What content strategy and technology will leading brands use in 2024?

The state of digital content 2024

Industry insights

If you’re unaware of these marketing trends, you’re destined to fail

by Casey Schmidt  |  May 4, 2020

5 min. read
A red arrow going up a flight of stairs.

It’s easy to brush off emerging trends and ignore their potential – oftentimes they fail to take hold. However, some trends are way too hard to neglect, especially when they show so much longevity potential.

Here are the absolute most crucial marketing trends you need to know about and take seriously in order to succeed. You’re welcome to ignore them, but do so at your own peril!

Google isn’t what it used to be

I’ll start this out by saying what needs to be most said: Google is impossible to figure out. Attempting to control and understand Google is the same as trying to understand the entire universe – it’s just not possible at this point in time.

That being said, there are patterns and trends we can look to in order to gauge how Google’s algorithms work. This is how successful marketers optimize their efforts on the popular search engine.

The Google logo on a wall.
Google is ever-changing.

This, however, isn’t a solution that should be modeled and incorporated into your own marketing endeavors. If someone says they have the “key” or “secret” to ranking better on Google, they don’t. And if they do (they don’t), their strategy is going to fail in a year, or maybe a month, or even tomorrow. This is the reality of Google.

The only way we really can aim our marketing efforts towards successful engagement and advertising on Google is by staying ahead of trends and not settling once we have made progress. That’s right – once we believe we’ve cracked the code, the code has changed, or the code is going to change. We have to continue evolving.

Download eBook: Building a martech stack

An example to really put this concept into focus is searches and featured snippets. Let’s say your company publishes an article that ends up being the featured snippet for a certain search term on Google. Then, all of a sudden, despite your upkeep efforts being the same, it falls out of favor with Google’s algorithm. For this example, we’ll say the reason is your search was only pleasing to desktop users, while mobile users weren’t treating your article the same.

This is just one of many trends that need to be watched out for in order to stay competitive in today’s Google landscape.

You no longer can simply ‘use’ marketing technology

The most common question about a company’s martech (marketing technology) stack used to be, “What programs do you use in your martech stack?”. Actually, that might still be the most common company consideration – but it shouldn’t be, and it’s trending in a completely different direction.

A paper that reads, 'marketing strategy'.
Marketing technology needs a fresh, dynamic approach.

The real question, which is only starting to be asked, is, “What kind of evaluation systems and strategies do you have in place to maximize your martech stack?”. By now, companies have a general idea about which types of martech systems they need. They understand what types of tools it will take to complete their projects and campaigns on time.

However, having the right blend of programs in a stack is no longer enough. Marketing teams today have to take it a step further by mapping out a clear evaluation strategy and involving analytics. It should be noted, I’m aware your martech stack likely already includes some sort of analytics tool designed to evaluate marketing success. But, and this is important, you need analytics about your analytics as well. You also need a structured schedule that ensures teams keep their tools relevant to any recent changes.

Social media is an unsolved game

Social media marketing is almost like throwing darts at a moving target. It’s important to be good at dart-throwing, but it’s even more valuable to be able to predict where the target will be when you toss one. It also helps to be able to have multiple targets to throw at to better your odds of landing one.

Marketers love to believe they’ve solved the social media game when they land a couple bullseyes. It’s more likely that they’ll miss future throws, however, and this should absolutely influence their future strategies.

A person throwing darts.
Marketing on social media is a lot like a game of darts.

Here’s a crucial trend demonstrating this idea. A marketing team finds a nice little niche audience advertising and linking to their articles on Facebook. They decide to pour all of their social media resources and time into replicating these efforts. However, they realize the returns are diminishing quickly. They’ve clearly hit a few bullseyes, but now they can’t even land on the dartboard.

So what happened? Well, there are a few possibilities, all of which are important to consider. One is that the platform might have changed. This includes its policies and even demographics. Another less-common change is that the social media site you hit your bullseyes on is no longer a popular site. The above example, Facebook, is one such social media site losing a lot of its luster recently. In fact, users are flocking to other models such as Instagram quite quickly.

This isn’t to say that the solution is to merge marketing efforts to Instagram. The reality of Instagram is, like other social media sites, it will change as well. The important thing is to recognize the crucial turning points and prepare plans for when they occur. Maybe it could be some sort of new policy or rule the site has created. Whatever it is, try to gauge how devastating it might be to user traffic and adjust accordingly before it’s too late.

Follow these key trends in order to overcome the potential stagnation that awaits the uninspired. The easiest way to fall behind is to think you’re too far ahead to need worry.

cover of an ebook