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In its 7th edition, the report outlines the most important trends for businesses and consumers in 2020. In this webinar, we will share our recommendations on what clients should do to take action and adapt quickly.
TRENDS FOR 2020
Tweet us @OgilvyConsult #OgilvyTrends2020
Ogilvy Consulting EMEA
Ogilvy Consulting EMEA
WPP Fellow / Consulting Analyst,
Ogilvy Consulting, EMEA
The Corporate Practice,
Ogilvy Consulting, EMEA
What’s the weather
like in your city?
It will be available for download
shortly after the webinar on:
And the recording up on
Did we get anything right?
HERE’S A RECAP OF THE 2019 TRENDS:
#1 Omni-channel resurrects the High Street
#2 The rise of the super CMO
#3 In B2B, a new culture of business is emerging
#4 Voice, not just a trend
#5 The 5G dream deferred
Let’s get to the good stuff
THE 2020 TRENDS
#1: Millennials continue to disappoint
#2: Amazon’s inevitability is on the wane
# 3: The balance of data shifts between valuable & liable
#4: In the battle of ecosystems, the proposition prevails
#5: Welcome to the experience decade
2020 TREND 1
Millennials continue to
#OgilvyTrends2020 / Sources include: FT. Image source: The Consultancy Group
Millennials aren’t who we think
Millennials have long been the obsession of marketers. As
they’ve come of age, they have been courted by everyone from
digital upstarts like Birchbox to brands trying to reinvent
themselves such as Pepsi.
Millennial personas tend to be confident, ambitious and over-
achieving, with purpose, action and entrepreneurship valued
ahead of salary. They are the perfect consumer target audience,
opting for brands whose values align with their own.
But, western media and marketing have it wrong. Nine in
ten millennials live in developing economies. Chinese millennials
alone outnumber the entire US population. Millennials aren’t
especially affluent, entrepreneurial, or acting with purpose.
As we enter a new decade, we must reassess our assumptions
of millennials and the strategies that businesses and brands have
in place to interact with them.
#OgilvyTrends2020 / Sources include: CNBC, Business Insider, The Independent, Deloitte, Fast Company, Business
Insider/Healthline. Image sources: FT, The Independent, Fast Company
Millennials aren’t so great, after all
A generation raised on The Apprentice and Dragons Den, the
millennial is actually unremarkable in business. The brains behind
Facebook, Snapchat, and Reddit are the exceptions. Fewer
millennials have set up businesses than those who became
adults during the financially turbulent 1980—90s.
Fewer, too, have succeeded in buying a house; home ownership
rates in America are among the lowest recorded in half a
century, and many have moved back in with their parents. It’s
not entirely their fault though: the cost of a first house is about
39% more than it was for baby boomers in the 1980s.
In their careers, millennials are less likely to be entrepreneurs
than serial job-hoppers. Almost half claim they would quit their
current jobs in the next two years; 43% of whom are dissatisfied
with pay, while 35% cite limited promotion opportunities.
Millennials are eager to succeed, but don’t commit for long
enough to do so.
So, while marketers make them out to be high fliers, millennials
are failing. They even face higher death rates than GenX, and
depression and mental health issues are on the rise.
#OgilvyTrends2020 / Sources include: The Guardian, Europanel #WhoCaresWhoDoes? Image sources:
The ‘generation of purpose’ does
not put its money where its mouth is
Marketers have long held that brands seeking a piece of
millennials’ buying power must be purpose-driven to reflect the
generation’s value set. From social ventures and start-ups to
ambitions to ‘make a difference’ instead of a large payslip,
purpose is now at the forefront of business culture.
Yet, millennials may be the least purpose-driven generation, with
just 30% appearing to prioritise purpose over pay and title. This
finding is indicative of a gap between their good intentions, as
expressed episodically in the media, and what they practice.
For example, millennials’ outrage and public criticism of brands
and retailers for failing to adopt plastic-free operating models is
belittled by millennials’ failure to change their own habits. Only
15% can be classed as ‘eco actives,’ a significantly smaller
percentage than in previous generations.
