Integrated Marketing Communication Trends 2020


What trends were relevant last year?

At the start of 2019 we talked about the continuation of new privacy norms. Increasing relevance of video communication (85% in social networks, video without sound with subtitles, vertical or square), content marketing (practical, useful content - for example, pdf books), blogging, Stories, Live video, Instagram TV, Facebook private groups, as well as the augmented reality effects, automation in company home pages, opinion leaders or influencers (micro (down-to-earth) and macro). In general, digital marketing is dominating, now in its 11th year, and other trends. 2020 promises to continue these trends, but with added integration elements to the traditional marketing measures, as well as a rapid change of customer habits that will force us to change as well.

Trend No. 1. Using integrated marketing communication strategies

One of the most significant trends in 2020 is using integrated marketing communication strategies for business activities. At a time when companies are fighting for the attention of their consumer, traditional methods will no longer suffice. The consumer behavior is changing, technologies are developing and the competitors are not sleeping either.

Trend No. 2. CRM is rapidly changing into CMR

In this context we should definitely note the rapid transformation of CRM into CMR, meaning that the customer regulates the traffic. It is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to manage their customers. We must become more creative, pay more attention and conduct more research. This trend rapidly forces us to rethink loyalty programs. Just one example concerning the client cards that are so popular with many companies. Customers will want to lug around a pile of discount cards, if they can be electronically placed in a convenient “mobile pocket”. Companies must adapt and purchase appropriate technologies to service their customers. In reality there are many companies where the sellers are still wondering about these apps. We can observe their personal servicing skills as they try to get out the situation by timidly explaining that the latest technological wonder has not yet been introduced. This is just one example. The traditional CRM systems must urgently be significantly changed. It won't be easy for companies to change their thinking to the idea of customer-managed relationships (CMR). Many companies have made significant investments into CRM systems and have created their business processes around these platforms, therefore the changes won't happen quickly - but they will happen. CMR requires us to understand our customers better (research, analyze), and to deduce what the customers think about the brand and the company. We must start creating global reputation influencing strategies - this is a change. “Know your customer” is certainly the key to CMR.

Trend No. 3. Changes to the marketing funnel

Due to aforementioned reasons the marketing funnel will change as well. It is not dead. The main attention must be paid to increasing understanding, turning to the analysis of lifecycle marketing. This means that we must rethink what is the real target audience, in order not to lose focus and thereby lose sharpness. The audience must be “fed with content", so that customers would not feel disappointed. Namely, the widely known “hamburger” metod (in sales and in communication) requires a little additional “hat". We get a sort of a double hamburger with cheese.

Trend No. 4. Content, content, content...

Goal-oriented, valuable to the customer and filled with emotion. The main thing is not to have a confused understanding of content marketing that can frequently be seen and read on the internet. Not everything that is placed in company social network profiles or home pages is content marketing. It is not enough to announce that we have a new product. Unfortunately, in the local market we have seen plagiarized “copy paste” from the competitors. Poor quality translation has also been observed. This means that authentic content is required. References that contain factual information are also valuable, because they increase trust. But do not overdo it - the content cannot consist just of quotes. When talking about sales, it is important to show in your content marketing materials how the customer can achieve added value. It also should be kept in mind that the content presentation methods must become more interactive. We should use various MediaRich solutions - not just for product advertising but for content marketing as well.

Trend No. 5. Chatbots should not sound like broken records

Chatbots will become increasingly popular. According to Grand View Research, by 2025 the global chat market will reach a value of 1.25 billion dollars, growing by 24.3 percent annually. Mainly this is connected to people transitioning to a life inside the smartphone. Eye-to-eye communication is becoming ever more rare, mainly communication takes place through phones. 45% of end users prefer customer chat robots - a strategic integration to the existing customer communication. Here it should be noted that, at least in Latvia, a part of the chatbots introduced in the market are not having a lot of success, since if often seems that the robot has a screw missing - the answers to the questions are confused, meaning that the bots are programmed only for standard questions.

Trend No. 6. Customer behavior can be studied using various tools

Al continues to Grow - there are more and more opportunities to study the behavior of your consumer However, we must remember about privacy norms and CMR, as well as the fact that excessive intrusion into the private space can irritate the customer. People are concerned about their privacy, particularly after the many scandals involving the violation of the privacy norms. Your competitors are also using Google Analytics - this will no longer be enough. There are new channels appearing in the market, and the current ones cannot remain the only measurement sources. Companies have begun and will continue to use different analytical solutions, for example, Amplitude, Google Data Studio, etc.

Trend No. 7. The popularity of voice searching is growing

Voice searching is rapidly approaching and continuing to become more popular. According to ComScore data, it is estimated that its popularity will exceed 50% of Seo. Voice search optimization will become an aid for increasing sales volumes.

