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Marketing Trends for 2020: Here’s What Will Happen That Nobody is Talking About

Marketing Trends for 2020 - Here’s What Will Happen That Nobody is Talking About

Neil Patel 

Source: https://neilpatel.com/blog/marketing-trends/

The new year is right around the corner. And I know you are already prepared because you read this blog and tons of other marketing blogs, right?

But here is the thing: I also read most of the popular marketing blogs, follow all of the marketing YouTube channels, and listen to the same podcasts you do.

And I’ve noticed that very few people are talking about what’s really going to happen in 2020.

Sure, they will tell you things like voice search is going to account for over 50% of the search queries next year but all of that stuff has already been talked about.

And there are actually more interesting trends that will affect your marketing that no one is really talking about.

So, what are these trends? What’s going to happen in 2020?

Alright, here goes…

Trend #1: Companies who rely on Google Analytics will get beat by their competition

We all love Google Analytics.

Heck, I love it so much I log in at least 3 or 4 times a day. And here is the kicker: I get so much traffic that my Google Analytics only updates once a day.

I really need to break that habit but that’s for another day.

You are probably wondering, what’s wrong with Google Analytics?

There actually isn’t much wrong with it. It’s a great tool, especially considering that it’s free.

But here is the thing… marketing has been changing. New channels are being constantly introduced, such as voice search.

And transactions no longer are as simple as someone coming and buying from you and that’s it.

These days there are things like upsells, down sells, repeat purchases, and even checkout bumps. On top of that, there are so many different ways you can generate revenue for your online business, such as partnerships, affiliate marketing, and even webinars.

This has caused companies to start using analytics solutions that tie into their database better, such as Amplitude.  Or better yet, you are seeing a big push into business intelligence.

A central place where you can tie in all of your data and make better-informed decisions so you can optimize for your lifetime value instead of your short-term income.

In 2020, you will see more companies adopting business intelligence solutions… from paid ones to free ones like Google Data Studio.

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If you haven’t checked out Data Studio, you’ll want to start now because it is easy to pass in all of your business and marketing data into one place. For example, you can pass in more granular data from your Facebook ad campaigns into Data Studio while that would be a bit difficult to do with Google Analytics.

Trend #2: Companies will optimize for voice search, but not for revenue

According to ComScore, over 50% of the searches in 2020 will be from voice search. But that’s not really a new trend… everyone has been talking about that for years.

So, what’s the big deal?

Optimizing for voice search is a great way to get your brand out more, but how is that going to convert into sales?

I haven’t seen too many solutions so far when it comes to capitalizing on your voice search traffic, but so far there is Jetson.ai.

If you aren’t familiar with Jetson.ai, it makes it so people can buy from your site using voice search. It doesn’t matter if it is Alexa or Google Home, they work with most of the popular devices.

Jetson Powers Dukes NYC from Jetson on Vimeo.

What’s cool about Jetson.ai is that it can learn from each customer and customize the interactions.

For example, if I keep ordering the same toothpaste from a specific store using voice search, Jetson.ai keeps track of that so you can easily keep ordering the same product over and over again with little to no friction.

Heck, it’s easier than logging into your computer or pulling out your phone to make a purchase.

Trend #3: Your lists won’t convert as well, so you’ll have to look for alternative communication channels

Email, it’s something we all use in the corporate world.

But here is something interesting when it comes to marketing emails… I’m in a group with a bit over 109 email marketers across different industries in different parts of the world.

And can you guess what we are all noticing?

Our open rates are staying roughly the same and that’s largely because we all know how to clean and optimizing for deliverability.

But our click rates are going down.

So far as a group we have seen our click rates drop by 9.4% in 2019.

That’s crazy considering as a group we have over 146 million email addresses.

Now does this mean email is dead?

Of course not!!!

Email is here to stay and will be here for a very long time.

But what companies will have to do in 2020 is to leverage more communication channels.

Chatbots will take off drastically. Not necessarily the Intercom’s or Drift’s of the world but more so the solutions like ManyChat and MobileMonkey.

ManyChat and MobileMonkey leverage Facebook Messenger and as they connect it with Instagram and WhatsApp it will get even more popular.

In addition to chatbots, you’ll see more people leveraging tools that allow push notifications like Subscribers.

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It’s so powerful, here is the impact I’ve been able to generate from push notifications so far using Subscribers.

