Kantar 2020 trends and predictions (part II): What can marketers expect?

If you read yesterday's newsletter, you'd know online streaming, esports, 5G, commerce and digital are some of the key trends that Kantar predicts will continue to emerge in 2020. With the ever changing media landscape, Kantar's report revealed that three main themes will be reflected in the trends and predictions next year.

(Read more: 2020 trends and predictions by Kantar: What can marketers expect?)

These include technology trends transforming the media landscape, the spaces that brands can credibly occupy, and the context and catalysts for change. Pablo Gomez, Kantar’s chief digital officer for the Asia Pacific region, said that people favour brands that engage in social issues and therefore more brands will take a stand in 2020.

“Brands however will need to tread carefully and weigh the risks as well as rewards of taking up a social cause in today’s highly social and digital world. In addition, APAC is a dynamic and complex region where advertisers and marketers need to truly understand the needs, values and sentiments of all their customers and potential buyers before they get the word out in a way that feels authentic, not opportunistic," he added.

According to Gomez, marketers and advertisers will have to align channel mix and content, focus on insights-led marketing decisions so that when done correctly, espousing a cause can benefit the brand, not lead it to be criticised. So what else will be hot in 2020?

Take a look at part II of the trends and predictions:

...7. Just grow up

In 2019, brands were using more influencers than ever for brand communications, but the risks that come with influencer marketing are now becoming apparent. Kantar's report revealed that these include inappropriate endorsements, lack of transparency and fake followers that most likely damages the credibility of the influencers and the brands that use them, as well as the trust of their followers.

In 2020, similar to companies that are actively collaborating with influencers on YouTube or Instagram, Kantar predicts that more and more brands will partner with influencers on TikTok. Some brands that have already ventured into this include Lancôme in China, or Uniqlo and Flipkart in the US.

via GIPHY

According to Kantar, influencer marketing will reach maturity in 2020 and brands will start to take measurement more seriously, and move on from simply looking at likes, to more strategic metrics such as brand and sales impact. "We will also see new ways to calculate the reach and frequency of influencer campaigns, with the advent of a ‘social GRP’, which we are already seeing in China. As a result, we may see influencer investment decisions move from the PR domain towards marketing and insights, as the need to compare with other media channels and touchpoints gains traction," the report said.

8. Brands take a stand

Over the last year or so, Nike took a stand on racial injustice, Burger King on bullying, and Gillette on masculinity. While there are risks, the outcome turned out to be an overall positive business impact. Nike recorded a sales increase of more than US$6bn after launching its "Dream Crazy" ad, showing that consumers are willing to reward brands that share their values.

https://giphy.com/gifs/agt-cdXpgeB32BekIGzBNh

The report said that there is still plenty of room for brands and agencies to become more vocal on social and ecological issues. Hence, 2020 could see brands continuing to become more radical and take action to support big causes. However, as these brands come under increasing scrutiny from consumers, businesses will also need to wrestle with some tough questions, such as how they are putting their own values into practice, and what media context says about them.

To be seen as authentic in its activism, a brand must ensure it is living and breathing its purpose throughout the value chain.

9. Cookies start to crumble 

Since the mid-1990s, the cookie has been used to track online behaviour. Websites use their own first-party cookies to improve the site visitation experience, for example by storing log-in data or saving items in shopping carts. Third-party cookies are used across the industry for tracking purposes such as to deliver targeted digital marketing, ad frequency capping, and to assess ad exposure and marketing performance. According to Kantar, the advertising industry has become heavily reliant on cookies to activate and assess online campaigns.

Responding to the need for a more transparent digital ecosystem, the report predicts that in 2020 there will be more direct integrations between publishers and measurement partners, which will enable true cross-publisher measurement for the first time. Marketers will need to future-proof their measurement frameworks and reduce their reliance on cookies for tracking.

https://giphy.com/gifs/antmvh1-rita-ora-antm-26gsnSPWk3Z11TaRa

However, 2020 may also see several businesses turning to third-party measurement providers such as Kantar to help them navigate the evolving media landscape. "As we enter a new cookieless era, third-party research will become increasingly important for marketers to maintain accurate measurement of digital media and campaign effectiveness, and to drive growth in the short and the long-term," the report said.

10. The data dilemma 

The rise of sophisticated technologies and access to new data sets have made it easier than ever for marketers to deliver personalised content, editorial and advertising at scale. The combination of new devices, online and social media, behavioural and voice data with first-party and effectiveness data, allows brands to target consumers more effectively.

Brands need to tread the line between relevance and intrusion very carefully.

Kantar predicts that in 2020, brands will continue to develop new ways to target consumers based on data, but that data ethics will come to the fore – companies may even employ specialists in this area. "Through understanding holistic campaign effectiveness, advertisers will need to strike the right balance between broad reach channels, and choosing which audiences to target more precisely with relevant messages," the report said.

https://giphy.com/gifs/target-bullseye-targetstyle-l3q2Daw95uSWtrylG

According to Kantar, personalisation should be seen not only as a quick route to a sale, but as a long-term strategy - a way to increase brand loyalty and earn consumer trust.

11. Turn and face the change

As advertisers grapple with the implications of the digital and programmatic worlds, many of them are taking in-house control of some aspects of media decision-making and execution. A report from the US Association of National Advertisers (ANA) in July 2019 showed that 78% of advertisers were in-housing in some way. And the trend continues as brands such as Kering, Revlon, P&G and others are taking either creative, media or digital functions in-house. 

https://giphy.com/gifs/paulmccartney-paul-mccartney-pure-3o72Fhky5okwteoEbS

This comes as advertisers desire approaches that are more tailored to the brand, improved processes to reduce handoffs, faster response times, and to cut across organisational silos to provide a more joined up customer experience. "As the industry evolves, we predict that agencies and advertisers will need to ensure they fully understand both media consumption and consumer attitudes for in-housing to succeed," the report said.

(Photo courtesy: 123RF)