Vision for 2020 - TribeTalk EP 25

Last Updated April 27, 2021


Vision for 2020

2019 is quickly coming to a close! We’re excited about what the new decade will bring to the advancement of marketing and technology. Here’s our team’s 2020 predictions of where marketing is going and what you should focus on in the New Year. 

JP  JP VanderLinden, Director of Operations 

Predicts: SMS as a common communication channel

We’re not suggesting here that SMS is replacing email, but it’s becoming more of a piece of the marketing mix. 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes, meaning it’s practically instant and guaranteed to be seen. There are over 49 million people predicted to opt-in for SMS marketing by 2020.

SMS has less aggressive spam filters, meaning your content WILL get to the eyes of your customers. At the same time, you don’t want to waste people’s time by “spamming” them through SMS either. If you do use this channel make sure what you are sending is valuable. 

SMS is ideal for transactional communication such as purchase confirmations, shipping receipts, or request for review. Gartner data says SMS response rate is 45%, whereas Email is just 6%. SMS is perfect for collecting information and creating conversations with your customers. 

SMS isn’t “owned” by a carrier like FB Messenger (which is going heavily pay-to-play). We are already seeing email providers getting onboard with Klaviyo’s SMS integration and Mailchimp has a number of integrations for SMS. 

While we wouldn’t say to go “all-in” on SMS for 2020, if it’s not part of your mix now, it needs to be. 

Courtney-Corner  Courtney Corner, Growth Specialist 

Predicts: Data Control & Chatbots 

People will want more control over their data in 2020. I think we’ll see Privacy options, ad blocking, whole data protection arena become increasingly important. With marketing constantly getting more personalized and contextual, people will want more ability to control where/which ads they see. 

2019 was the year of lawsuits and awareness of big tech’s data issues. As a result we suspect to see more regulations put in place in 2020. California CCPA comes into effect in 2020 and we suspect we’ll see more countries/regions adopt similar regulations.

Companies that are responsible with data will have a competitive edge. People will start to look for brands with transparency, that “feel” honest. Brand stories, organic content, reviews, customer service, transparent returns & shipping. 

Email CTRs dropped in 2019 ~8-9%, with fewer people clicking through emails, brands will have to look to chatbots, etc. to reach their customers. This is also a part of the larger personalization trend. Conversational marketing feels more trusted and will continue to gain more traction in the new year. 

Chris Grippo  Chris Grippo, Account Director 

Predicts: Movement towards In-App & More Augmented Reality 

For 2020, you’ll see more movement towards in-app. We’re already seeing this with Instagram Shopping, Pinterest Shopping, Google Shopping, new Facebook Polls, and even AMP. It improves the user experience but ultimately keeps the user in app. 

Augmented reality has come a long way but it’s honestly not where we thought it would be at this point. We predict that we’ll see this become more widely available in 2020. 

There were many occasions this year that we saw augmented reality being used in the mainstream that will tee it up to be more commonly used this coming year. We saw things like the Baltimore Ravens football game a couple of weeks ago, where there was a huge augmented reality raven flying around the stadium. 

We also saw things like Pinterest lens release, which is basically an image detector to see what type of shoes those are and what color and finding other shoes that look like that. There’s also Google lens. We wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a resurgence in Google Glass or something like it with augmented reality becoming more popular. 

Jayca  Jayca Pike, Account Director

Predicts: Personalization/More widespread testing approach 

While some marketers are predicting a move toward micro-campaigns, this is what EmberTribe has always done. We don't spend 6 months timelining out each step of a marketing process, things change too fast for that. 

We have a bunch of ideas, from imagery to copy to angles to channels to product optimizations (like pricing or bundling) and we test them, systematically. If we find some winners, maybe those winners generate new ideas.

So while for some this may be new and novel, for us it's SOP: Test, get data, act on that data, start another test. I can't tell you how many clients have come in like, "I know our customer, I know what they like and what they do" and while that's awesome and I've no issue with past learnings or market research, if we're not testing a customer or an angle that's outside the client's box (likely with a simultaneously proven audience/angle/channel), we're not doing our job.

Does it always work? Nope! Does it work plenty of time? You bet! The more we can personalize down advertising, the better- no one wants clothes or apps or baby items for the masses. They want the social proof of knowing plenty appreciate the products, but they want that product to suit their side-hustling SAHM life in suburban Minneapolis, complete with a dog, two kids, and a hubby that likes tacos.

What are you focusing on for 2020? Do you agree with our predictions? Leave us a comment below. 

Jump on a call with one of our growth experts. We'll talk about your goals and create a strategy to get results. 


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