You can wait till next year to lever chatbots and push notifications, but I’d recommend you start sooner than later.

Trend #4: Moats will almost be non-existent, other than brands

You’ve probably heard the word “moat” before. If you haven’t, just think about water around a castle.

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Back in the day, they had water all around the castle and they used a drawbridge to get in and out of the castle, so it would protect them from invaders.

With your business, you may have a moat. It could be a feature, your cost structure, a technological advantage, or even a marketing advantage.

Over the years, moats in the online world have slowly been disappearing.

It’s easy for anyone to copy these days. So, what’s separating you from your competition?

Something could work right now, but it won’t last forever…

But do you know what will still be a strong moat in 2020 and even a stronger one in the future?

It’s branding.

People buy Jordan shoes because they love Michael Jordan. His brand is stronger than ever even though he hasn’t played in the NBA for roughly 16 years.

His shoes are so popular, it’s helped him boost his net worth to over a billion dollars. Plus owning a basketball team doesn’t hurt either. 😉

But what’s interesting is he’s made more money after retirement than he did as a basketball player.

And it’s not just Jordan who built a strong brand… so have the Kardashians.

Kylie launched a billion-dollar company according to Forbes and it was all because of her personal brand. Her cosmetic company isn’t doing anything revolutionary. She just has a strong brand… and good for her for monetizing her brand.

The same goes for companies like Nike, Ferrari, Tesla, American Express… and the list goes on and on.

It’s why companies are spending over 10 billion dollars a year on influencer marketing.

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Just look at my agency NP Digital. It’s literally one of the fastest-growing ad agencies out there. And when I look at all of my competitors’ numbers, we are growing at a much faster pace because of my brand.

Yes, we have a great team, but again, that really isn’t a moat as a lot of agencies have great teams. It’s my brand that gave us a really fast kick start and continues to hopefully push us up.

You’ll want to build a brand in 2020. Whether it is personal or corporate, it’s the best moat you can build in marketing. Plus, it will help you with Google’s EAT.

Trend #5: Marketing will become a more even playing field, you’ll have no choice but to use automation

When I first started off as an entrepreneur, I turned to SEO because I couldn’t afford the big ad budgets as my competitors.

Heck, I couldn’t even afford to run any paid ads.

Over the years, the playing field has become more level.

There are credit card companies like Brex that make it easier for startups to get approved for larger limits and you may not have to pay them back right away.

There are financing companies that will give you cash to spend on marketing, so non-venture funded companies can more easily compete.

There are even companies like Lighter Capital that will give you loans without all of the headaches based on your existing revenue.

And to top it off, software solutions are now starting to integrate AI to give better recommendations. From Clickflow and RankScience to Distilled ODN… everyone is trying to use AI to make SEO and other forms of marketing.

Heck, BrightEdge can even automate your SEO (or at least a large portion of it). According to them, their automated SEO solution increases page views per visit by 60% as well as provides 21% more keywords on page one​.

Keep in mind their clients are really big (their software starts in the thousands of dollars per month) so they would probably see better results than most companies, but still, you will start seeing many more software companies leverage AI.

Even with Ubersuggest, I’m working on creating AI that does the SEO for you so you no longer have to spend endless hours while, at the same time, saving you thousands of dollars.

In other words, the marketing playing field is getting more even. And if you want to do well, you are going to have to leverage AI and automation.

If everyone else is using it and you aren’t, you are going to get crushed because it will make changes faster and more accurately than a human. Again, it’s the only option you’ll have if you want to continually compete.

But don’t worry, there will be affordable/free solutions that exist, it’s just a matter of time.

If everyone is leveraging the same AI marketing technology, how can you beat your competitors?

Well, it will come down to everything else… price, customer service, upselling, operations, sales… All of the small stuff is what’s going to help you win.

Trend #6: There will be no more silver bullets, we will all have to optimize for marginal gains

A lot of businesses were built off of one marketing channel.

Dropbox grew through referral marketing. Invite more friends, get more free space.

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Facebook was built off your email address book. Facebook used to tap into it and invite all of your contacts to use Facebook on your behalf.

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Companies like Quora and Yelp were built off of SEO. All of those rankings really help drive their businesses.

But you no longer can build a business through just one marketing channel. Good channels now get saturated extremely fast.

Even if they work and cause explosive growth, it will only last for a short while before your competitors jump on board and make it harder.