Certainly, millennials have every intention to act with purpose;
they are simply falling short.
Total Gen-XBoomers Millennials
Figure 1: Millennials are the ‘generation of purpose’, yet strongly under index in the
amount of action they take to reduce their plastic waste and positively improve the
#OgilvyTrends2020 / Image source: Kantar Futures, “Redefining The C-Suite: Business the Millennial Way.”
Brands and businesses need to
appeal to real millennial values
To win, brands must shift away from the stereotypical idealised
millennial to the real millennial. Businesses and brands need to
assess what revenue this generation contributes, and scrutinise
how everything from product positioning to communications
helps retain and grow that audience’s value.
Internal processes such as hiring and training must be similarly
cast under the spotlight. Millennials' characteristic ‘job hopping’
appears symptomatic of a deep rooted dissatisfaction with pay
and career progression. If millennials long for job security and
growth, then businesses must ensure that opportunities are
available for them to succeed, progress, and eventually, to lead,
if they want to attract and maintain talent.
A final word must go to purpose. Brands must help close the gap
between millennials’ sense of purpose and their failure to create
positive impact. Brands that give millennials a role to play in
achieving their sense of purpose and facilitating action will win
their hearts and minds.
Figure 1: Research courtesy of Kantar Futures in partnership with American Express suggests what
millennials are really looking for from their employers.
Support staff and
of work life.
kinds of value for
away from a ‘sell
lots’ to a ‘sell well’
Have a genuine
THE SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS OF THE FUTURE WILL…
#OgilvyTrends2020 / Sources: Forbes, BBC, Image Source: Washington Times.
Marketing to millennials
Is millennial marketing over? Should we instead focus on GenZ?
We think not. But perhaps it is worth reframing how we market to this
new, less sexy, possibly slightly depressing, and indisputably
‘Tribal marketing’ eschews generational marketing altogether and
treats segmentation as an issue of interests. We think this is a bit of a
stretch. To dismiss millennials would be to miss a huge
opportunity. Critically however, we must understand the nuances
within the millennial generation. We must split the Zuckerbergs from
those who find safety in the anonymity of large corporations and
distinguish purpose-hunters from those chasing six-figure salaries.
David Ogilvy once said that “consumers don’t think how they feel.
They don’t say what they think and they don’t do what they say.”
Ogilvy’s advice is spot on. People are not as rational as they say about
their preferences, choices and behaviours. So, we need to decode
millennials as individuals, at scale.
After all, dubbed ‘the generation that’s fun to hate’, perhaps this is the
result of the industry’s failings, not millennials’.
Image 1: There is a juxtaposition between the idealised millennial to whom businesses have been
marketing, and the real millennial. To successfully engage this generation, we must reframe the
Seeking job security and
Witnessing the highest rates of
working-age poverty ever
Purposeful in intent, but not in
Higher death rates, depressing,
and mental health issues than
2020 TREND 2
Amazon’s inevitability is
on the wane
#OgilvyTrends2020 / Source: Marketplace Pulse. Image source: Bloomberg, The Guardian, The Times, BBC
Marketplaces limit brands’
control over their own experiences
More than half of the global product search market belongs to
Amazon, and it is the world’s third largest ad platform.
The Amazon ecosystem offers consumers unparalleled
convenience and low prices, and businesses scaled operations
and a treasure trove of marketing insights.
But, Amazon and other marketplaces have weaknesses: the
buying experience for consumers is transactional; there are no
people, customer services, or any emotional connections.
Similarly for suppliers, Amazon offers limited control over the
brand experience, and virtually no product curation.
Amazon’s three million active sellers can sell any product with no
price control. Sellers trying to game the Amazon algorithm are
treated with no more or less respect than some of the world’s
best-loved brands. Price erosion and fake reviews are rampant.
Despite Amazon’s convenience, it’s challenging for sellers to
stand out in such an undifferentiated marketplace.
