Marketing Trends of the 2010s

As the decade comes to a close, it is vital to examine the rise of marketing trends, and how effective they have been for businesses at attracting new customers or expanding their reach. The internet, paired with the exponential increase in technology, has served as a huge platform for the rapid e-commerce environment. Here is a list of some of the biggest changes in marketing in the past ten years, and how these types of tactics will grow the face of marketing in the new decade to come. 

1. Personalized Ads

When you are creating ad campaigns, especially online, it is incredibly important that you do extensive research into your target market, and figure out how best to reach out to them to gain more customers. For example, if many of your customers have children, you may want to begin an ad that centers around working mothers, taking care of babies, or something else that your main demographic frequently will want to engage with while online. When your audience feels that they are being paid attention to and that their concerns are being addressed, they are very much more likely to purchase your product or service, or even recommend you to others. Many social media platforms are great for this type of marketing. 

2. Sophisticated Analytics

Online marketing has become easier than ever thanks to the advent of analytics that can track much more than a user’s location or the time a website was visited. For example, whether you are using Google Analytics or another widget, you will be able to view what pages your users click on, the most popular navigation patterns, and the exact amount of time spent on landing pages. With more detailed analytics, it will be much easier for your business or web service to formulate and modify your links to figure out what sources users engage with the most. You can also continue to boost certain aspects of your site that have performed well, to experience continued success and attract more users. 

3. Connecting Common Interests

Marketing works wonderfully when you appeal to a group of people that you can rely on to use your product together. This will create a sense of brand loyalty between customers, and will also influence them to give you free advertising by recommending your products to their friends. The rise of group features in social media sites such as Facebook is a place where users can join pages where a specific topic or subject is discussed. You can utilize the commonalities that your core customers may have in your advertising, which is a great way to ensure that they will continue to purchase your product. 

4. Social Media Influencers

One of the most interesting trends of the past few years, particularly the tail end of the decade, is the importance of the young people deemed social media influencers. These users, usually on sites such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, have already amassed a large amount of followers, and are recruited and paid by companies to advertise products. However, different from celebrity endorsements, social media influencers paradoxically become more famous from advertising products. A beauty YouTube influencer, for instance, may receive messages of interest from cosmetics and hair care companies, especially if her audience is specific to their target demographic. You can have these influencers directly review your products, or simply mention them in content for more exposure. 

5. YouTube Ad Revenue

YouTube has become a phenomenon in the last ten years, as its reach grows more and more potent in corners of the world that had been previously offline. YouTube presents a gigantic opportunity for influencers and channel owners to benefit from ad revenue. In contrast, it is also an effective way for companies to market through videos that their core demographic is most likely to view. You can survey your customers about which YouTube videos they enjoy, and plant your ads in those types of videos and vlogs, so that your target base will be consistently exposed to your products. Be sure to establish a budget for ads, and check regularly to see how much impact they are having. This way, you can modify your campaigns and make adjustments so as not to waste precious ad dollars. 

6. Contests and Giveaways

When you want to have more follower engagement or gain massive amounts of followers and likes to your social media pages, there is no better way to get the results you want than to hold contests and giveaways. The internet makes these types of tactics spread far and wide, and quickly. You can go about a contest in a variety of ways. For instance, you can recruit users that have already purchased your products, and have them buy a product in order to be entered into a sweepstakes like competition. Another easy way to market is to substitute one entry for every one of their friends that will follow or like your page. This way, you will have a myriad of new followers, and the winner will see that you are a company that follows through.

7. Hashtags

Since the rise of Twitter, the hashtag has infiltrated into every corner of the internet, with a variety of different meanings and uses. The original purpose of the hashtag was to create a recognizable and searchable tag, which can be used later to find information, tweets, or other content on a certain topic. However, it has also expanded to social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram, where it is utilized for powerful search engine purposes. Interestingly, the hashtag has also become more than just a way to organize information. It has evolved into a new way of communicating, where users input hashtags into text as a way to emphasize certain groups of words, or simply to go along with a trend or meme. 

