What will be the trends that could influence your digital marketing strategy in 2020? We asked our Customer Engagement team for their views on what they think will cut through the noise in the coming months... 

EMAIL SEGMENTATION TAKES A STEP FORWARD  

Katrina O'Hair, Head Of Digital Strategy

"In 2020, we’ll likely see more brands using smarter automated email segmentation to drive their CRO (conversion rate optimisation) and recover lost sales.

An example of this is our client Eason. Their marketing strategy includes sending automated, personalised emails to customers who abandon the site at the browse, basket or checkout stage. By using customers’ behavioural data to tailor email content, Eason aim to boost conversions and nurture sales.

It's a tactic that works! Research shows segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue for a company. These changes are another step towards automated marketing that personalises each and every aspect of the customer experience, leading to the single customer view."

PERSONALISATION TO SIT AT THE HEART OF TESTING

Clare Geehan, Digital Strategist

“To date, A/B testing and personalisation tactics have been used primarily as two individual activities - but with a common goal of improving performance. Both designed to deliver better content, relevant products and for personalisation, tailored offers and experiences. 

In 2020, I believe the use of personalisation will play a far greater role within A/B testing and vice versa - moving the two tactics beyond their current function by combining them to provide a much more granular view of users. 

This approach will not only empower organisations to deliver on the nuances that exist within audience segments, but also to deliver greater individualised experiences which are more effective in driving conversions.” 

MORE CREATIVE THINKING WITH ONLINE VIDEO

Stephen Kearney, Video Content Producer

"In 2020, we expect to see growth in experience-driven video. Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and 360-degree enabled videos are already popular, but more brands are starting to make commercial use of them. These interactive mediums create a 'test-drive' experience turning our smart devices into their personal showrooms.

Targeted video campaigns on social media will continue to be the point of entry for a consumers’ shopping experience - however videos that lead a consumer to a direct purchase will be the focus in 2020.

At Made to Engage we will continue to help brands create video content that is closely related to their products yet creative in approach. Our customer-focused animation for our client Irish Life helped them share their message of social and personal health with their audience in an imaginative way.”  

CONTENT THAT ALIGNS WITH SEARCH INTENT

Tony Kelly, Digital Marketing Specialist and SEO Lead

"Following the BERT algorithm update which was rolled out at the end of last year, Google is continuing to place a greater emphasis on the intent and contextual relevancy of search queries. 

Brands that already focus on creating content that best aligns with the intent of search queries and diversely covers the topic in question will have a head start, although this trend has been in play for the last few years. 

I also think we'll continue to see the rise of no-click Google searches becoming more prevalent, which occur when users get the results they're looking for directly in the search results page. 

Most no-click searches are high-level informational queries. For example, a user searching for 'currency exchange rate today' will get all the information they need directly within the search result page. For our client, Moneycorp, who may have previously received traffic to their site for users trying to check the latest currency exchange rates, this could result in a potential traffic loss around this term.

On top of this, I think we will continue to see Google starting to encroach on more niches with specialised SERP features (across areas such as jobs, flights etc). Brands now have increasing competition from search engines for their traffic, as well as traditional competitors."

AUTHENTICITY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER

Emma Kennedy, Digital Marketing Intern 

“In a world of celebrity endorsements, sponsored posts, Photoshop and paid influencers, it feels like we are seeing a move the opposite way as consumers expect ever more authenticity from brands.

With this comes a demand for content that shows a behind-the-scenes look into a business. At Made to Engage, we're responding to this with more authentic content, from recruitment campaigns that use real employee testimonials to an internal newsletter that features user-generated content from individual team members. The result is unique content that reflects our values and helps us stand out from the crowd.

This transparent look into the business helps to create an emotional connection with users. The challenge is that this messaging should reach a user across all touchpoints in order for it to really resonate.”

CONTENT FOR EVERY STAGE OF THE FUNNEL

Jane Gillow, Digital Content and Marketing Specialist 

“We're in an age where less is more. Gone are the days when brands would create thousands of blog posts without fully understanding their value. Companies are realising that bombarding customers with content isn't the same as building relationships. 

We recently ran a content audit for our client Irish Life to understand the value of the content on their sites based on performance metrics and its place in the sales funnel. We found ways to make the most of their content by identifying its role in guiding customers through the sales funnel and in demonstrating the brand's authority in relevant areas.

In 2020, more brands will move towards understanding the customer life cycle and what the customer needs from them at each point in the journey. It's the key to building lasting relationships."

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