As we leave 2019 and look forwards, what is marketing in 2020 going to look like? Firstly we need to ask what marketing is all about. Do we really need to do it? Can a good company not just rely on repeat business? Surely if they are good, if their products or services are good, people will just come back?
Marketing is all about communicating a message. According to the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) they say ‘the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably’.
Marketing is about communicating a message, a story, a brand. Therefore every company has their own story to tell. Whether it is about their fizzy carbonated drink, the burgers and chips they provide, the mobile phones they make, or any service offered.
Looking back 100 years to 1920 we can see brands such as Coca Cola (founded in 1892). Levi Strauss (founded in 1853), Sainsbury’s (founded in 1869) all running for many years. Each will have been doing their marketing campaigns, just in a different way to 2020. The internet was not even nearly invented, therefore most marketing services we know of today would not be available. Internet marketing, e-mail marketing, digital marketing sere not around. Billboard advertising was common, as were visual adverts and sponsorships.
Marketing has not changed in the last 100 years, but the ‘forms of marketing’ have. In the last 20 years we have seen a brand new area of marketing open up, social media marketing. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are ones of many social media platforms that are being used by brands large and small. In many ways this is the leading area of marketing in 2020 globally, but does not mean that other forms of marketing area not used.
These are all areas of ‘traditional advertising’ which happily still operate in 2020.
Marketing has always and will always be about communication, whether this is 2020 or 1920.
Depending on what a companies product or service is will have an effect on what form of marketing is appropriate. Some forms of marketing work well for some companies but not for others. Why would this be?
A message needs to be communicated in a specific way. If it communicated in the wrong way. the impact will not be as strong. Also you need to factor in, ‘how is the message communicated’? This is where it starts to get a little more complicated.
For example, let’s consider TV adverts.
Some companies can do a TV advert and their products/services take off. Some companies can do a TV advert and it flops. This is down to the agency and how the advert is produced.
So what form of marketing in 2020 will work for your business?
All different forms of marketing come at a different cost. Advertising on TV globally is very expensive. Sending flyers out in the local newspaper is very cheap. However the danger is to be led by price. Gambling that a TV advert will work with all your marketing budget is high risk, especially if you do not know if the advert will yield returns.
What kind of marketing can you afford?
However there is a question that needs to be asked before cost. What form of marketing is appropriate for your business?
Let’s consider a few examples:
We have all seen adverts on TV for price comparison websites. However this needs to work alongside digital marketing, since more people will use the internet to get quotes. Paid advertising on google, SEO and social media advertising HAVE to work alongside the TV advert for the marketing campaign as a whole to work.
Sponsorship of sports events would possibly be a good marketing vehicle for sports products and brands. However this again needs to work alongside other forms of marketing such as social media marketing and internet advertising for sports related keywords.
Network marketing at wedding events would be a good choice. Paid adverts on search engines within a specific geographical area would also be wise. Networking with other wedding related services such as wedding car hire, wedding florists would be wise. TV advertising certainly would not be a good use of marketing budget.
Considering these three examples, each would make use of different forms of marketing in order to generate new potential customers. What would each need to do to their marketing in 2020 to develop it?
A big part of marketing is looking at historical trends. Marketing in 2019 for many companies has been challenging due to the uncertainty with Brexit. Many businesses have held off in orders, recruitment and development for fear of the future impacts.
Looking back further we had the challenge of marketing in the recession period. In many ways the UK is still in a recession, so there is still the uncertainty of looking at historical data and trends.
Often when sales are touch, companies cut back on their marketing. However if you stop putting fuel on the fire, then the fire will go out. That being said, putting money into marketing that is not producing does not make sense.
Since markets are changing, looking at historical trends may not be the answer.
Seasonality for many companies plays a big part in effective marketing. Products and services around Christmas need to be marketed in October rather than February. So therefore timing plays a factor in marketing campaigns.
All UK companies are different in their approach to marketing. Marketing in 2020 is going to be challenging for everyone with the uncertainty of Brexit and the knock on effects.
For larger companies, they will have marketing departments that handle different forms of marketing (website design, digital marketing etc.), for sole traders they may also handle it themselves, use a family friend or outsource. For SME companies many will use a marketing agency.
Does using a marketing agency give you a better marketing campaign? What are the advantages of doing the marketing yourself or outsourcing?
Handling it yourself/in house:
Outsourcing to an agency:
For many companies, outsourcing or handling marketing in house is a difficult decision and is not always down to cost.
For most companies, the go-to form of marketing is advertising on search engines via Adwords or Affiliate advertising. Both of these are popular and compared to many forms of advertising is a very affordable option.
Since most people are online, having a strong online presence for any UK business is essential. Companies like Amazon have grown from nothing mainly thanks to online marketing. Coupled with branding and traditional advertising, digital marketing is essential.
Digital marketing does need to be done correctly, so having an experienced member of staff or using a marketing agency is important for digital marketing to be successful. Many companies fall into the trap of trying to do digital marketing themselves without knowing exactly what they are doing. Setting up an Adwords campaign without knowing about keywords or geographical settings can be a costly exercise. Playing with SEO on a website without knowing about Google’s current algorithm can often do more harm than good.
Since the growth of social media a short time ago, this is now a very big area of marketing. Search engines once looked upon social media websites with suspicion and did not really count a ‘footprint’ of much value for SEO. In 2020, having a social media footprint is a big part of an effective SEO campaign. Websites like Linkedin and Twitter are now trusted by search engines, for a business to not feature on them is considered strange.
Advertising on social media is big business (hence why platforms like Facebook are worth so much) and are used by many of the worlds global brands for brand awareness.
Does social media feature in your plans for marketing in 2020? If not, it really should. Have you considered using Instagram to showcase pictures of your products? Have you considered using Youtube for videos or tutorials? Have you used Facebook to run competitions? These all add to your ‘organic’ presence on search engines and (apart from investing time) are free of charge.
For some companies, direct marketing is not necessary. For some, it is essential. Direct marketing is a big part of the ‘marketing arsenal’ and used correctly can be a very powerful one.
Direct marketing is a more hands on form of marketing. It is more about being proactive, going out there and getting customers rather than being reactive. The old fashioned idea of knocking on doors to get new customers.
Telemarketing is used by thousands of companies for generating sales leads. Properly used you can target specific business rather than getting what comes through your door. Direct marketing is important for companies that are after specific kinds of clients.
For most companies, marketing in 2020 is going to be challenging. No-one knows how the year is going to turn out. Talking with a marketing agency is wise, one that has experience of your industry sector. Not rushing into marketing is also wise. Marketing can by very expensive so planning is very important before starting any form of marketing campaigns.
If you need help with your marketing, or want some advise from a few marketing agencies that know your market place, just fill in the form.