Additionally, Amazon can and does leverage brand and
customer data to undercut even its ‘partners’ by creating its
own, cheaper versions of brands’ products.
Image 1: Some of the world’s most well-known companies are leaving Amazon to protect
their own brands.
#OgilvyTrends2020 / Source: E-marketer. Image source: IAB: The Direct Brand Economy
Taking control in a world where
To control brand experience and data, brands can remove
intermediary retailing touchpoints and instead sell directly to
The past few years have seen a huge expansion in the direct-to-
consumer market, with brands such as Dollar Shave Club and
Glossier attracting strong followings.
As e-commerce grows, DTC sales are also bound to increase.
With online spend predicted to grow 85% between 2019 and
2023, and 40% of US internet users expecting D2C brands to
account for at least 40% of their purchases within the next five
years, this expansion looks likely to continue.
#OgilvyTrends2020 / Source: The Financial Times
Digital and social commerce
platforms let brands sell to their
audiences directly, on their terms
The existing ecosystem of technology platforms allows brands
to affordably scale and understand consumers’ needs. These
platforms also offer consumers more choice. Shoppers spent
$40bn with 800,000 different Shopify merchants last year.
While businesses have recognised social platforms as
opportunities for marketing and advertising, the opportunity is
ripe to capitalise on social commerce. In China, this is already
As we enter the 2020s, we will see significant development in
social commerce worldwide, with platforms such as Facebook,
Instagram, and TikTok exploring new features to allow brands to
transact seamlessly with their audience.
Brands that learn to sell in a seamless and unobtrusive way
where their customers are already present stand to gain from
the lower cost of acquisition.
#OgilvyTrends2020 / Source: The Financial Times
More cult and passion brands will
leave Amazon to focus on their
own DTC models
…Because they can.
As 2019 closed, we’ve seen a shift in brands’ willingness to rely
on Amazon. The likes of Nike and IKEA have jumped ship, and
removed all their own SKUs from the platform, which means
they gain more control over how they sell them going forward.
Increasingly, the drawbacks of Amazon may outweigh the
benefits for well-established brands that want to fiercely defend
and control their experience, data and pricing.
With growing options for brands to take back control via DTC
and social commerce, we predict Amazon’s pre-eminence in e-
commerce may begin to decline. Some established brands will
find the breathing space to diversify their e-commerce
strategies; and many more new DTC brands will not even
consider Amazon as an option.
We’ll have to wait and see which brands cut the cord with
Amazon in 2020 – but many brands should be seriously
2020 TREND 3
The balance of data shifts
between valuable and liable
#OgilvyTrends2020 / Sources: Forrester, “Data Literacy Matters: The Writing’s On The Wall,” Forrester, “Top Cybersecurity
Threats In 2020.,” CSC.com, Identity Theft Resource Centre.
Data is everywhere
The production of data is expanding at an unprecedented pace.
It is estimated that there will be an 4,300% increase in annual
data generation by 2020. As the world has moved from
analogue to digital, both individuals and enterprises leave data
trails everywhere they go.
That data has become extremely valuable to companies, which
see it as an opportunity to better understand their customers,
and a path to effectively address their problems. The problem is
that everyone has data now, but few know how to use it. 91% of
business leaders say it is challenging to convert data insights
into decisions that will deliver business impact.
Perhaps even more worrying than the missed opportunities
around data are the increasing number of data breaches. The
exponential production of data has given cyber criminals greater
opportunities to expose massive volumes of data in a single
breach. In 2019, more than half of all global enterprise network
security decision makers had a data breach.
0 0 2
0 1 6
2009 2010 2015 2020
Created Data Managed Data Total Data
2009 2010 2015 2017 2018
Data Breaches Millions Records Exposed
1 zettabyte = 1bn terabytes
#OgilvyTrends2020 / Data Source: Forrester, “The Customer Trust and Privacy Playbook for 2020,” 2019 “The annual cost of
a data breach report”, conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by IBM Security.
