• January 28, 2020
  • By Jay Atcheson, senior vice president of marketing, R2i

5 Marketing Trends to Watch in 2020

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Due to constant shifts in the marketing landscape and shrinking budgets, CMOs are under more pressure than ever before to deliver results that prove the value of their investments. But despite Gartner’s predictions that CMO’s will enter 2020 with even less resources to work with than in previous years, America’s marketing chiefs remain optimistic thanks to an ace up their sleeve—agility.

Industry struggles of the 2010s have made today’s CMOs more agile than ever before; still they can expect 2020 to test their limits. To meet the challenge and create success for their companies, here are five trends marketers must act on now.

1. Use a Digital Asset Management System (DAM)

You’ve heard the saying “content is king” before, but a king can’t wear its crown if it’s not supported by the appropriate technology. We were all learned that the hard way, having bought into content management system’s promise to organize all of our marketing content only to discover they couldn’t. But digital asset management systems (DAMs) can.

DAMs are quickly becoming marketers’ preferred tool for organizing and optimizing content assets across channels because they’re built to store all marketing assets, streamline workflows, and efficiently deploy campaigns. By investing in a DAM, not only will your team be able to leverage existing content to its fullest potential, but they’ll also see what content performs best on each platform so you can adjust your strategy for maximum ROI.

2. Test Your Personalization Strategy

Personalization tactics are improving on a regular basis, helping marketers understand and connect with individual prospects on their own terms along the customer journey. Before marketers make any promises, they must know if their tech partners are capable of helping them deliver the results they want. That’s why I encourage marketers to take advantage of new, highly effective personalization testing tools that can pinpoint strengths, weaknesses, and areas of opportunities within your personalization strategy as it evolves—because it will.

The practice of personalization is constantly undergoing adjustments to keep the pace with customer preferences, meaning what worked last year may not work now. As a result, for highly personalized content to resonate with customers, it needs to be rooted in all of your marketing data—from up-to-date marketing personas and differentiated buyer process mapping to user experience testing and email deliverability insights.

3. Bring Back Customer-Centric Culture

Effective marketers are jacks of all trades, having broad knowledge of many disciplines and demographics. This is why it’s no surprise the C-suite often relies on marketers to help determine what initiatives will have the greatest impact on customers, especially in a time where there’s a heavy push toward customer-centricity in B2C and B2B organizations.

Their rising profiles mean marketers no longer have to ask for permission to act on their instincts. Now, they’re empowered to create a customer-centric company, which requires customer journey mapping and identifying more chances to “wow” clients.

In 2020, marketers should focus on uniting IT, sales, operations and finance teams to shed more light on the customer journey—helping other teams at their company achieve their goals with customers in a scalable way.

4. Work Together to Create the Best Team

In today’s competitive hiring market, recruiters and marketers need to work together in order to obtain the best talent.

Marketers are armed with digital insights that can identify which channels work the best for locating, connecting with, and converting promising candidates and how to craft messages that will stand out. Marketers are also skilled at amplifying their company’s story and sharing its differentiators, which is essential for enticing job seekers and ultimately hiring the best-fit candidates.

Employee advocacy will also boost referrals for better-quality hires and an increased retention rate, so internal marketing is an important component. You can easily integrate advocacy tools with other systems, making it accessible on personal devices, which can help build strong employee momentum.

Most companies have refined the employee value proposition (EVP), but not everything may be in motion. Mobilize existing employees to amplify your EVP in an effective and affordable way.

5. Spread Data Comprehension

Data has become critical for marketers because transparency helps guarantee organizations are optimizing resources, achieving results, and maintaining a competitive edge. Companies must have the tools and resources to analyze this information and put it to use; however, challenges still exist.

One challenge is that data across organizations is too siloed—locked away in different departments and systems. Another is that there aren’t enough data experts at the company to nail down what all this information means and determine its potential.

Marketers and their teams should bring cross-functional data together in an aggregated tool to provide a comprehensive view. Also, companies can connect with data experts within the organization and have these experts coach others to develop more data-minded employees. By sharing this knowledge outside of the marketing team, it’ll offer company-wide success.

In the ever-changing environment that is marketing, marketers must rely on their ability to quickly adapt and be proactive in finding new opportunities for growth. This will be what pushes the needle for your organization in 2020 in the face of declining marketing budgets. Now is the time to find new ways to increase ROI in the new year.

Jay Atcheson is the senior vice president of marketing at R2i and has a depth of experience driving high-paced company growth through demand and lead generation, establishing brand awareness and taking brand equity to even greater heights.

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