Marketing is now heading in the direction of being about “marginal gains.”

There’s a British cycling coach named Dave Brailsford. His belief was that if you improved every area related to cycling by just 1 percent, then those small gains would add up to remarkable improvement.

And he’s right, that’s how you win a race.

The same will be with your marketing. There will be a big shift from people focusing on one channel and trying to find the “Holy Grail of marketing” to working on slightly improving each area of your marketing.

From split testing your title tags to get a few ranking improvements to adding checkout bumps to your order page so you can spend a little bit more on your paid ads to using Google Data Studio so you can better optimize for your lifetime value…

It’s all about the little things. That’s what is going to add up to winning.

That’s what you’ll have to shift your mindset to in order to win in 2020 and beyond.

Trend #7: Personalization is the new marketing

The problem with marketing as it exists today is that 95% of your visitors will never convert into a customer. And that’s if you are lucky.

Chances are you are more likely looking at 97% plus of your visitors never converting.

The big reason isn’t that your marketing sucks or that all of those visitors are junk and unqualified.

It’s that your message doesn’t fit every single one of your visitors.

But through personalization, you can convert more of your visitors into customers.

A basic example of this is Amazon. When you go to Amazon, they know your patterns and what you typically buy so they show you what they think you want to see in order to boost their conversions.

And it works! When I log into Amazon I see tons of household supplies because that is what I buy the most often. I never buy dog food (which is smart because I don’t have a dog,) so I’ll never see ads for dog food.

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Businesses are also trying to personalize each and every single experience both online and offline.

Companies like Amperity are trying to create a customer relationship engine so you can better serve each of your customers, whether it is online or offline.

Marketing is going to become a game of personalization. With ad costs and even general marketing costs rising, you have no choice but to figure out how to convert the 97% of your traffic that just never comes back.

You’ll see a big push for this in 2020.

Conclusion

I know a lot of the stuff I mentioned above isn’t talked about a lot and they aren’t popular marketing topics that everyone wants to hear… but it is the future.

These are trends that will come true, some already are, and you have to adapt for them.

Here’s the beautiful part, though. You just read this, and now have a chance to act on the information before your competition. So, make sure you go and do so.

I want to see you not only succeed but I want you to beat your competition. And I believe you can, whether you are a big company, or just starting off with very little to no money.

So, what do you think of the trends above? Do you see any marketing trends that will come true in 2020 that few people talk about?

Thought Leaders – modern day pioneers

The IMM Graduate School | Thought Leaders – modern day pioneersThe phrase ‘thought leader’ first appeared in 1887 in a description of Henry Ward Beecher, but its meaning has been redefined repeatedly over time.

Forbes defines a thought leader as “an individual or firm that prospects, clients, referral sources, intermediaries and even competitors recognise as one of the foremost authorities in selected areas of specialisation, resulting in its being the go-to individual or organisation for said expertise”.

Well that’s a mouth full! In simpler terms, thought leaders are knowledgeable and highly respected individuals or organisations in an industry. They are often in high demand by co-workers, colleagues, clients, customers, competitors and even outside interests and are trusted sources. They inspire people with their innovative ideas and their ability to turn those ideas into a reality. Thought leaders aim to create value and use their authority to influence their area of expertise to generate an income for themselves and their organisation. They form their own ideas instead of using ideas they learned from other people – they are pioneers in their respective industries.

What attributes do thought leaders display?

Aside from being well known experts and influencers in their field, thought leaders are courageous visionaries that are passionate, attention-grabbing and action oriented. They also display expert communication skills. Unlike modern day influencers that are all about how many followers they have, thought leaders are all about knowledge and passion for their topic and area of expertise.

Can anyone become a thought leader?

Becoming a thought leader in any industry takes time, dedication and a lot of hard work. As experts in a field, thought leaders must become trustworthy and engaging resources for others in the field. By sharing their opinions, ideas and experiences through high quality content, they will be able to reach, educate and engage with their audience. As a thought leader you will need to care about your niche enough to invest time and money to become an expert. You would need to work in the industry, gain new knowledge all the time, and generate quality content – not for profit, but to educate others. Often, there is a profit opportunity later, but profit is certainly not the immediate or direct driver to begin with. Passion is!

While thought leaders can come from any background and can be any age, gender or ethnicity, they must have an advanced knowledge and understanding of a subject as well as a willingness to “think outside the box”. Some claim that the process of becoming a thought leader is easier if you have already built a great product, service, program, initiative or company because you will then have a natural community and something to talk about.