Data may cost more than it’s
Today, data is easy to access, but if companies don’t equip
employees with the adequate training and knowledge, they
become vulnerable. Leaks of personal information pose
immediate ‘damage-control’ costs, but they can also
permanently ruin brand reputation and result in existential crises.
IBM’s 2019 report on the cost of a data breach conducted by
the Ponemon Institute states that breaches cost companies an
average $8.19 million in lost time, revenue, and legal implications.
It’s no wonder “security” has become the top concern of the C-
suite, and a marketing focus for tech companies.
But the impact is felt most acutely by individuals whose personal
financial or health data is released publicly. When such a hack
occurs, identity theft is often the unfortunate result. And
recovery falls squarely on the shoulders of the individual. The
cost goes far beyond money; it’s emotional, time consuming,
and a massive life disruption.
Thus, today’s consumers are becoming more savvy about what
data they share.
#OgilvyTrends2020 / Data Source: 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Executive Summary. Image source: Forrester, “The
Customer Trust and Privacy Playbook for 2020,”
Establishing trust and
transparency is the path forward
Despite the risks, the allure of mobile and digital technology is
too great. People will give up their data for the convenience of
managing finances online. We shop online, and use smart
devices instead of credit cards to pay in stores.
While not everyone reads privacy policies, consumers know
they are entitled to an explanation of how and why their data is
used. Edelman’s 2019 Trust Barometer reported that ‘high-trust’
brands enjoy 5% better performance than competitors.
Even as tech giants creep into ever-more personal aspects of
our lives, tracking things like sleep and stress levels, they have
made efforts to mitigate the risks of storing personal and
sensitive data online.
Apple’s entry into healthcare demonstrates the mutual
consumer and business value from a de-centralised data model.
Creating an API infrastructure for its app marketplace and by
leveraging industry standards like Fast Healthcare
Interoperability Resources or FHIR give the tech giant the ability
create incredible value to is users while storing personal data in
the hands of its users and not in the companies’ servers.
Image 1: Forrester research shows Disney’s approach to earning consumer trust around data usage.
The company’s privacy notices are easy to understand and enable consumers to make educated
decisions about whether to share their data for a better experience.
#OgilvyTrends2020 / Sources: Syzygy, 2018; Canvas8, 2018.
Do unto data as you would like
done unto you
When it comes to data, there’s a significant disparity between
people’s concerns and beliefs about their data rights and how
much control they actual cede without realising.
Although 52% of people in the UK wouldn’t sell their information
to their favourite brand for any price, just 10% say they always
read the T&Cs or privacy policies of online services they use.
As people demand data protection from brands, establish your
credibility by prioritising these three things:
Simplicity and transparency will win
A rebalancing of experience and Data
People will begin to take control Image 1: Consumers are doing more than limiting access their info. Many are on the offensive,
seeking out third-party tools that help them proactively manage their digital footprint. Digi.me is
responding to this demand by centralising all the online info people give out, helping users visualise
the sensitive data they fork over on a daily basis. And Mozilla revamped its browser to turn off all
tracking unless opted in.
2020 TREND 4
In the battle of ecosystems,
the proposition prevails
#OgilvyTrends2020 / Sources: NYT, Forbes, The Verge, Cnet, CNBC, Business Insider
Keep your friends close, and your
enemies even closer
Over the last decade, a battle of increasing intensity has been
waging over the hearts, minds and wallets of consumers.
It is the battle for the ecosystem, and in it, single products are no
longer enough – companies want to own broad swathes of their
customers’ lives. Whether it's Apple, Samsung, Google, Amazon,
Microsoft, Sony, Nike or Oral B, mature companies realise that
connected experiences delivered through multiple devices are
more valuable than single products.
There are many paths in, and companies are tying to embed
themselves in people’s lives through mobile-centric, car-centric,
kitchen- or living room-centric, even bio-centric ecosystems.
Today, companies of all sorts who are looking at time horizons
beyond next quarter's earnings are seeking ways to bring their
ecosystems to life, either within their own offerings or through
partnerships that heretofore would have seemed very unlikely.
