It’s that time again, when everyone starts to reflect on the past year and look ahead at the year to come. For marketers, it’s a good time to evaluate what worked and what didn’t in 2019 – and to look forward and make some educated predictions on marketing trends and best practices for 2020.

One thing is for sure: marketing is ever evolving and changing. Who would have thought, just a few short years ago, that chatbots and artificial intelligence would be such key players in the marketing industry?

We’ve done some reflecting and forward thinking of our own here at Selligent. Here are just a few of the areas we think marketers need to be aware of and have their eyes on for 2020.

Connecting the Customer Experience

Nothing works in isolation; especially your marketing campaigns. Consumers continue to be more connected, and their expectations for customer experiences are higher than ever. If you don’t meet them where they are, recognizing them across all channels and seamlessly connecting every experience, you’ll lose in 2020. Connected customer experiences will no longer be just a point of differentiation for brands, but a requirement. The responsibility for CX will no longer live within the confines of "CX" professionals or marketing; it will involve every individual within a brand, from marketing to sales to service. With a shrinking and ever-connected world, and increasingly impatient customers that require instantaneous responses, it will be imperative for brands to look for more ways to provide truly connected experiences regardless of department or channel.

Raise Your Voice – or Quiet It?

Voice has become a key channel. But while 2019 was a landmark year for voice assistants and devices, consumers also “voiced” their concern about security. In our Global Connected Consumer Index for 2019, a survey of 5,000 consumers from around the world, 45% of respondents told us that they use voice assistants, while 51% worry that their voice devices are listening in without consent. In 2019, key technology providers like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google came under fire for non-cue listening, prompting at least two companies to update their listening rules. Consumers will demand more privacy rules in 2020, and smart marketers will think through how these technologies can be safely integrated as a key component of their omnichannel marketing mix.

Privacy Matters

Consumers are increasingly concerned about their privacy; not just with voice devices, but everywhere. And who can blame them? In 2019, it seems like there was a new major data breach every week. At the same time, 51% of consumers in our global survey are willing to share personal details if it means a more personalized experience. It’s a fine line for marketers to walk between privacy and personalization. One thing’s for sure in 2020: marketers need to be prepared for more data privacy and security regulations. CCPA is on the cusp of being enacted, and many other states in America are considering their own versions of privacy laws. Trust is key to the successful rollout of new privacy regulations. Savvy marketers will view CCPA and other privacy laws not as a series of painful restrictions, but as an opportunity to put power back in the hands of their consumers, for the benefit of all.

Empowering & Monetizing the Contact Center

Companies will no longer view the contact center as a "cost center," but will recognize the opportunity to empower agents with the customer insights they need to deliver value. With a majority of a customer’s human interaction happening within the confines of customer service, brands need to maximize that moment of touch. Customer care reps will increasingly be viewed as brand ambassadors, crucial to keeping and elevating the customer experience by being armed with the right data. Selligent client Tape à l’Oeil (TAO), a major children’s clothing retailer, discovered the value of integrating customer service by utilizing data to boost customer engagement via their in-house call centers. With data from all channels centralized in our Universal Consumer Profiles, TAO’s CX team is now set up with actionable insights to leverage individualized experiences.

Bonus Prediction: Mark Our Words...

One final prediction. We’re not shouting this one from the rooftops, but quietly suggesting  that 2020 may be the year that print makes a big comeback. For years, pundits have been lamenting the doom of this legacy channel... and while many have given up on print for the easier, “sexier,” faster rewards of digital marketing channels, we think there’s still life in the old medium. Savvy marketers will find a way to integrate print campaigns as part of an overall omnichannel effort, for extended reach.

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2020 Marketing Predictions Webinar

As you plan for 2020, it’s a good time to reflect on where we’ve been and predict where we’re going as marketers. Join us for this on-demand webinar, where Selligent marketing experts Kat Berman and Troy Smith reflect on marketing lessons learned from 2019 and offer fact-based predictions for 2020.

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