2020: The Year That Marketing Investment Will Be Essential For Growth
It’s been proven that by increasing marketing spend during a downturn, you can gain a long-term advantage as your voice is loud and clear as your competitors reduce spend and go quiet. Is there going to be a downturn? Well, the end of 2019 was certainly hard-going for many businesses but now we have certainty around our Government and Brexit (whether you’re personally happy or not) at least businesses can start to deal with how the market reacts to the next stage of change.
Marketing in 2020 and beyond
With experts confirming our view (based on many years’ experience!) that now is the perfect time to review and increase your marketing spend, we counsel that it’s essential that you spend your budget wisely. To help, we’ve analysed different approaches and have picked out several marketing trends that will be of interest to UK companies of all shapes and sizes in 2020.
1. Grow up and join up your marketing
Every company needs a marketing strategy and a flexible, adaptable marketing plan. It's no longer good enough to throw money at digital or traditional marketing channels because you’ve always used them or your team enjoys working on them. Employ a strategic approach using a marketing mix that’s relevant for your audience - integrate your activities so that you benefit from a cumulative impact - focus on deliberate, specific campaigns that build awareness and connections with your target audience.
In short, look at where your spend has the greatest effect and do more of that - and if you don’t know, analyse your numbers, do your research and find out. There are lots of tools and marketing experts out there who can help you get more bang for your buck.
2. Content Marketing - evolution not revolution
Adopt a ‘less is more’ approach and spend time crafting fewer, but more valuable and relevant pieces of content. It’s no longer an effective strategy to produce content for the sake of it; it needs to be really good and packed full of real value for your target audience. Then it needs to be carefully promoted to generate results.
Track the ROI from your content marketing. Do this by using tracking links combined with lead identification technologies to learn what’s working and what’s not.. Google Analytics is great - as is our lead identification platform, ‘TrakkaMetrics’.
3. Go interactive!
Potential customers want to actively engage in conversations that are more engaging and interesting than say, reading a blog article or listening to a webinar. Producing and promoting interactive content, loved by Google and customers alike, will increase awareness and engagement, and ultimately, help you to capture leads. Try using surveys or quizzes about key issues affecting your target audience, as these are highly shareable, initiate an emotional response, and offer a perceived reward for participation.
4. Personalisation is a prerequisite
95% of purchasing decisions of lower-value items are made subconsciously yet logical decision-making plays a much bigger part of large purchases. Therefore, if you are selling high-ticket items, you need to emotionally connect with your customers with marketing that speaks directly to them. To create personal campaigns, get to know your customers intimately before you identify the right channels and tactics that will make a personal connection. Personalisation has been and will continue to be critical in making email marketing and other direct marketing activity effective. Maybe take another look at direct marketing, which can work really well.
5. Make every marketing action accountable
With 80% of customer engagement now happening directly outside the control of the traditional sales process, every marketing channel and tactic should be tracked and analysed so you can understand its impact. Tracking, Analytics and Lead identification systems are now essential tools to ensure that you continuously improve your tactics and clearly measure and justify the return on your marketing spend to the bottom line of the business.
6. Every decision-maker matters
As purchasing decisions are rarely made by one individual in a business, Account Based Marketing can have a huge impact on eventual sales. Target all stakeholders involved in making the decision so that you reach and influence everybody who will be involved in the final choice. It’s essential that your communications are personal and relevant to the needs and interests of each recipient and use your marketing message to build trust in your company and its offer.
2020 will be a year of great opportunities and huge challenges - and we all need to get ready to ride the rollercoaster. By focusing resources on your marketing, you can benefit from a quieter marketplace and really make your voice heard, but this needs to be done in a strategic and highly creative way.
If you don’t have the in-house skills, take time now to upskill internal staff (a potentially resource-intensive activity), employ new talent (which will take time and cost in fees) or employ a professional agency, with every skill needed to create the perfect strategy and campaign. Yes, we are biased but that’s because we have the experience to know what works, own the tools to analyse your market and track effectiveness of every campaign, and work with absolutely brilliant content creators. Outsourcing is a smart way to deliver the marketing you need - with immediate effect.