistants (VCAs) as tools in their contact centers. Brand marketers should consider developing VCAs that can effectively interact with and provide technical support to customers.

By allowing well-equipped bots 24-7 to handle basic customer service queries, customers are cared for when needed, resulting in establishing trust-based relationships between customers and your brand. Using bots can also significantly reduce wait times for customers seeking assistance, which will increase customer satisfaction with your brand.

In the meantime, human representatives can focus solely on helping customers with complex, in-depth issues that require multi-layer customer support. As a result, they will become loyal shoppers and will recommend your brand to others.

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As new MR technologies become more available, brands need to capitalize on the different ways to use them in relation to consumers.

By assigning bots to assist customers with simple service inquiries, giving shoppers the opportunity to virtually test drive your products with AR before committing to a purchase, and provide a meaningful first-hand experience to connect with your products, brand marketers can enhance brand awareness, increasing demand generation to drive sales and revenue.

Related blogs:
2020 Shopper Marketing: Are You Ready For This New Wave of Consumers?
Looking Ahead: What Winning Customer Experiences Will Look Like in 2020
Top Brand Marketing Trends for 2019

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Why NVISION?

For more than three decades we’ve partnered with Fortune 500 companies to deliver marketing operations solutions. Led by a strategic account management team, we’ll help you develop, procure, fulfill and distribute printed collateral, signage, point-of-purchase displays, direct mail, branded merchandise and much more.

LEARN MORE