Trend No. 8. The significance of e-mail marketing is decreasing

The cause? Interactive chatrooms. E-mail is a powerful tools for direct marketing or phone marketing when the customer has given a permission for sending e-mail. Otherwise the majority of the messages is deleted. Here, however, I should note a personal example regarding the Dormeo phenomenon. For many years I have been receiving and deleting e-mails from this company. But when I needed to buy a mattress, the first thing that came to mind was Dormeo. I could not even name other mattress makers. This means that the product was purposefully “seeded” in the customer's subconscious. In the end, I did not buy Dormeo, but... “there must be something there".

Trend No. 9. Personal brand creation rules

People increasingly want to see living human beings, hear emotional stories, and feel adherence to a brand, if possible, seeing a reflection of their personality in the brand's communication. Therefore the company bosses must come out from behind the state and appear in public. This means powerful personal LinkedIn profiles through which a company communication traffic is driven. Advertising posters, video materials, etc., will increasingly show the heads of companies, powerful employees and more. This also is part of the influencer marketing.

Trend No. 10. The influencer bubble will collapse in many smaller bubbles

This is a trend in Latvia and in the whole world. People have begun to think critically, recognizing false influencers. Therefore it would be strategically smart to use influencers appropriate to your target audience, use several micro and nano influencers. Of course, this does not rule out cooperation with macro influencers. Influencer marketing has become more personalized.

Trend No. 11. The marketing competitive conditions are becoming more equal

In addition to the existing software solutions, more and more companies are starting to introduce AI that conducts SEO on your behalf Of course, there are accessible solutions that are free, but increasing competitor activity towards more in-depth study of their customers is only a question of time. Starting with 5G technology in mobile devices and ending with innovations in AI, voice and connected TV sets, the way that consumers will engage with ads will change next year. It can be assumed that 5G technology will change the way that consumers access content and use it. This means that use of mobile devices will rapidly grow across the world. AI technological achievements will ensure greater personalization for digital video.

Trend No. 12. Continued personalization for your customers in real time and using simple language

This is an opportunity for not losing your customers. The majority of customers will not choose your company if they do not feel a personal link. Personalization allows touching the emotional strings. Customers are different - this means that channels must be varied and marketing must become increasingly differentiated. In the future it can be expected that customer communication will combine three important elements - personification, real time and spoken language marketing. This means personalization as quickly as possible and in a simple language that the customer can understand.

Trend No. 13. There are no books explaining digital marketing

And there will never be one that will remain relevant for any length of time. It is a discipline that must constantly be followed. Technologies develop. Try not to remain behind the scenes. This is an interesting map created by Scott Brinker that shows all the potential categories and services that companies could use ( Maybe this digital marketing tool infographic will help - It must be noted that the field of digital marketing requires concentration and the development of a definite strategy, keeping in mind that it might require changes and adaptation to new trends. It must be understood that the digital budget will need increasing. In 2020, the time has also come to take streaming and online video ads seriously.

Trend No. 14. Attention must be paid to various micro-moments or details

This means that you have to be where the consumers are looking for information. It is not enough to be there, you also need the skills to act quickly, before the customer changes their mind. Therefore a goal-oriented “fishing” is required, by throwing the interactive bait in the right pond and and the right depth.

Trend No. 15. Storytelling everywhere. Let's wait whether stories appear somewhere else as well

Currently you can make them in Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube story format Reels, TikTok. Maybe I've forgotten someone. Let's wait if something new appears on the horizon. Using social media for creating your brand story is very important since it increases brand recognition, creates a link with the followers, offers opportunities to attract new customers, etc.

Trend No. 16. Not just content - engagement

For example, the Facebook algorithm is constantly changing. The same takes place with SEO. Therefore we can only try to predict, but it is necessary to increase your customer engagement in interactive forms. You should continue to produce video content, in a vertical format, including the trends from last year mentioned at the start of the blog, and boost your marketing strategies, using the top trends.

Trend No. 17. Agency specialization

Maybe this is not as pronounced in Latvia, but the customers are becoming more critical and are judging who has the best skills. Agencies working in the digital field are relatively well positioned in the market. It must be kept in mind that customers will use benchmarking and judge the best results and stories, therefore we must take time to improve our reputation.

Trend No. 18. Data-based PR and technological development.

Often customers ask whether PR can be measured at all. Yes, they can, and we are asked to do it more and more often. Work on your indicator systems. The brand impact is measurable. Combine your PR result measurements with ROI. Show your formulas and calculations. The main thing is that the customer is satisfied. New tools for measuring PR may appear, which will increase customer confidence that the tactic you have suggested is the correct one. We are waiting on technologies to develop. We should get in the habit of changing our habits.

Trend No. 19. Integrating PR with marketing

PR and marketing specialists will have to work as a team in order to optimize their results. We also should keep in mind that social networks will adapt earned and owned media. We will have to think about how to gain the best positions. PR and marketing plans will have to be strategically combined.

Therefore the main conclusion - marketing and PR will have to work hand in hand. We will have to change habits and become more interactive. There are no books on digital marketing, but we do have the internet. Video slide article

If you need a strategic interactive solution for your business and customer, we can talk. Write to us -


Jolanta Derkevica-Pilskunga, PhD