The Future of Marketing: Tricks and Tips for 2020

three marketing tricks

As a proud sponsor of the  Digital Summit Philadelphia 2019, SocketLabs was excited to join hundreds of marketers from around the country to hear over 30 speakers, including Seth Godin and Jon Youshaei, cover a variety of topics around today’s digital marketing climate. From podcasting 101, to YouTube marketing tricks, to better understanding the up-and-coming Gen Z, there was something for everyone.

When the lights went dim and the room full of 150+ listeners went quiet, it was showtime. Some speakers were more comfortable than others with the large audience, but no matter the topic or the speaker, everyone had something valuable to offer. With my notepad and pen I listened closely and took down all there was to learn from some of the best in the industry. Yet despite the very diverse lineup of talented speakers, there seemed to be three recurring notions that each session at least mentioned, if not completely revolved around. These are the top 3 marketing tricks from Digital Summit Philadelphia that should be on your radar as a modern marketer in 2020.

1. Inject Personality

The number one topic that always seemed to make its way on to the stage was the notion of “marketing with personality”. No matter if the session was focused on email marketing tricks, podcasting best practices, or social media development, there was always an emphasis on this idea of “marketing with personality”.

One of the speakers, Eric Shutt from SummitX, delivered a speech on the importance of experience marketing. He spoke about brands like Airbnb who have captured the essence of experience marketing, giving users an array of “experiences” they can embark on through the Airbnb app and website. A marketing strategy like this gives consumers the ability to connect with brands on a personal level through real world experiences that will be remembered for a lifetime.

He also mentioned the clothing and lifestyle brand Patagonia, another brand that has done an excellent job using experience marketing. Between their high prices and niche product line, it’s no surprise that a company like Patagonia isn’t for everyone. But despite their seemingly narrow market, they have been able to develop and scale their business at an astonishing rate. They have used experience marketing as the vehicle to get them where they are today.  Whether its taking a trip to an uncharted part of the country or investing in a more renewable planet, Patagonia customers know that they are buying much more than just a jacket or a t-shirt,  they are buying an idea, an experience that exemplifies their personality.

These companies have used experience and personality to connect with their consumers in a way that we haven’t seen in the past. We are at the beginning of a new type of marketing where even B2B strategies are less about representing strict, unwavering professionalism and more about light-hearted content and communication strategies that put people at ease rather than on edge. Have you noticed a general movement away from stock photos and harsh colors and towards cartoon-based, soft-colored graphics? This is the beginning of a new marketing experience, one with personality.

2. Prove Value

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone in marketing that part, if not all, of your marketing strategy should be to demonstrate the value of the product or service you are promoting. As a marketer, you know that it is hard to compete with thousands of other marketers to get your product or service in front of  the consumer. Right now, your competitors are writing more content, producing better videos, and spending big money to get their product or service in front of the same person you are after. So how can you change your strategy to get the spotlight?

Another speaker, Jon Youshaei from Instagram, went in depth about his technique for producing blog/content titles for his work. He uses the EAT methodology and it does something REALLY well: it demonstrates the value of his content. Here is what I mean:

When creating an article title, the EAT method shows you everything you should include:

E – End result the reader wants
A – Address any reader objections
T – Time period the reader gets it in

Example: How to Get an Amazing Job Without Much Experience

E – Get your dream job after college
A – Limited work experience coming out of college
T –  Recent graduate looking for job ASAP

A recent college graduate is looking for something that will provide them with value. They are looking for a solution to their problem, and with modern technology, they have dozens of other blog writers competing for the sixty seconds they will spend reading.

With this strategy, Jon gives us a way to create content that will prove value to the consumer by immediately addressing what they want, what objections they have, and when they want it. No matter if you are writing a blog or creating a marketing strategy from the ground up, following the EAT methodology will help boil your messaging down to give the consumer what they actually want.

3. Understand Your Audience

Rule number one in marketing is to understand your audience, and if you think this is not even worth mentioning, you would be surprised by how many marketers get so wrapped up in their own little ecosystem that they lose sight of what the consumer actually wants. Keynote speaker Seth Godin led his speech summing this point up exactly, with a quote that he says defines marketing:

“People like us, do things like this”

What does that really mean? He started off his speech telling a story that took place at a red light. He was in his 10-year-old Mazda Miata and a person in a blue Ferrari pulls up next to him. The light turns green and the Ferrari, for whatever reason, ends up behind his Miata. That left Seth trying to figure out why on earth someone would need a Ferrari like that? After all, it can’t even beat a Miata across the intersection! He quickly realized that just because he wasn’t interested in the Ferrari lifestyle didn’t mean that no one else was. And that truly is the essence of marketing. People like him do things like that, and as marketers, it is our job to understand that concept better than anyone else.

In his speech Seth gave a quote that has stuck with me ever since, describing the true role of the modern marketer: “My job as a marketer isn’t to trick you or manipulate you. My job as a marketer is to show up, turn on a light, and tell you a story.” Even if this notion seems obvious to you, I urge you to sit back, think about your marketing strategy, and make sure you are not one of the many marketers, trapped in an high-walled ecosystem that has diminished your ability to look from the outside, inward.

How to Make it Work

Towards the end of the conference I was trying to think of a good way to pull together all of the marketing tricks and tips that I heard. After a short brainstorming session to figure out what the grand finale would be, I quickly realized the answer was in front of me the whole time. SocketLabs does a lot of very technical things for a lot of very complex customers…but simply put, we send emails. Micheal Barber from Godfrey gave an excellent speech on the importance of email in today’s marketing world and some great marketing tricks and tips to improve your reach, deliverability, presence, etc. (read blog here). And that REALLY got me thinking. The light bulb went off and I realized that email is the glue that holds all of these marketing tricks together.

There is really no other platform like email that gives marketers the ability to reach our audience through their devices, leveraging killer headlines, demonstrating a colorful brand personality, proving extraordinary product/service value, and personalizing a message down to the user’s name.

Barber talked in his speech about how ten years ago, the media was publishing stories that email is dead. But today, those same pages now have headlines proving why email isn’t going anywhere any time soon, and the answer as to why is obvious. Email, no matter if its marketing or transactional, gives marketers a platform to reach their audience better than any other. And if you don’t think so, send me an email.