8. User Reviews and Proof of Presence

Reviews from other users are more important than ever, as people are busy, incomes are lower, and time is of the utmost importance. Therefore, if you are trying out a new restaurant in your area, or looking for an auto mechanic to complete your oil change for a reasonable price, there is no doubt that you will first turn to reviews and ratings through sites such as Yelp and Google. As a business, it is vital to keep track of your online reputation, and respond with personalized commentary if customers have voiced dissatisfaction. This will also show other customers that even if you make mistakes, you still care about retaining loyal customers and giving the best service possible. 

9. Meme Culture

The meme, which started out as images with bold font overlaid, featuring puns and other witty altruisms, has evolved into more of a broader perception of all types of internet culture. It can be a specific picture that provides information with a snazzy caption, or it can be a satire article that you send to one of your friends through text message. Usually memes have certain lifespans, and the more they grow, the shorter the time that they will be popular. An average meme lifespan is anywhere from two weeks to two months, so it is vital that you harness memes if you have a younger target market. You can also easily create your own and use them in your advertising campaigns. 

10. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is growing in every sector of the market, in everything from trying to figure out what you will order next based on your Amazon package history to recommended movies on Netflix. It is also expanding into unknown territory, especially in social media and customer service. For instance, many websites have automated chatbots that operate after hours, when support representatives are not readily available to answer customer inquiries and complaints. As artificial intelligence talks to real live humans, it also begins to learn, so that it will eventually become almost as functional as a human brain, with the memory to answer a variety of customer issues. For marketing, artificial intelligence can serve an essential role in a company’s advertising campaigns. 

11. Experiences Over Materials

The Millennial generation is much more focused on experiences rather than material goods, like their Boomer and Generation X parents. Therefore, companies need to hone in on this different type of marketing, and try to advertise products based on the experience and emotions that they create, rather than the added consumer value in your life or home. For instance, a vodka retailer might run a commercial of friends sitting on the beach with a bottle between them and sharing stories, rather than simply focusing on how delicious the taste of the product is. You should consult younger generations about what types of experiences that they crave, as inspiration for your marketing. 

12. Easily Customizable Platforms

There has been a major shift from complicated HTML and markup language, to a simpler way of customizing social media profiles and even your company website. For example, you do not need to learn to code in order to make modifications to how your content appears to those who are visiting your landing page. You can often go into the settings of the particular web host that you are utilizing, and make adjustments from there, which will automatically modify the code. Social media websites have features where you can easily change your profile picture, background, and description, so that you are identifiable by other users or those who are interested in learning more about the product or service that you offer. 

13. Viral Campaigns

The ability to share anything and everything in an online environment can be harmful to one’s reputation, or you can use it to harness a huge potential market that has yet to be tapped into. You can work with top advertisers to develop a campaign that will play on users’ emotions, cause them to shed a tear from laughter or sadness, or is simply memorable for any number of other reasons. Viral memes and videos often feature a one or two second clip or phrase that people will share, tweet, blog, and repeat to each other over and over, multiplying the amount of exposure that the campaign receives. 

14. Instant Gratification 

The thrill of instant gratification has risen exponentially with the advent of delivery services that will bring food, groceries, and even alcohol to your doorstep with the tap of a button your smartphone. In order to successfully navigate this facet of the market, it is essential that you try to deliver your goods to your customers as quickly as possible. If that is not feasible, show that you care about them receiving service in a much speedier manner than your competitors, or that they will be able to track the progress of whatever they are having delivered or installed. You can try to think of creative ways to factor instant gratification into your business model, and you will be guaranteed to have a growing market. 

15. Celebrity Endorsements

Although celebrity endorsements are nothing new, the way that they occur is certainly changing with the changing features of social media. Rather than a famous actress on television telling you why she uses Weight Watchers, you are more likely to see your favorite musician on Instagram, bragging about a skincare product that works miracles, and subtly tagging the advertiser’s account in the comments. Celebrities will often do an endorsement with an agreed upon fee per post, and the money they make can also be dependent on the amount of interaction that the photo or video receives. Be sure to pick people to promote your products who will most resonate with your target demographic. 

The landscape of marketing, whether in person or online, is ever changing, growing, and evolving. As technology advances, companies will need to have new marketing strategies or risk being left behind with outdated information and marketing software. Knowing the trends that have shaped the past ten years can only bolster your company’s game plan for 2020 and beyond.