As the new decade starts, we ask ourselves what kind of trends will we see in marketing. Will technology such as AR or AI create a large impact on how we market or who we market to? Here are some trends we're looking forward to in year 2020!

Transparency Always Wins

Brands have used social causes and marketed social responsibility so much that it has given consumers cause fatigue. This means that consumers are able to detect inauthentic messaging and marketing from miles away.

Let's look at Volkswagon's emissions scandal as an example of this.

VW tried to capitalize on a more environmentally conscious consumer by advertising how environmentally friendly their diesel cars were. The problem was that they were anything but eco conscious. When the scandal was 'aired', their brand took a hit (stocks decreased from $236 to $133) However, VW decided to be more transparent with their messaging and their brand, using the "Drive Something Bigger than Yourself" campaign to address their previous emission scandal while pushing their new fully electronic, environmentally friendly cars. This has seen an increase in stocks, and regained brand trust among consumers.

Now this is an extreme scenario, one we hope no other business goes through. However, a more informed and connected consumer oversaturated by marketing jargon responds well to transparency. If you want transparency to be a huge aspect of your messaging, you can't just say you're transparent. Everything you say and do as a company including your marketing has to align with your brand mission.

TIP: Gaining consumer trust can be done with transparency in your content, putting up behind the scenes images and videos of how your company operates is always a good way to gain consumer trust and show transparency.


Consumers are receiving an overwhelming amount of ads, and when that happens they "turn to authentic brands with a genuine story to tell". Your brand story, company, team, and mission is what you need to show consumers. According to research by theEdigital, 90% of 1,000 people surveyed found personalization in marketing messaging appealing.

You can show personality in messaging by telling a story like WealthSimple's Mike Ad. The company displayed Michael Katchen's (WealthSimple CEO) story of why and how he started WealthSimple in a very witty fashion. He also discussed his brand's story on how everyone should have the same opportunity in investments.

WealthSimple's Mike Ad

TIP: Don't talk to your audience, talk with them. Showing your personality or your company's personality can sometimes give you a unique selling point. As consumers are being able to tell b.s marketing right away, be authentic in your marketing and your messaging.

Voice Search

Hey Google, Siri, and Alexa are things that we'll be saying more often in 2020. By 2020, 50% of all searches across the internet will be voice-based. Voice-based commands are used for many functions such as texting, asking for directions, and calling someone. One of the things that make voice search a trend for 2020 is how fast and smart Voice AI has become. Voice search has created efficiency for its users, and according to a U.S voice assistant survey, 47% of those who use voice assistants for shopping are doing product searches to purchase.

Why is voice search important for your business?

Let's say you own a pizza store that has competitors nearby, how can you ensure that a voice search of "Hey Google, what are the nearby pizza stores?" will get you in the top 1, 2 or 3 results?

According to Google, searches for "near me" business have risen significantly over the past few years which means you must adapt your marketing to voice search. For example,

There are ways to optimize for voice search, but it all starts with your current infrastructure. Things like having a good website, and an overall good product/business (which has good reviews) will help the most when it comes to being in the top results of voice searches.

TIP: Optimize for voice search starting now. SEO is important, however try to focus on giving valuable and concise content which isn't generic or just focused on keywords. Here are 9 tips on how to optimize for voice search:


Commoditization of products and services continues

It doesn't matter what you sell, whether it's products, services, taxis or hotels… there are thousands if not millions of other businesses selling the same thing as you.

Consumers today have incredible access to information, and the more research they do online, the more they realize that there are very few differences between what you are selling and your competitor down the street, or across the world. When you realize that your product, or customer service, or process is no longer your "special sauce" that makes customers come back, you are selling a commodity.

Amazon, Uber, Hotwire, Airbnb are just the beginning. There are hundreds of thousands of tech companies and startups trying to be the next "Uber for YOUR BUSINESS/PRODUCT" And it's not if it will happen, it's only when.

When a product or service becomes a common commodity in the marketplace, that means that the unique identity of the product no longer has value, and Brand will be the only thing a business owner will have left. So the trend we see in 2020 is companies spending a lot more time, attention and money on brand.

TIP: You can't just say you're different anymore, you need to SHOW you are different. Invest time or money learning about how to implement a brand strategy into your marketing. What makes you different, and how does the market actually perceive you vs your competitors? Get outside help to assist with your marketing.

Things to keep in mind

Marketing has been impacted by the advancement of technology which includes automation, AI and AR. Staying ahead of the curve in marketing is something every company should do to stay competitive. Implementing the right changes now will save you the time and money needed later on when your competitors have already implemented the changes necessary to stay competitive. Technology is evolving, consumers' decision making is evolving, which means your marketing should start evolving too.