Put nicely, the first six months of 2020 were “no fun” for the global economy.
Dozens of marquee brands— including Brooks Brothers, J. Crew, 24-Hour Fitness, Hertz, Sur La Table, Chesapeake Energy, Cirque du Soleil, Neiman Marcus, and Virgin Australia—filed for bankruptcy between the end of March and the start of July.
For the brands still staving off insolvency, the future remains littered with obstacles. Not only are coronavirus infections surging in the US, but some states are rolling back reopening plans including Texas, Arizona, and California.
To make the most of the rest of the year (and fight off what is shaping up to be a multi-quarter recession) here are 3 marketing trends to focus on.
Trend #1 — Building better brand experiences
Improving the quality of the brand experience will continue to be a critical initiative for the rest of 2020. Businesses should strive to create that improvement by adopting an individualized approach to marketing.
(To be clear, individualization and personalization are different. Whereas personalization can be achieved using something as unimaginative as a F_NAME token for an email campaign, individualization is about catering marketing to all the unique preferences of the individual consumer.)
As the volume and velocity of consumer data increases in the months and years ahead, brands that spend the rest of 2020 embracing artificial intelligence and machine learning will be the ones best positioned to offer custom, 1:1 experiences to consumers.
These improved experiences will lead to:
- Higher customer acquisition numbers
- Increased retention rates
- Elevated gross sales
Which is why it’s the first of our 3 marketing trends to focus on.
Trend #2 — Email will continue to be critical
With consumers spending more time at home than ever before due to COVID-19 and unemployment, email will become a critical channel to focus on for marketers in the second half of 2020.
Even before the Coronavirus pandemic, more than 80% of consumers conceded to checking their email at least once per day (in most cases, those consumers were checking multiple times). But now that tens of millions of Americans are stuck at home, those email consumption numbers are going to trend upwards.
The takeaway here is that email is in no danger of being replaced by other digital marketing channels (display, social media, etc.), and it will continue to be the dominant way for driving exceptional customer experiences in 2020 and beyond.
Trend #3 — “Real time” can no longer be a marketing buzzword
In the next six months, brands must learn to stop thinking of real-time as a marketing buzzword, and start thinking of real time as a marketing “must word.” Of the 3 marketing trends to focus on in the second half of the year, this is perhaps the most important.
The ability to collect and analyze data in real-time, and use that data to make smart, in-the-moment decisions at scale will be paramount to any brand’s marketing success in the immediate future. Real-time data will become less about achieving specific, one-off wins, and more about improving the efficiency and effectiveness of overall marketing operations. The brands and marketing teams that master the art of real-time data collection (and the expedient applications of insights derived from that data) will be well-positioned to steal market share from their competitors.
Thanks for reading, 3 Marketing Trends to Focus on in the Second Half of the Year. To learn more about the Zeta, click here.