While marketers answer the demands of today, they must also prepare for future trends. We’re gearing up for a new decade that is full of challenges and opportunities. What could marketing look like over the next ten years?

Prognosticating about the future is always a tricky business. To quote baseball-playing philosopher, Yogi Berra, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” But experience teaches us to identify shifts that inform how the market could evolve.

Social Media Link was started in 2009 when we saw the upcoming era of disruption in social media. We watched brands evolve from chasing likes to seeking authentic relationships with consumers. Our company has helped brands evolve with the last decade and we plan to do the same with the next decade.

In our new content series, we’re sharing the six trends we believe marketers can’t ignore in the 2020s and how they can prepare.

#1 Making Transparency a Huge Priority

Transparency was a popular buzzword in the 2010s. A company or brand was considered “transparent” when there was an abundance of information accessible to the public. People could examine how a company is run, a product is manufactured or a service is performed. We saw younger consumers especially concerned with corporations’ ethical practices and the overall footprint they left on the planet.

Today, “transparency” has evolved to focus on privacy, and we believe this doctrine will carry into the new decade. The 2010s will be known as the wild wild west of data collection. Consumers were willing to give it and companies were eager to take it. In the 2020s, brands will be pushed not just by consumers, but also by governmental regulators to make data transparency and privacy an integral part of any interaction a company has with its audience.

What can you do to prepare?

1) Create a Brand Mission Statement on Data Collection

Consumers want to know not just the who, what, where and how of data collection, but also the “why.” Why does your brand believe data is helpful? How does it rhyme with your brand story and your unique value proposition? Data is an undeniable part of our lives now. Take a stand on how your brand believes data plays a role.

2) Solidify Your Zero-Party Data Strategy

Restricting passive data collection will be the first order of business when consumers start taking control of their information. We believe there will be an enormous shift from relying on third-party data to zero-party data. Zero-party data is intentionally shared by a consumer with a company and it is essential for creating personalized experiences. Zero-party data thrives on capturing insights beyond standard demographics like values, preferences, and behaviors.

3) Actually Study New Regulations

New security and privacy regulations will no longer be legalese relegated to the legal department to decipher. With the recent launch of the CCPA, we’re already seeing this rollout. The marketers of the 2020s will need to understand data regulation as competently as they do advertising jargon.

Stayed tuned for our next prediction…

In the 2010s, we heard the phrase “content is king.” In the 2020s, “experience” will take the crown.

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