Thought leadership has a multitude of benefits

With time you will have the ability to charge more for your services because of your knowledge and skills. You will also be able to easily gain and maintain the trust of customers, co-workers and employees. Your confidence to try new things and create the next big thing will lead to a multitude of new opportunities, gaining you credibility and respect. People will look to you for advice and mentorship.

On the swing side however, constantly being in the spotlight may get you down. Of course, it depends on your personality – as an extrovert you would thrive on the attention while an introvert may prefer to avoid it.

Thought leaders in marketing

Thought leaders exist in every industry, but some of the most well-known individuals exist in the marketing industry. Here are 5 marketing thought leaders you might already know and follow:

Neil Patel

Neil is one of the top marketing and analytics thought leaders in the industry and the co-founder of Crazy Egg, KISSmetrics and Hello Bar.

Rand Fishkin

Rand is an SEO expert and the CEO & Co-Founder of SEOmoz.

Jeff Bullas

Jeff is the founder of Jeffbullas.com, a content Marketing and Social Media Marketing thought leader, Strategist and Speaker.

Seth Godin

Seth is an expert in marketing as well as a writer, teacher and keynote speaker; he also founded two companies Squidoo and Yoyodyne.

Brian Clark

Brian is a writer, serial entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Rainmaker Digital.

For more information on this topic of thought leadership, watch this video by Gabrielle Dolan.

Social Media Management

Social Media has infiltrated nearly every aspect of our lives 

Social media is constantly evolving and has infiltrated nearly every aspect of our lives – keeping up with it isn’t an easy task. Of course, social media isn’t just for personal use -it has become an integral part of digital marketing and can help a business develop from a start-up into a smooth-running machine.

Social media marketing is all about communication.  According to industry legend, Neil Patel, “Social media marketing is the process of creating content that you have tailored to the context of each individual social media platform in order to drive user engagement and sharing.”

Facebook has 2.320 billion users by the end of 2017 and even though there are currently over 7.5 billion people in the world, one in four people have a Facebook account. Patel claims that Facebook is quite literally taking over the world and that in some ways, it is a country of its own. With so many active users on a daily basis, social media presents a prime marketing opportunity.

That’s only Facebook and it’s worth noting that each platform is different in that they each require their own strategy. One thing remains the same, however, the content. Content drives each social media platform. In Neil Patel’s article, Social Media Marketing Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide, he unpacks some key social media terms. We have summarised them here for you:

Content: Content is whatever you are posting on your social media profiles. This includes text, videos, and images. Each social network requires different forms of content meaning that what you post should be tailored specifically to each platform.

Hashtags: Incorporating hashtags into your posts have become a very common way of adding meta information on nearly all social networks. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest thrive on hashtags which lets you describe the topic of your content or mark it as part of a current trend.Hashtags make content easier to find and share – especially if it’s part of a trend.

Shares: Shares are considered the currency of the social media world, they are all that matters. While “likes” are also important, you want people to pass your message on.

Engagement: Engagement just means that other users see and interact with the content you share on social networks. This includes liking, commenting on and sharing your posts.

Fun fact: Nomophobia is the fear of not being near your mobile phone. 

In another article, Social Media for Business: A Marketer’s Guide – by Saige Driver. Driver explains that not every social platform in a good fit for every business, businesses need to invest in the platforms where they are most likely to reach their target audience. Here’s what you should know about each of the most popular social media platforms:

Facebook

Facebook can be used to share any type of content from photos to important business updates. With a business account, you’ll be able to access various advertising and analytics tools. Having a business page also enables you to highlight operating hours, contact information and the products and services on offer.

Instagram

With Instagram gaining popularity, it’s important to note that the platform is almost entirely mobile meaning that you can’t create or upload content from your desktop. Artists tend to do well on Instagram as they can take photos and upload them on-the-go with their mobile devices. It’s important that whoever runs your page has some basic photography skills and a keen eye for detail.

Twitter

Twitter is the ideal platform for posting short updates about your business or sharing links to longer content such as a blog. Twitter has a character limit of 240 characters but also allows the sharing of multimedia content, links, and polls etc. Driver suggests that if you’re a highly visual business or if you don’t have a blog, you may want to skip Twitter. All in all, Twitter is a great platform to quickly spread the word.

