How will digital marketing change in 2020?

digital marketing

The Ottawa Business Journal and Great River Media are launching a survey to help businesses learn more about digital marketing trends and the current marketing landscape in Ottawa.

The survey asks owners and managers what tactics they are using and how they are being leveraged in their marketing strategy. 

The survey includes 13 questions on topics such as preferred marketing methods, marketing spends and social media usage and channels. When the results are in, it will provide an opportunity for Ottawa businesses to benchmark their work against other local companies.

The local research effort comes as several trends are reshaping the marketing landscape nationally, experts say.

“What we are seeing is that some things that people think might be really ‘in vogue’ have not really become in vogue yet and other things that people might think are old are still very-well accepted and very-much used,” said John Wiltshire, president and CEO of the Canadian Marketing Association. 

Email marketing is an example of the latter. Wiltshire said it’s one of the most “mature components” of digital marketing but remains one of the most effective tools. Recent research by the organization – which conducts its own annual survey on trends among consumers and marketers – shows that the majority of consumers are willing to receive information through email. 

Some new trends, such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality, showed lower usage rates. Wiltshire said businesses are increasingly familiar with those tools and tactics, but they aren’t widely in use yet. Companies tend to “play around” with technologically-innovative approaches for a while before making a large marketing commitment or spend, he added. 

Augmenting in-house resources

An ongoing challenge for businesses revolves around balancing the use of internal and external resources. Wiltshire said businesses are continually debating whether to conduct digital marketing in house or to outsource. 

“The traditional agency model is being pressured as we move to more digital types of marketing,” he said. “That is a worrisome trend because as large brands bring more functions in-house, they lose that objectivity and they lose the expertise of someone who knows how to market to individuals in all areas of their life.” 

Wiltshire believes the successful approach is a “hybrid model” where marketing work is done both in-house and supported by external talent or an agency. 

Peter Kovessy, head of content at the Ottawa Business Journal, said that many local companies and organizations are taking a similar approach.

“Many businesses find it challenging to make the time to plan and execute content marketing in-house,” he said. “That’s something OBJ and Great River Media specialize in – we’ve been producing premium content on a daily basis for nearly 25 years – and help augment our clients’ marketing teams.”

Content marketing is a proven-strategy that creates and delivers content that is valuable, relevant and timely. The content is targeted towards a specific audience to drive them to a desired business outcome or objective. 

“Many small and medium-sized businesses are increasingly understanding the value of using content marketing to communicate with their prospects and clients,” Kovessy said. “There’s a growing appreciation of the values that high-quality content can bring to a business’s overall marketing strategy.”

How effective is your digital marketing? How does your approach compare to your peers? Benchmark your performance by participating in Great River Media’s 2020 marketing trends survey and you could win a $2,000 digital marketing campaign. All participants will receive a full copy of the results.