Marketing can alter at the drop of a hat. Strategies that exploded in popularity in past years are now being pushed aside for new innovations. With artificial intelligence, influencer marketing, and SEO dominating the online marketing space, it's imperative for your business to be educated and prepared for upcoming shifts in marketing trends. 

Beyond The Marketing Funnel 

For those of you still using the 'funnel' approach to marketing, it's time to step your game up. The funnel approach is stale and may be one of the reasons behind your declining sales results. Flywheel marketing founded by Hubspot, takes an innovative view of the buyer journey and uses all client-facing roles such as customer service, marketing, and sales to interact with customers at every stage--even past the point of purchase. The funnel approach focuses on attracting new customers and engaging them in a business or service to turn them into a quantifiable lead. The flywheel approach continues to attract, engage, and delight the customers even past the point of purchase, meaning the company continues to interact with customers instead of treating them as one-time-only prospects. 

Social Media Shopping 

This marketing trend is already taking the world by storm. With the click of a button, you can go from scrolling on Instagram to populating your credit card information and completing a purchase. Shoppable posts have shortened the sales funnel by eliminating steps from awareness all the way to the point of purchase. E-commerce sites are taking advantage of this trend by using Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter to take you from prospective buyer to customer with a simple click of a button. Shoppable posts have been gaining traction for a couple of years now, and we predict will be the norm for 2020 marketing strategies. 

Personalization 

Despite the growing surge of artificial intelligence in the digital space, customers still want to relate to a company. As automation continues to grow, it is important to connect with your customers. Generic email blasts to a huge list of people won't cut it in 2020. Personalized groupings of newsletter pushes based on customer history and data will outperform mass blasts. Segment your email lists into categories, and study consumer behaviors to personalize each push. The key is to make customers feel they are being treated as individuals. 

Content Marketing 

Content is still the king of the castle and will continue to be in 2020. However, quality over quantity and more diverse content are predicted to be consumer favorites. When strategizing for 2020, diversify your content strategy and change up the way you attract customers by creating more video and interactive content (such as quizzes, if brand-appropriate). That said, don't lose sight of regular blogging or longer forms of written content as they are key contributors to driving visibility and strong SEO. Content is the coal that makes your marketing strategy roll, but content that is overused, saturated, or posted for the sake of posting will negatively affect engagement. Take time to diversify your content strategy. It's okay if you don't have something to post every day. The point of a content strategy is to attract and engage your audience, not to annoy them with sub-par space fillers. 

Marketing continues to evolve at warp speed. It's imperative to adapt and evolve with new marketing trends to stay competitive and retain high-quality customers. Setting an intention to learn and integrate new innovations will help set your company apart from the rest of the herd.

Published on: Nov 14, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.