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Forbes, January 8, 2020

Trust becomes paramount.
It is self-evident that consumers buy more from companies whose values they believe in and reputations they can trust – it follows that trust will be the most important brand measure in most sectors in 2020. Success starts with the understanding that consumers are going to be more suspicious than ever towards marketing and advertising. In this environment, brands will need to recognize why they sell what they sell now matters more than ever before as consumers are demanding transparency and authenticity before opening their wallets.

Brands embrace Stories.
While it’s not a new trend I expect more brands to utilize Instagram and Facebook Stories to both engage audiences with their brand, as well as showcase products. The trick is to have a compelling story in the first place. Development of brand story and executing on content and social strategy will continue to be at the forefront of marketers’ minds. This is one of the areas where it doesn’t matter the size of your brand or budget – anyone can do this effectively with the right plan and messaging.

Magnifying the female gaze.
We grew up hyper-aware of the dominance of the male gaze through art and architecture history. The digital content movement’s shift toward the female gaze—that is, seeing the world through a feminine perspective—feels like a revolution that’s brewing. I’m excited to watch it take shape.

Data drives decision-making
Looking forward, we will continue to see artificial intelligence evolve into augmented intelligence – analytical technology that focuses on amplifying human innovation and capabilities, rather than to replace human labor. Access to information is now at an unprecedented scale. As a result, organizations are being exposed to critical risks on a minute-by-minute basis, and it is data, not instinct, that is driving decisions at the highest level.

Regulations tackle privacy and personalization
2020 will be the tipping point for marketers to meet data privacy requirements – such as GDPR and CCPA – while also meeting their customers’ demands for personalization. Marketers will find the equilibrium between these conflicting objectives, finally resolving the typical pendulum shifts. They will find ways to personalize in both anonymous and known customer situations. They’ll also need to prove to customers the benefit of opting in and sharing their data. Consumers will expect a value exchange, receiving something in return for giving away their information – like a personalized experience, added conveniences or special offers.

Paid social pays off.
You have to learn how to leverage these platforms through their paid advertising programs, and get the funding you need to target the data they collect to help you reach new customers.

Photo by Andrew McCarthy: “My first lunar image of 2020 is also one of my most detailed. This is a blend of around 100k photos, which allowed me to sharpen the image and overcome some of the fuzzing caused by our turbulent atmosphere. The colors you see are real, caused by variations in the composition of the regolith.”


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