Trends shaping the communications industry in 2020

By Jacqueline Boulos Mayer, Owner of Innocomm SA

The art of communications is sharing the right information with the right people at the right time. This is key to growing any brand, building a good reputation, and having employees and customer who are engaged and enthusiastic.

In the past, marketing communications grew mostly out of a mix of skills, including good planning, strategic thinking, and brilliant creative. Today things are evolving. In this information economy, data is the driving force that shapes communications strategies. It’s proving to be highly effective and will only be more so in 2020.

Data is what helps us glean insights to make more informed business decisions. It tells us what our customers want, and when they want it. It helps us create better goods and services and remain one step ahead of our competitors. Communications professionals need to ask themselves if they are harnessing the right data sets and insights to uncover which topics are the ones that matter most to their audience. Are they using their data effectively to send the right messages to both internal and external audiences, so that they feel connected to your brand or business? How are you measuring your relevance, how can you improve, and how do you plan to grow it in the future?

This year we will also see greater use of digital tools to boost communications. ‘Digital transformation’ has been the buzzword of the last few years, and it has forever altered the way we live and work, transforming industries across the board. It has turned many traditional industries on their heads – think ‘Uber’ and ‘Airbnb’ – and is making things quicker, better and easier. Digital tools can help communications teams to reach people more quickly and efficiently and build cultures that are more collaborative.

Another trend we can expect in 2020, is a move towards greater authenticity. We’ve all heard the term ‘fake news’, and there’s no doubt it has become a real scourge. Some people are only too happy to spread it without checking the source, others have become skeptical of the content they click on. Unfortunately, marketing communications can be the casualty in the war against fake news and will need to tailor their communications to avoid even the slightest taint of propaganda. Irrespective of whether you’re communicating with your employees or your customers, it is crucial to be authentic, and to be transparent, open, and accountable about all the information you are sharing.

All of these trends will help shape 2020 for the better for the communications industry and help us to navigate the waters of this digital, data-rich world, and send out the right messages at the right time to ultimately become more effective and successful.

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