2020 Marketing Trends

A Year in Review

2020 was the year that put things into perspective for all of us. People realized what’s important to them. Businesses adapted to the Work from Home grind. Everyone was pushed into a new reality, and with that came a wave of 2020 marketing trends that were a direct response to the changes around us.

To be candid with you, 2020 was a disaster of a year. Everything was heavy—the pandemic, natural disasters, shootings, protests, and a turbulent election, among other things. We don’t even have to explain any further because you already know what we’re talking about. So yes, we’re excited to leave this year behind, but we can’t forget about everything that came from the mess either.

Let’s take a look back at some of the most influential trends of the past year.

2020 to 2021 Loading Screen

BRANDING

Minimalist Packaging

In the past, minimalism was reserved for luxe brands that gave off a pretentious vibe. But this year, minimalist designs hit the mass market.

We rarely ventured out to the grocery store in 2020. But when we did, we couldn’t help but notice all of the minimalist packaging designs lining the shelves. Not only do these designs totally fit our aesthetic, but they stand out among the similarly priced options at the store.

Although these brands sell accessible products, they’ve still managed to create a unique experience for the consumer. In the best way possible, these drugstore companies have made minimalism more approachable. They’ve somehow found a middle ground to minimalism—one that doesn’t feel too exclusive or come with a massive price tag, yet still feels modern and special.

WEB DEVELOPMENT

Chatbots

Website chatbots have been around for years, but our clients are asking about chat features now more than ever. We think the pandemic is to blame.

As we went into quarantine, the role of the chatbot got even more important. The early days of the pandemic caused many businesses to shut down temporarily. As a result, everyone went into a panic. Many people were left wondering what that meant for unfulfilled orders, canceled appointments, and everything else left in limbo due to Stay at Home orders.

Nobody knew what was going on, so consumers began contacting businesses to see if they were open, what their precautions were, and how they would continue during the pandemic. Thankfully, many companies quickly accommodated their customers’ growing concerns and added chat features to their websites.

The chatbot gave people a way to contact companies without suffering through the endless hold music of a phone call or waiting for an email response. Consumers could quickly get the information they needed through automated prompts. And business owners and customer service reps could focus on the larger tasks at hand.

Tidio Chat

SEO

Google My Business Attributes

Of all the 2020 marketing trends, you’ve probably experienced the Google My Business changes firsthand. In May, Google started rolling out new ways for businesses to highlight their health and safety measures. Options like Curbside Pickup, No-contact Delivery, and Masks Required made their way to the growing list of Google My Business attributes.

The changes were unexpected at first, but then again, seemingly everything in 2020 was unpredictable. Now, these attributes are commonplace. Every time you search for a business, you’re immediately shown their COVID-19 details before other basic information like address and phone number.

We have a hunch that Google will keep the bulk of these attributes around, even after we go back to a mask-less life. Many businesses have jumped on board, and there’s been an overwhelmingly positive response from consumers.



SOCIAL MEDIA

TikTok

Maybe it’s because millions of us were stuck at home, bored for months on end. It could have something to do with celebrities popularizing dance challenges. Or maybe it’s the fact that Gen Z is absolutely unstoppable. Whatever the case, TikTok was everywhere this past year.

Young, conventionally attractive people made 2020’s most popular TikTok videos. And that’s no surprise. The platform has policies in place to censor users who are “believed to be ugly, overweight, disabled, or poor.” Their appearance-based algorithm makes it obvious why specific creators have gone viral. Bella Poarch, for example, uploaded the most-watched TikTok of 2020. It’s just her bobbing along with music, but TikTok’s algorithm couldn’t get enough of it.

And that’s why we love Nathan Apodaca’s story. The TikTok user, who goes by Doggface, has completely turned the algorithm on its head. You may not know his name, but you’ve probably seen the video that pushed him to stardom. Nathan is a 37-year-old Idaho skater with a signature style. Before going viral, he worked in a warehouse, lived in an RV, and even battled homelessness. Despite all odds, he became one of the most viral creators of the year.

DoggFace TikTok


Bella Poarch TikTok


Black Lives Matter Fist

MARKETING

Activism

This was the year that companies took a stand.

Facebook has repeatedly refused to remove political ads that spread misinformation, incite violence, promote racism, and glorify hate groups. In July, some of the world’s most prominent brands suspended their Facebook ad budgets to advocate for more steadfast regulations for the platform’s advertisers. At that time, we also saw countless brands showing support for the Black Lives Matter movement, many of them taking to social media in solidarity.

Out of all the 2020 marketing trends, this one is definitely the most culturally important. We hate to label it a trend because it’s a movement. This isn’t something that should fizzle out. Responsibility, accountability, and inclusivity are all things we need to keep up well into the future.

People want to support brands that support important causes, have similar values, and take action for social issues. Specifically, Millennials and Gen Z are holding brands to a higher social standard than before. So, it makes sense why activism was a trending topic this year. Judging by the change in consumer attitudes, we haven’t seen the last of this either.

What’s to Come


No doubt, 2020 has been a mess. With so much loss, it’s hard to focus on what we’ve gained. But that’s precisely what we’re trying to do. If you’ve kept up with our three-month series, you know that we want to shine a light on the good things that came with this past year. And although 2020 was exhausting, we can’t help but feel energized for what’s to come in 2021.


Our Favorite Marketing Resources

Apps, movies, and everything else we loved in 2020

2021 Marketing Trends: Our Predictions

The trends we think will be big in the new year