It’s December, and that means it’s time for internet lists: Top 20 Movies to Look Forward to in 2020, The 5 TV Shows You Can’t Miss in 2020, Top 15 NFL Draft Picks for 2020, etc.
And we’re guilty of creating yet another top ten list to add to the avalanche: 10 Marketing Trends to Watch Die Out in 2020
Dozens of other sites will share their top ten (or fifteen or twenty) marketing trends to look for next year, but we’re sharing our list of trends we hope to never see again in 2020:.
Big Data-based projects that lack well-thought-out hypotheses will die out
A chef doesn’t throw a handful of spices in a pot and hope for the best — and neither should you. Marketing data and hard numbers can only do so much for you if you don’t know what you’re looking for. It doesn’t make much sense to change your marketing strategy and simply hope that the data you receive after its implementation will reflect positive change. In 2020, CMOs will focus on solid forecasting and make well-informed decisions about marketing spend by channel.
Obsessing over programmatic buying will die out
Programmatic buying is a way of efficiently executing media buys. Although driving more efficiency is important, the hype is way ahead of the benefit. In 2020, the hype on programmatic buying will be replaced by a greater focus on predictive methods and targeting that focus more on the path to purchase. Predictive buying will include new methods like audience futures—profiling a specific customer audience’s availability and working backwards from the target by buying the exposure to that subset upfront.
Predicting without a proper forecast will die out
Due to the waning exclusivity of programmatic marketing, marketing in 2020 will emphasize and reward forecasting. More than just budgeting for the year to come, attribution needs to be intertwined with your analytical forecast and spend needs to be tweaked regularly in response to changes.
Planning your strategy one year or quarter at a time will die out
A preset and inflexible annual budget is no longer practical nor agile enough to work effectively. Customers aren’t the same in December as they are in June, and your budget shouldn’t be, either. The rapidly evolving landscape of marketing means the game can change even within a quarter or a month. In 2020, your marketing spend must be flexible enough and include a variety of variables that can turn on a dime. “Always Be Closing” has become “Always Be Planning” for CMOs—planning for how to fix what may not be working and planning for how to beat your industry competitors to the punch.
Increasing budgets rather than creating efficient budgets will die out
Agility, again—that’s the name of the game. Make your budget focused, predictive, and flexible without being bloated. Quantity does not imply quality. If you’ve got the forecast to back up your strategy, you’ll know roughly how much you need to be effective but adaptive. In 2020, if you can produce measurable results with a smaller budget — if you can create an efficient budget with a maximum ROI — you’ll be rewarded with a larger budget to spend.
Gleaning attribution from providers that sell media or charge a cost-per-impression will die out
Cost-per-impression was once what we needed to estimate efficiency and ROI. Big Data means guessing is no longer necessary. Providers that use cost-per-impression or who buy media have an inherent conflict of interest. In 2020, your attribution results will be free of bias and self-interest and be purely quantitatively derived.
Espousing data-driven analytics while discounting negative data will die out
You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have—the hard truth of what is and isn’t working in your strategy. In 2020, marketers won’t just take the positive outcomes of their strategy and not improve upon the deficiencies that same data is trying to show. Being a data-driven marketer means you buy the whole idea, not just the elements that reinforce the value of the work you’re doing.
Believing that customers want ads disguised as unbiased content will die out
Customers know when they’re been sold to. Trying to trick customers into believing that content is unbiased in an effort to sell to them will still come across as selling. In 2020, instead of trying to disguise marketing efforts, marketers will make their content worth their customers’ time and attention.
Ignoring the buying power of underappreciated demographics will die out
There’s a tendency among some CMOs to have an unwavering focus on their key demographics. And with good reason: you want to market in your wheelhouse, because it’s easier to understand the needs of those prospects. It’s not rocket science; to grow past your current projections, you need to expand the horizon. In 2020, marketers will strive to reach new customers and diversify their customer base.
Adopting every shiny new trend will die out
Not every trend is going to be worth your time. Some new methods will end up being flat out ineffective; some will just not be a proper fit for your company’s goals. To learn and adopt the newest methods that will improve your marketing efforts necessitates being choosy. In 2020, savvy marketers will use their time and efforts wisely when considering new methods.
While we may not see all these marketing trends die out in 2020, we hope marketers will think outside the standard “top ten trends” box.