#OgilvyTrends2020 / Sources: World Economic Forum, Financial Times, Investopedia, Business Insider, The Verge
Seven of the 10 most valuable
companies are now based on an
ecosystem business model
The companies driving this trend are diverse,
disparate and rapidly growing. In fact, research
shows that ecosystems could account for more
than $60 trillion in revenue by 2025 (or more than
30% of global corporate revenue).
Some are start-ups, but the major players are giants
who can expand into new categories and launch
new arms with ease.
In 2019 alone, Google announced new services in
the home, travel, healthcare.
#OgilvyTrends2020 / Image Source: Words About Games
Incumbents across sectors are finding
it increasingly difficult to compete
This fight will be dirtier and more complicated than the
previous smartphone wars.
Ecosystems are expanding across economies and reshaping
the business models of a wide range of industries. And many
companies are finding strength in numbers. A number of
companies are finding it advantageous to lift their veils of
secrecy and team up with competitors to succeed.
A recent example of this is the collaboration announced
between Microsoft and Sony to develop future cloud
solutions for game and content-streaming services.
This teaming strategy between rivals might seem surprising,
but if the future of gaming is cloud-powered, then a
collaborative infrastructure will be key to fend off potential
larger gaming threats.
#OgilvyTrends2020 / Sources: NYT, Telecomms Image Source: Sky News
But ecosystems are not just about
Openness and collaboration are traits that closed ecosystems will
need to consider. Being ‘open’ should be a core tenet of any
organisation. After all, it grows the pie versus garnering a larger
share of a smaller pie. ‘Collaboration’ will lead to new insights, new
discoveries, and greater overall value for the end user of the product
or service. Failure to embrace these principles will create barriers.
However, ecosystems also need long-term, sustainable
profitability and viability, so while partnerships may create value in
the short-term, competing on the holistic proposition must not be
To emphasise the importance of a brand’s proposition, an example:
Facebook did an incredible job of mobilising and engaging
technology companies, publishers and online gaming companies to
adapt their propositions to the platform. It created a deep
ecosystem of content, product and services, and therefore a
continuous role in the life of the consumers. MySpace did not create
an ecosystem to support the community and suffered as a result.
With chaos comes opportunity
The next ten years will redefine the world as we know it, and society will evolve over
this timeframe, too.
Ecosystems are the cornerstone of future growth.
Ask the following questions:
• What ecosystem are you competing in?
Demonstrate your leadership and control points
Is your company positioned in the right ecosystem?
Make sure you are positioned in the right location
• Are your competitors well positioned in the ecosystem you are competing in?
Understand the strategic or tactical weaknesses in your competitor’s positioning
that your company could exploit
• What are your paths to growth outside of the traditional core offering?
Develop new innovative, agile business models
2020 TREND 5
Welcome to the experience
#OgilvyTrends2020 / Image Source: ibm.com/press.
Experience is the only thing that
The “experience” groundswell has been mounting for some
time. The domains of CX, the CXO, experience design, have
gained influence across organisations.
Much more than a buzzword, the experience advantage is real,
just look at pretty much any “unicorn” that’s come to
prominence over the last decade. Whether it’s retail, transport,
banking, lodging, companies that have been able to disrupt have
been those that relentlessly focus on the customer.
What has been a strength of some is now an imperative for all:
brands that don’t design customer-centric experiences will find
themselves severely challenged.
In 2020, brands cannot pay lip service to customer-centricity,
relegate it to marketing, or keep it within the narrow remit of a
CX capability. The focus on the customer is now an enterprise-
wide priority, and companies that re-orient themselves around
their customer experience will reap the benefits over the next 10
years and beyond.
“The last best experience
that anyone has
anywhere becomes the
minimum expectation for
the experience they want
-Bridget van Kralingen, IBM
#OgilvyTrends2020 / Sources: Forrester, IDC. Image Source: New York Times, “How Sephora is Thriving Amid a Retail Crisis.”
