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November 19, 2019 - Scale

3 trends to be aware of while making your 2020 marketing plan

Making a marketing plan is so much more than just putting together opinions on slides. Being aware of how markets and channels evolve is the key to keeping your competitive advantage, making efficient business decisions and going for the most effective investments.

1. Splitting up media and creation is a big no-no.

More and more advertisers realize that the message and the channel need to be determined from an integrated point of view. It’s not about spreading your marketing message on as many channels as possible, nor is it smart to use the same message on the various channels. Tailoring the information to the medium is key when going for maximum impact.

When you figured out where to reach your audience, what their behavior is and what stage of the customer journey you want to focus on, it is time to look at the specific medium. The placement of the message has a large impact on how it will eventually look and come across. An impact that can’t be underestimated. Take an advert on the radio and one on Facebook. For radio, the info should be easy to memorize and light to digest, while a Facebook ad has more effect when it includes a video or picture. And the same goes for a billboard poster, a banner on a news site next to a related article, a TV commercial, etc. Media strategy, planning and purchasing need to be combined into one point of view as an all-round solution.

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2. Data is nothing without creativity and vice versa.

After aiming all the attention at the data goldmine, it is time to realize that your data and creativity go hand in hand. Good ol’ creatives used to work from their gut feeling, craftsmanship and experience. An approach they succeeded in because they were close enough to life and culture. But with today’s big data, you are able to quantify culture. It allows you to split it into sampled groups and to diversify it to the maximum. Use that opportunity.

Does this mean that marketers who have long focused just on creativity and imagination, should suddenly do a 180 and become hardcore data scientists? That would be an absolute mistake. In fact, data will probably even boost creativity. However, data shouldn’t be the only thing considered in the creative process. The two need to complement each other when formulating the content strategy and when making business decisions. When you then marry together data analysts with creatives, interesting findings for marketing campaigns will surface. We definitely recommend doing this approach early on in the process.

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Of course, ‘big ideas’ and ‘big stories’ are still relevant. As a brand, your main purpose should be to create a story that moves the audience and yet has that smart touch to it. This way, you can capture relevant data for you to personalize the story. It’s all about finding the right balance. To give an example, for a retailer we were able to pinpoint the exact moments at which people made certain purchases by looking at Google Analytics and the client’s CRM data. This way, we could adjust the media strategy and planning to reflect those peak moments for maximum impact.

3. The ROI of UX.

In ‘Effectiveness in context, a manual for brand building’ by Les Binet and Peter Field, they talk about a general rule you should take into account: the ‘60:40 rule’. 60% of your investments would ideally go to long-term brand building. This is because of its vital importance in the long-term effectiveness and efficiency of the advertising. The remaining 40% can then go to efforts that directly drive sales.

And with brand building comes user experience. Brands are being built by the sum of all the interactions with their consumers. Today, the customer shapes the image of a company through the experience they have with that brand. Compelling experiences are subsequently the best building blocks to culture long-lasting customer relationships. So investing in user experience is absolutely crucial for your brand.

“For a retailer we were able to pinpoint the exact moments at which people made certain purchases by looking at Google Analytics and the client’s CRM data. This way, we could adjust the media strategy and planning to reflect those peak moments for maximum impact.”

Anja Verschaeve

Online Marketing Expert

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Every moment a user gets to interact with the brand, it is an opportunity for you to enhance your brand image. That’s how you get to outsmart the competition. A study by research and advisory firm Forrester shows that companies investing in UX see lowered costs of customer acquisition, lowered support costs, increased customer retention and increased market share. In Robert Pressman’s book ‘Software Engineering: A Practitioner’s Approach’, the author states that “For every dollar spent to resolve a problem during product design, $10 would be spent on the same problem during development, and multiply to $100 or more if the problem had to be solved after the product’s release”. In short: every dollar invested in UX brings a 10 to 100 dollars in return, and when integrated right from the start is the most cost effective way of working.

Let’s take the example of Adidas. At EffWeek 2019 in London, the sports brand’s global media director, Simon Peel, admitted they over-invested in digital and performance marketing in the disadvantage of brand building. Only 23% of the advertising budget went to brand building and 77% went to performance. But we already discovered that 60:40 is the recommended ratio for a brand’s success. The company believed that loyal customers were driving sales, but in fact 60% of the revenue came from first-time buyers. This is what happens when you don’t focus on building a lasting relation with the customer. Sales mainly came from short-term efforts such as specific promos. Instead of the 60:40 division, they went all out for scale and direct sales, thus leaving the story for what it was. Next to this, they put all their focus on online marketing and dropped their offline efforts entirely. Adidas was convinced it was just digital advertising that was driving online sales. Such extremes are never a good idea. When you look at its biggest competitor Nike, you see a whole different story. It comes down to finding a balance between the digital landscape and offline, but make sure you are there on a human level too.

“For every dollar spent to resolve a problem during product design, $10 would be spent on the same problem during development, and multiply to $100 or more if the problem had to be solved after the product’s release”

Robert Pressman

Author of 'Software Engineering: A Practitioner’s Approach’

Let’s recap.

It all starts with an integrated look at things, such as how media and creation can’t be disconnected from each other. The placement of the message has a large impact on how it will eventually look and come across. An impact that can’t be underestimated. Another integrated approach is recommended when it comes to data and creativity. The two need to complement each other when mapping the content strategy and when making business decisions. And when marrying data scientists with creatives, make sure to do this in the early stages of the process. Lastly, a long-term view is key. ‘Brand building’ efforts are even more important than short-term performance marketing. You want your customers to be with you for the long run, not just for a quick and dirty deal today.

These are just some of the trends that will shape communication and marketing in 2020. For more insights and advice, contact us.

Elke Swinnen

Elke Swinnen

Marketing Officer

Eliza Kowal-Bourgonjon

Eliza Kowal-Bourgonjon

Creative Strategist

Flor De Pauw

Flor De Pauw

Graphic Designer

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