'Not really new' CRM trends for 2020

Are you tired of hearing the same cliché as me: The world is changing; customer needs are changing … this is no new news! Dear marketers, think about how many times you heard these in conferences, articles and in trainings… how many fancy videos you have watched about the changing life and technology…

So, let’s skip the intro and accept the truth, this is now our life, the next thing we need to focus on is, keeping up with the digital and technological standards in an agile environment while keeping the human inside us. Here are ‘not really’ new things waiting ahead of us. These are so-called trends in 2020 however, they are not only affecting how do we do CRM-Direct Marketing but also our lives as consumers.

Increased relevancy

Although trendy word is personalization, I will use ‘relevant or relevancy’ as I personally believe these are two different concepts. What marketers are really looking for is the relevancy, rather than just personalizing communications with customer names. This is also valued by customers, according to Smart Insights, 72% of consumers will only engage with personalized marketing messages, despite 86% being concerned about data privacy.

On the other hand, relevancy might get creepy time to time. A new study completed by InMoment titled “2018 CX Trends Report” found that 75% of consumers surveyed found the personalization to be a bit creepy. Almost half of those consumers said they wouldn't do anything about the creepiness and will continue to shop. When customers keep seeing the ads of the products they previously looked at, sponsored ads on social media on things they ‘talk’ about (although there is no confirmation from neither Instagram or Facebook that they are listening to conversations it gets creepy.

More personal channels: direct messaging

In digital world, customers’ span of attention is getting shorter, to get more personal with customers, brands are taking the conversation to Direct Messaging Platforms. To simplify and streamline customer experience or how customers get their services, direct messaging is becoming one of the hottest digital marketing trends of 2020. An AT&T survey comparing email vs text as communication channel supports the growth of text messaging in marketing with following results: 82% of text messages are read within 5 minutes, but consumers only open 1 in 4 emails they receive.

Through messaging apps like WhatsApp, Viber and Facebook Messenger, or through private messages on social media like Twitter or Instagram, brands are building stronger connections with their customers. The most important and sensitive stipulation here is the customer agreeing to it. Availability of a clear opt-out process and making it visible to customers are also another must have.

Interactive and user-generated content

As our world becomes increasingly connected, consumers have many platforms to share their thoughts and opinions. This is the reason interactive content is growing as customers want to be more active sharing their opinion rather than just sitting and reading. 91% of buyers prefer to consume interactive content, such as quizzes, surveys, social media, Video Q&As, CTAs rather than static content. Anything prompting the user to take an action and is controlled by the user can be considered interactive. In 2020, it will be a good move to start using interactive content, if you haven’t already. 

Storytelling - more content less ads

By 2025, it’s estimated that 463 exabytes of data will be created each day globally – that’s the equivalent of 212,765,957 DVDs per day! Leveraging the huge amounts of digital data to create highly visual, engaging and targeted stories is a big potential for brands and companies. Rather than just simply throwing information at opt-in customers, marketers need to tell them a story. Customers value the purpose and story of the brands and ideas more and more every day. So, picking a customer story, or telling them the story behind your organization or specific products or services that you offer will be a strong leverage to make the customers feel engaged.

Cross-functional and generational collaboration

Finally, marketers in 2020 are welcoming the latest consumer group, Generation Z. Those born just after the turn of the century are now turning 18 and entering the workforce. Some sources even claim Generation Z will make up 40% of all consumers in 2020. Among other things, marketing to Gen Z means a sharp turn in how you design your content.

If you already struggle with Generation Z and Y, good luck with Generation Alpha (born on 2010 – the same years as iPad)

The 2020 digital marketing trends are, paradoxically, both more human and more mechanical, both more science and more art! It seems the general pull of digital marketing goes in the direction of more personal relationships with more targeted audiences, but the means of making those connections rely on automation and new technology. The heart of digital marketing remains the same—getting people what they want, when and where they want it—and we need to be more agile and creative to open new doors to get there.


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