By John Heffernan, WRAP Partner and associate of EVC Marketing
With 2020 just around the corner, we’re looking forward to not just a new year but also the start of a new decade.
In recent weeks, influencers, specialists and writers have taken us back to 2009/2010. They’ve made reminiscent observations of where we were, how far we have come, and the difference the last decade has made to both our personal and business lives.
Over the past 10 years, we have moved into a more mobile and social world. We are told Facebook is losing users, Twitter is falling out of favour and Google wants to control everything. New apps and services are launched every day. Everything that has worked in the past to market and promote our businesses – search engine optimisation (SEO), content marketing and PR for example – is dead or dying.
There may be some truth to the doom and gloom. However, in reality, business marketing has simply continued to evolve over the years. It’s moved with the times and trends. And adapted and offered opportunities to those prepared to embrace change.
Time to look back then forward
Rather than look 10 years ahead (after all how many got this decade right?), the immediate year ahead should be the focus of our business planning, strategy and implementation. This will then provide a solid foundation for whatever the decade brings.
And to start 2020 correctly, we need to remember that traditional marketing is not dead and digital marketing is just marketing using digital tools and systems.
The future of marketing in 2020 and beyond dictates a cross-channel approach that includes all the elements necessary for your business to succeed. Let’s be honest here. Content marketing is NOT a one-size fits all approach. The focus starts with your clients and potential clients.
The brutal truth for many businesses is that quality counts. And simply churning out sound bites, poor quality images/video and one-liner social posts will never improve your brand authority.
Yes, videos, images and infographics are a must-have for any content strategy in 2020. But quality blogs, articles and long-form content will still remain the most shared and most commented-on form of content developing both authority and trust.
This is especially so if that content is educational, informative and provides the reader with real added value.
Although this is not new, 2020 marketing must involve a more holistic approach to cross-channel marketing. It needs to embrace website design, speed and structure and mobile-first content, video, images and content distribution to your targeted client channels.
Be where your customers are and deliver the content in the style and format they want to receive. Understand that you need to take a different approach for who and what you are marketing.
You’ll need to consider the short attention spans and the buy-now, selfie-obsessed focus of your target market.
You’ll need to understand your target market’s need to research, learn and understand your products and services.
So, what is needed for 2020 marketing?
The start of a new decade should perhaps allow all businesses to take a short step back and review:
- Where are you now?
- What worked in 2019?
- What has failed or held you back?
- Which content and channels are worthy of your time?
- All your competitors activities?
- How are they evolving (if at all)?
Review the review and decide how you can move forward more efficiently, effectively and successfully.
The new decade still needs an old marketing approach:
- Implement; and
Marry old style planning to new style strategies and this year will move your business from solid foundations to on-going success.
But what do Bok Kobek, CustomerCount president, and our fellow WRAP partners think will happen in 2020 and beyond? We asked them for their thoughts:
Bob Kobek – President of CustomerCount
2020 will bring about incredible advances in technology that at this point we can’t even fathom. The emergence and always increasing sophistication of AI alone will bring the need to constantly adjust processes and attitudes. All while doing whatever we can to avoid unnecessary distractions.
Combined with the knowledge that our prospects and clients will face similar numbers of distraction we will be required to be much more precise in our messaging, meaning the need for us to understand whatever data we can collect, to make our messaging even more targeted – we can never forget, people buy from people.
Marketing is marketing – the technology pushes it to be more targeted and faster.
Georgi Bohrod – CEO GBG & Associates
Words matter. Pictures matter more. In the next decade, according to my crystal ball, our attention spans will shorten even more. Few will want to read lengthy blog posts, wordy social media analyses and lengthy articles. Video and live stream broadcasting already dominates marketing communication and in the next decade I predict it will take over nearly entirely.
This evolution is going to happen without you even noticing. If you want to communicate with your customers, choose the platform that speaks to them, in their language, doesn’t bore them and assures you of their attention. You’ve got about 10 seconds to capture them. Ready-set-go. Oops they’ve clicked on something else. Mastering the quick connection is going to be paramount. Good luck!
Howard Bendell – Independent Resort Advisor
One of the most daunting challenges facing today’s resort developer is being able to augment the ownership message to appeal to the millennial consumer.
Recognizing that this target demographic will soon represent the greatest proportion of the purchasing economy will create distinct separation in the marketplace along with competitive advantage.
This consumer is fundamentally different from the baby boomer that helped to build the timeshare industry, as we know it. Millennials are far more experiential and demand credibility and validation – not by the strength of the brand promise or name recognition, but rather through personal reviews and references provided by other consumers who look and act like themselves.
Being able to anticipate the demands this will place on existing marketing and sales infrastructures will drive where we go as in industry…and as industry, how we react will pave the outlook for the next decade.
Emily Collins – CEO EVC Marketing
At this time of year there are many ways to look forward to the New Year challenges:
- Doing exactly the same as the year before (and hoping for better results);
- Waiting to see what the New Year brings before deciding what to do;
- Randomly checking your competitors and what they may or may not be doing; OR
- Reviewing your 2019 performance, customer feedback (good and bad); and
- Strategically planning your 2020 future success.
Yes I know, you’ve heard it all before. But, experience dictates that even if you know that options four and five are what you want to do or must do, they all too often fall into the round-to-it trap and the enemy of round-to-it is time.
From January 1st we will all have the same number of months, weeks, days, hours, minutes available. How we allocate our time is the issue, not time itself.
If you want to succeed in 2020 you need:
- A plan.
- A strategy
- To be organised
- To be ready.
Plan for success. Have real 2020 vision.