This year has undoubtedly been an eventful (ahem, crazy) one! Just like 2020, trends are hard to predict but vital to stay on top of as a communications professional. Changes in the marketing landscape can be influenced by huge global events (i.e. COVID-19) as easily as an unexpected effort to create a Broadway musical via TikTok (see Ratatouille the Musical).
Check out these trends that made an appearance in 2020.
Lockdown, Laptops and Laying Low at Home
The COVID-19 pandemic kept most Americans behind closed doors and away from others throughout this year. Inevitably, this led to a widespread consumer shift to increased time online, with 39 percent of people polled saying that they spent more time on social media sites like Instagram and Twitter this year.
Here are a few stats that show how marketers are handling the pandemic … and how consumers are responding:
73 percent of advertisers held back campaign launches, with 52 percent anticipating to resume or increase their advertising budgets during the summer of 2021.
87 percent of consumers have said they appreciate brands that make an effort to provide updated and important information amid the pandemic.
37 percent of customers said they want advertising to make them feel safe and give them a feeling of normalcy, and 31 percent said they want ads that evoke positive feelings.
76 percent of small- and medium-sized businesses have leveled up in SEO, social media and data analytics skills.
Incredible Internet Trends
Let’s dig into a few of them, shall we?
- TikTok tapped into popular culture, taking it from a Gen-Z-dominated app to something people of all ages enjoy. Starting in March, TikTok was downloaded onto people’s devices more than 115 million times, breaking the record for the most app downloads in a quarter. TikTok caused skates to be sold out almost everywhere and convinced almost everyone to attempt whipped coffee in April. Its users once trolled the president himself.
- Instagram Live saw a 40 percent increase in usage, with brands figuring out new ways to tout their products and services.
- This year, activism and political discussion took the limelight on social sites that previously prioritized light-hearted content. More than ever, users took to their socials to share their political beliefs and support causes they hold dear.
Yearning to read up on more of this year’s trends? Scroll through this site’s synopsis.
Artificial Intelligence Yields Tangible Results
Amid an age of technology, artificial intelligence has proven to be a significant way to gain a competitive advantage this year.
Why else have companies made the choice to incorporate AI into their business plan? A recent survey shows that 75 percent of respondents adopted AI because they believed that it will allow them to “move into new businesses” and be an incentive for new organizations to enter their market, among other reasons. From helpful chatbots to in-depth analyses on consumer behavior, artificial intelligence will soon be behind basic communication, product recommendations, content creation and so much more.
According to artificial intelligence education site, Techgrabtye:
“Artificial intelligence is the biggest commercial opportunity for companies, industries, and nations over the next few decades” and “will increase global GDP by up to 14% between now and 2030,” which means that “AI latecomers will find themselves at a serious competitive disadvantage within the next several years.”
Sounds pretty convincing!