The Drum Predictions 2020: The Future of Digital

January 28, 2020

With the introduction of not only a new year but also a new decade, this year more than ever has seen an influx of marketing experts doing their best to predict what the next 10 years of the digital landscape is going to look like. Last week a group of ForwardPMXer’s attended the annual Drum Predictions event in London, which offers insights that help guide and navigate us on building out our short and long term strategies. The event was a combination of industry experts, panel discussions and Q&A’s, and then drilled into what’s believed to be the biggest trends throughout 2020 and beyond.

ForwardPMX has also created an extensive report that covers 2020 trends across the digital landscape, and is available for download here. 

The session kicked off with experts diving straight into the big themes, starting with:

“Do we know what we stand for?”

In order for us to really understand what our future looks like, we need to understand who we are and where we are heading. From there, we can build on our vision, ensuring that we concentrate on working towards the big picture, whilst being flexible on the route that gets us there. Remember, “don’t sweat the small stuff”, put trust in your team and empower them to execute your vision. The world moves fast, so we need to do the same. Clients need agencies to be agile in their approach and be in the right position to react to clients’ problems quickly. In order to do this they need to be set up properly with flexible agency models with the ability to build bespoke teams to cater to clients’ different business structures.

Careers of the future

This topic delved into what the industry currently looks like for our digital experts. Some of the questions surrounded, “Do analysts really understand the end customer?” and , “What context do they have on brand and audiences?” On top of these wider themes, there was discussion around what current marketers want from their careers. When it comes the younger workforce, they want variety and to be able to have the freedom to move around and have different experiences. The initial years of someone’s career should be based on learning, and figuring out what lane they want to pursue, and a company that can offer them different experiences will attract more diverse recruits. Creating a diverse workforce will ultimately lead to more collaboration that is needed to solve the bigger client problems.

Disrupting how we buy

To stand out against an incredibly crowded market, we need to make brands come to life, be bold in our approach and place an emphasis on strategies based on value. We need to find better avenues to increase trust among our customers and build authentic interactions beyond views and clicks.

One way businesses are looking to build authentic communication is through messaging apps. It comes as no surprise that the APAC and LATAM regions are leading the way in this, and we’re only just catching up with the know-how on how to adopt their approach in connecting with customers through apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. For example, WeChat in China is used for multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment, and is used extensively throughout the region. It’s become the new normal to ask peers, your boss or clients to connect on WeChat on the same level of regularity as when you shake someone’s hand on first meeting. In the West, the extent that consumers want to intertwine their personal lives with businesses is becoming a bigger conversation, and we’re still analyzing how much, realistically, a consumer is willing to do this.

Throughout the last decade, influencers have exploded onto the digital scene, however looking at stats, the actual ‘influence’ they have on purchases is still actually fairly low, sitting at around 4%. This leaves a gap for micro-influencers with a niche audience to really tap into the potential of their following, with products and services that truly match up with their values, meaning these may be the key to growing stronger brand advocates.

Brands doing it right

As well is pushing digital, brands who can take a holistic approach to their marketing efforts and engage with customers authentically are the ones that’s are poised to do well in 2020.

• Had excellent brand values
• Has a private feed to combine their community and does not ads. This enables them to connect with customers without any underlying motives. 

MATCHESFASHION / Huel / Bloom & Wild
• Has a great referral marketing scheme to create brand advocates
• Transparent and not pushed by influencers

Although, there are many trends that are leading the way in 2020, as with all brand strategies, these should be applied with brand values in mind matched with data informed insights. We’ll have to wait and see if this year is as promising as the predictions,  but as always with such a fast moving industry, are we prepared to for the inevitable bumps that may arise?  

Download ForwardPMX’s extensive 2020 Trends Report here.

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