Watch: How to Start Social Media Marketing (4 ESSENTIAL Tips for Beginners) – By Neil Patel

If you would like to learn more about the fast-paced world of social media marketing, take a look at our Social media marketing short course here: https://www.immsc.co.za/online-course/social-media-marketing-short-course/

The scope of a Digital Marketing Career

Marketing is an integral part of any business, so it makes sense that only the best of the best would be tasked with the responsibility of creating awareness and promoting a brand. It’s a highly lucrative career, but only if you have the right skills and training. Of course, there’s no shortage of guides and how-to’s online that promise to make you an expert in the marketing world – but these only scratch the surface. Industry experts like Neil Patel, Rand Fishkin and Jeff Bullas have all dished out a lot of articles explaining key marketing techniques and trends, but we wanted to find out why digital marketing specifically is a good career path. Sruthi Veeraraghavan addresses the question

“Why Choose a Career in Digital Marketing?” – we have summarised it here for you: 

The digital marketing industry is always advancing

The marketing industry frequently adapts to new strategies and best practices which means that marketers need to stay up to date with the latest trends. Because digital marketing has so many moving parts that are always changing along with technological developments and changes in consumer needs and demands, it’s hard to list every aspect of the industry. Some of the key components of digital marketing include:

  • Email marketing
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Social media marketing
  • Copywriting
  • Design
  • Apps
  • Mobile marketing, including SMS
  • Content marketing
  • Web analytics
  • Growth hacking

Each of these can become a specialist area for a digital marketer to branch off into. However, a common trait of good digital marketers is the ability to communicate with people and get their online audiences to listen.

Digital Marketing Is the Future…

Digital marketing is here to stay, it’s the way things will be done from now on. One of the reasons for this is that digital marketing is more affordable than traditional marketing techniques. Another is that, instead of doing customer surveys and or research, marketers can track user response rates and measure campaign success in real time. This will ensure that your next campaign is planned effectively. Businesses that cannot adapt to the new marketing climate won’t make the cut. This highlights a need for digital marketers that have a feel for numbers and statistics. An essential requirement in any digital marketing role.

 Digital marketers are in high demand

With both large and small industries moving away from traditional marketing methods alone, digital marketers are becoming highly sought after. Digital marketers should find it easy to get employment and/or freelancing positions in their area of specialisation.

According to a report by Burning Glass Technologies (2017), four out of 10 jobs listed in marketing now call for digital marketing skills. In addition, the report states:

  • The demand for digital marketing skills almost doubled between 2011 and 2016.
  • Demand for content marketers rose 450 per cent during that time, while demand for digital analytics skills increased by 152 per cent.
  • Forrester Research predicts digital marketing will account for 35 per cent of all marketing spending by the end of 2019.
  • Digital marketing positions take 16 per cent longer to fill.

Digital marketing branches out into various categories, so take your pick – there is something for everyone.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a push messaging and outbound marketing tactic that consists of sending emails to customers as well as prospective customers (leads). The goal of these emails is to interact with the recipient of the email and advertise a product or service. Campaigns constantly need to be planned, conceptualised, developed, implemented and measured.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the practice of optimizing web pages to rank well on search engines. SEO professionals analyse, review, and implement changes to a website and its content so they are optimised for search engines. SEO specialists are tasked with generating traffic and increasing the number of organic visitors to a website.

Copywriting

A Copywriter writes promotional text with the purpose of advertising a product or service as well as other forms of marketing. Their responsibilities include writing advertising and marketing copy, public relations copy as well occasionally editing and ghost writing. Sometimes they also write taglines, direct mail pieces, web content, online ads and email and consider the use of keywords and keyphrases so as to improve SEO.

Content writing

Copywriting and content writing are two different things. Content writers are tasked with producing interesting, engaging content with the purpose of drawing readers to a website, turning them into loyal followers and keeping it that way. Professional content writers have extensive knowledge of the internet as well as different writing techniques and are well versed in writing various forms of web content.

These are just a few of the fields you can pursue with a marketing qualification from the IMM Graduate School or by upskilling yourself with an online short course. At the moment the IMM Graduate School offers five Digital Marketing specialisation courses online. In just 12 weeks you could be steering your marketing career in a whole new direction. Find out more information here: https://www.immsc.co.za/online_courses/marketing-advertising-short-courses/