Through the year, we’ve been adding to our tools to help all members assess how well their businesses are adapting to using digital media and technology as part of Digital Transformation. To review your digital readiness, either for integrated digital marketing or individual channels, download our benchmarks or take our interactive capability graders.


In this article, I’ll explore six key marketing trends based on examples and research on the adoption of the latest marketing techniques and technology marketers can use. For recommendations on tapping into the innovations in different digital marketing channels, including email, social media and search engine marketing, see all the other posts from the Smart Insights team covering Digital marketing trends for 2020.
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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. These forums offer the convenience of text with the immediacy of a phone conversation, all in an environment the user is already familiar with from talking with friends.
As it happens, SEO does a lot right by default. When a user searches is certainly the right time, and a search engine is often the right place. Yet, we also have to ensure the product and the price are right as well — after all, there will be a lot of competition on that search engine’s results page. And, of course, there is more to digital marketing than just search engines, however important they may be.
Thanks to startups like Blutag and Jetson, businesses that sell online can now turn their product catalogues into fully fledged voice-enabled marketplaces and let their customers use their existing voice enabled devices to place orders with simple voice commands. This leads to a quick and simple customer experience by getting them to their intended results, fast.
Influencer marketing is a type of word-of-mouth marketing that focuses on using key leaders to amplify your brand message to a larger market. Influencers can be well-known celebrities, but more often they are Instagram or YouTube personalities with a huge niche following who can help spread the word about your business or product through their social channels.
For my full profile, or to connect on LinkedIn or other social networks, see the About Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.
Influencer Marketing: Well, this is not completely a brand new thing, but it is expected to be a major aspect in online marketing in the upcoming months. This method of marketing and promotion is already garnering tons of attention on the Instagram platform. Now, you can expect influencer marketing taking over in all other major social media platforms. Especially, this marketing model works exceptionally well if you’re targeting millennial base. Furthermore, many industry experts say that influence marketing does bring a better ROI when compared to contextual ads.

Conversational marketing was highlighted as a key innovation in the latest Gartner hype cycle alongside Artificial Intelligence, which often fuels it.  You can see that of the technologies on the Innovation Trigger slope, many aren't expected to become mainstream for 5 to 10 years. Of those forecast to hit the mainstream within the next 2 to 5 years, the three most significant for marketers to consider are personification, real-time and conversational marketing.
Search Engine Land defines SEO as “…the process of getting traffic from the ‘free,’ ‘organic,’ ‘editorial’ or ‘natural’ search results on search engines.” Essentially, SEO is the process of optimizing your website through various methods in order to rank higher for certain relevant keywords on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. With effective SEO, your website will appear higher on search engine results pages (SERPs) due to its positive relationship to that search engine’s particular ranking algorithm.
To build your digital marketing strategy, you need to decide what content is going to help you reach your goals. If your goal is to generate 50% more leads via the website than you did last year, it's unlikely that your 'About Us' page is going to be included in your strategy -- unless that page has somehow been a lead generation machine in the past.

More than just complaining about how the barista screwed up your order, vlogs can also be practical and strategic. You can live-stream special events that not everyone has access to, like a business conference or a musical concert. You can also post other homegrown content your customers would want to see anyway, such as celebrity interviews or behind-the-scenes looks.

Simple navigation reigns and quality content is king – A user-friendly website, with interesting and easy-to-find information, is what will boost your traffic. Each page needs to be built around keyword themes, with unique content, so search engines can easily index yours and rank you higher. Positive behaviors from site visitors are your best bet for a better ranking, so keep the content natural and focused; avoid jargon and keyword stuffing to keep users from leaving the site unhappy and hurting its ranking.


What’s your audience searching for? – Just a few years ago, the average user didn’t trust search engines to understand conversational questions. They were searching with clunky phrases like “flower delivery new york.” Now people feel comfortable typing in things like “who delivers roses near me?” Changes in searcher habits are usually subtle, but will affect which keywords will be most valuable for your site. Instead of focusing on keywords that get you more traffic, focus on those that translate into conversions, revenue, and profits.
GetResponse - GetResponse offers email marketing, webinars, landing page creation and marketing automation. Their email marketing services allows businesses to set up auto-responders, advanced analytics, a/b testing, and forms. You can also plan and build individual customer journeys through their marketing automation, with automation segmentation, basket abandonment, and web event tracking.  
Forbes reports that the company is expected to work with political campaigns in the future. But whether that happens or not, we can be sure that neuromarketing will have a major impact on the future of marketing. The richest consumer data resides in the brain and any tool that helps companies understand the brains of their prospective customers is sure to be worth its weight in gold.
We are living in the age of data abundance where people engage with brands over several channels, they consume content in an unstructured manner and do a lot of homework before making a buying decision. Predictive marketing is taking all these unstructured interactions, looking at existing positive data patterns and anticipating results accordingly.

There are many elements that come with a great digital marketing plan, so make sure you begin planning your event with the right strategy and implement the right tools well before the event date. We offer a one-on-one, one-hour assessment of your digital marketing plan, and we are also available to answer any related questions and provide advice on how to get started on digital marketing for your event or organization. Feel free to pick our brains. Contact sensov/ event marketing today and see how we can help.


Be able to reach all of the possible customers when it comes to marketing your restaurant by using our Restaurant Digital Marketing Plan template. Choose from the many different options you have with digital marketing starting from search engine optimization down to social media marketing. Modify the template to fit your purpose by opening this file in any of the multiple file formats.

Another trend here is the adoption of dashboard reporting and analysis systems. At Smart Insights, we have adopted Google’s Data Studio (since it came out of Beta) for our monthly and weekly trading reports alongside the Google Sheets Add-In for the Google Analytics API, which we use for pulling the data through for our RACE digital marketing dashboard.
Whatever your overarching goal is, you need to know how to measure it, and more important, actually be able to measure it (e.g., have the right digital marketing tools in place to do so). How you measure the effectiveness of your digital strategy will be different for each business and dependent on your goal(s), but it's vital to ensure you're able to do so, as it's these metrics which will help you adjust your strategy in the future.
But what kind of information should you gather for your own buyer persona(s) to inform your digital marketing strategy? That depends on your businesses, and is likely to vary depending on whether you're B2B or B2C, or whether your product is high cost or low cost. Here are some starting points, but you'll want to fine-tune them, depending on your particular business.

The SWOT analysis will help you understand what differentiates you from your competition and how you should position yourself in the market. It will also help you develop your messaging and your unique selling proposition. Brutal honesty is imperative for a truly insightful SWOT. Use bullets and aim for 4–5 in each section. Limiting your lists will help you to focus on the most critical points and help retain focus.
Links to your site are extremely valuable – When another website links to yours, search engines consider that an indicator that your site contains valuable content. Not so long ago, getting dozens of links from low-quality sites was all it took to boost your ranking. Today, the value of a link to your site depends on the quality of the site that linked to you. Just a few links to your business from high-traffic sites will do wonders for your ranking!
Influencing the social signals through brand mentions: Brand mentions or online citation is reckoned as an important factor to leverage the social signals for SEO. The links that got generated through social media are no-follow links that do not affect the SERP rankings. But when any source content is shared, commented, tweeted, or cited socially with or even without these implied links, it must funnel to highest rankings. This entire process of back-linking through social media is called social media optimization.
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