Back at the start of the year, we published our top 5 digital marketing predictions for 2020.. 
This year has definitely been a rollercoaster ride of a year for every industry, with all aspects of business becoming harder to predict and plan for, due to the onset of Covid-19. 
We have taken some time to look back at how our predictions are fairing so far this year 

We said “Amazon will continue to eat into Google’s and Facebook’s share as a media partner” ... 

What we have seen so far … 
Yes … although latest media share figures have not been published for this year, the level of demand and brand data which we have seen would suggest so. From conversations with various brands, revenues are 40% to 60% up year on year via marketplace, driven through the increase in demand. Brands are also having to invest more in Amazon advertising to promote their store (anywhere between 20% to 40% year on year), to stand out from the crowd, raising the importance of Amazon sponsored ads. 

We said … "Brands will need to focus more on enabling their first party customer data" ... 

What we have seen so far … 
Yes … we are seeing more of the brands that we work with wanting to investigate how they can understand more about their customers as they re-appraise their digital strategy. Specific focus is being placed on how purchase behaviour has changed since the start of lockdown restrictions. Questions we are answering include: 
Are people browsing and buying at different times of day / days of the week and how should I change my budgeting decisions, because of this? 
Has the demographics of my new customers changed, due to an influx of late adopters buying from my brand online and is this a new opportunity to target these customers? 
Are there specific customers where visit and purchase frequency has reduced and how do I keep these customers engaged, until I can service them normally again? 

We said … "Marketing automation will continue to be a hot topic" ...  What we have seen so far …  Maybe … we are seeing that this period has given brands a moment of reflection to understand how they should deliver their marketing campaigns. Part of this reflection point has included understanding whether the right partner is being used. Equally tech partners are offering extended free trial and aggressive savings to onboard, to win new business. This, along with the potential of more brands taking their digital marketing in-house, will drive supplier changes during the rest of this year. 

We said … “More value should be placed on affiliates”  What we have seen so far …  Yes … as reported by PerformanceIn, the Pandemic has seen global affiliate demand soaring, with an 80% rise in new publishers. From discussions with many brands, the affiliate channel has become a more important part of the digital marketing mix, as you are able to control costs and it is a more cost effective way of creating awareness of your brands and products in the marketplace. We would recommend that brands pay more attention to the affiliate space … if you have an existing programme live, make sure you have the right level of resource to activate these new affiliates and stay engaged with your top performers. If this is an area where you are not live or have under-invested, now is the time to focus more on the channel.  

We said … The art of measuring success will become more challenging: 

What we have seen so far … 
No … at the moment, nothing seems to have changed from a measurement perspective. The influx of more people shopping online and the closure of stores has taken away the question of the influence of offline on online sales and vice versa, arguably making measurement easier. We have however seen that attribution has had more focus over the last few months. Covid19 has either driven more brands to increase their digital investment, brands having to reduce their overall marketing budget or change their marketing mix. As a result, many brands have looked past the last click metric that they are accustomed to using, to justify which channels to retain and which areas of the campaign should be introduced at what time, as trading restrictions are lifted. Using the attribution views in Google Analytics is a good starting point. 

Whats does all this mean for your 2020 digital plan?  So, in summary, we have seen a mixed bag of results for our digital marketing predictions, with the focus’ driven mainly by the challenges and opportunities which Covid19 has presented to brands. In June, we provide you with our outlook for the rest of year, looking at some of the new launches and changes in the digital space which brands should be taking advantage of.  If you are looking to understand any of the above questions, contact us today for a no obligation free consultation.  

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