Great experiences come from
brands with purpose and
The idea of “customer-centricity” has been prominent among
business pundits for some time. In response to the rallying calls,
businesses have rushed to to invest in data and technology that
promise to improve their customers’ experiences. Spending on
CX technologies alone is projected to reach $641 Billion in 2022.
Yet, businesses often to struggle to make productive use of
these investments and come up short in customer satisfaction
measures around experience. An over-reliance on the promise
of data or technology can be the culprit, for sure. But where we
see brands falling down CX, we usually see a failure to connect
the brand promise, business goals and customer insight into
meaningful reasons for audiences to engage.
There is no choice between customer-centricity and brand-
centricity. No CX platform without a strong brand promise at its
centre can hope to achieve its desired impact.
A clear articulated and communicated brand vision is also critical
for enabling the organisation to make it happen.
Image 1: Beauty retailer Sephora encourages customers to test and explore makeup through
engaging in-store experiences, well-trained staff, omni-channel engagement, and a loyalty
programme that delivers real value and recognition in exchange for customer data..
#OgilvyTrends2020 / Sources: PwC “Experience is Everything,” : PwC Future of Customer Experience Survey 2017/18.
You only have one shot to get
experience right…or wrong
One of the biggest challenges brands face is how to design
experiences for every touchpoint. But brands must be more
The principles that drive great experiences haven’t changed
significantly over time. But, advancing technology – 5G, Cloud,
AI, EDGE – have brought many new and potentially high impact
tools into the mix.
While people are almost constantly connected, their mindsets,
needs and expectations remain unique in each situation. In fact,
a third of customers globally say they would stop doing business
with a brand they loved after just one bad experience. Think
about this before launching your next chatbot or VR
Yet, the prize for getting experience right is worth winning.
Consumers are willing to pay significantly more for products and
services when companies provide a great experience.
Figure 1: A 2018 study found that customers are willing to pay significantly more for products and
services provided by companies with a great experience.
#OgilvyTrends2020 / Sources: Forrester, “The Brand Experience Playbook For 2020,”
X marks the spot
Creating great experiences can no longer be a side project;
experience must be treated as a key strategic initiative.
Measurement is critical when you’re making the case for
transformation. Yet, only 14% of CX professionals can quantify
how an improved CX will benefit their brand and business.
Brands need to find out what matters to customers, and
measure it. Having the right infrastructure to collect big data and
is necessary, but equally, using behavioural and neuroscience
research can identify essential human insights. ‘Thick’ data helps
to contextualise decision-making. Successful brands harness
that data to give consumers better choices, more convenience,
and transparency, building useful and meaningful experiences.
Leading companies like Alibaba aggregate services from
healthcare to grocery shopping to banking, creating a consistent
experience in a single platform. Businesses need to stop
thinking about experiences in ‘channels’ (e.g., mobile, social,
retail, etc). Instead, the goal should be to create continuity
across all points of engagement.
Figure 1: Forrester tracks the impact across sectors of making even small CX changes.
#OgilvyTrends2020 / Sources: Forrester, “The Brand Experience Playbook For 2020,” Image Source: Monzo.com.
The path to creating great
Brands in your category that are excelling at customer
experience have are of years of effort behind them, so it’s
important that experience initiatives are right-sized for your
company, your brand and your customers. A few starting points
that have helped our clients along the way:
• Conduct an experience audit: Map out the current state of
the experience across customer segments.
• Develop experience design principles: These can be used
as a checklist for anyone creating customer-facing
experiences, from product to service to retail and beyond.
• Execute quick wins to drive momentum: Make sure your
roadmap includes winnable initiatives that can be socialised
to drive momentum
• Don’t count on tech to do the job for you: Technology is the
great enabler of customer experience, but it acts in service of
it, not the other way around.
• Remember the trifecta of brand, business results and
customer insight: Missing out on one of these can cost the
Image 1: In a sector associated with confusion and lack of transparency for consumers, UK start up
Monzo has become one of the fastest-growing digital banks by delivering on a promise to “make
banking easy” through exceptional customer and brand experience.
By Ogilvy Consulting
THANK YOU FOR READING