Five top marketing and communications trends for 2020

Introducing Grayling’s annual trends forecast for 2020.

There is something refreshing about a new year. Most of us start January having had at least some time off, and even if you are able to switch off from work for a while and spend time with your loved ones, at some point your mind starts to drift back to work and what we might do differently or better.

That’s why our annual trends summary comes at just the right time, acting as inspirational fuel for professional communicators planning the year ahead.

We love researching this project. It gives us the chance to look at what the most cutting edge brands and corporations are doing, what new tools and techniques are being experimented with, and how those trends we have identified in previous years are either evolving or evaporating.

Anyone who has attended one of Grayling’s presentations at which we present the trends in detail, or participated in one of our TrendStorm Workshops, will know there is a lot to digest, so the below is intended merely as a taster. If you want to find out more, please get in touch with your local Grayling team, wherever you are.

Anyway, without further ado, we are pleased to present Grayling’s #5:20 marketing and communication trends for 2020:

Trend #1: The New Transparency
Younger consumers in particular increasingly value authenticity and integrity over polished perfection. And principled brands are responding by openly sharing meaningful information and content that matters to people, from visible supply chains and behind the scenes Instagram stories to candid admissions and apologies that ring true.

Trend #2: OOH Mobile
Not only out-of-home mobile but ‘Ooh! Mobile!’. Impactful mobile campaigns are putting the emphasis on the mobile, to reach and engage users in relevant contexts and increase amplification and conversion. From location activated stories and offers to AR overlays and PIN codes, these environment-driven mechanics work to grab people’s attention when they’re out and about, and bridge the gap between the digital and material worlds.

Trend #3: Nudge for Good
Companies are turning their (genuine) values into action, using ethical leverage to help customers to change their behaviour for the better and positively impact society. From habit-building incentives and devices to attractive defaults and social norming, brands step up to help make the right choice easier and more attractive.

Trend #4: Playing Hard to Get
In the spirit of fair play, confident brands are making customers do the work to access ad messages, special offers, and even products themselves. Consumers weary of pushy, poorly targeted advertising embrace original and engaging interactions with clear give and take, and companies earn real relationships in the process.

Trend #5: Brand Hospitality
With communications ever more fragmented and consumers losing trust in digital platforms, companies of all types invest in tangible real world venues and events that create intimacy and trust. Welcoming, personal experiences foster goodwill and make customers feel part of the brand family, as well as generating valuable social advocacy.
I hope that is enough to whet your appetite. I can’t wait to see how our clients tap into these trends to make 2020 a transformational year.



For more information about Grayling’s 2020 trends or to arrange a planning workshop with our team, please contact George Eddy: george.eddy@grayling.com