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Andrea Serventi
4 February 2020
Reading time: 10 min.

Digital Marketing: 8 trends for 2020 according to experts

We asked eight industry experts to tell us which strategic aspects should be targeted this year—from interactivity to hyper-personalization and independent newsletters.

By far the most popular question at the beginning of the year is: which piece of a strategy should we capitalize on to gain a competitive advantage?

To find the answer you might rely on experience, intuition, or searching the web and looking through magazines and blogs. We decided to ask digital marketers who do this day in and day out.

As a result, we now have a multiple interview that’s full of ideas from some of the leading experts in the sector.

Eight voices tell us where and how to consider and analyze the strategies of the months to come.

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Jordie van Rijn



In email marketing I am excited about the adoption of the new AMP for email technology which will bring more interactivity inside the inbox, where before you had to leave the email.

I don’t expect many senders to go all out and do gigantically complex AMP emails and trying new functions every day. Small changes can already mean a lot. Think about:

  • Asking a few product preference questions in a short survey included at the bottom of each mail.
  • In-email liking of articles to update preferences or adding products to your ecommerce wishlist / shoppingcart.

This will do a lot for progressive profiling. Companies want to do more segmentation and personalization while the amount of web browse info they can from cookies is in decline. So the reliance of email gathered data will be something to turn to.

Or a bit more tricky, but even more interesting: Automated pulling in the right products (from a feed or from your website) at time of open / re-open.

  • More chance to promote low stock offers without disappointing anyone,
  • Automated price adjustments – so the right offer / price is always shown. Think about what that means for industries with dynamic pricing like travel and should be part of your ecommerce email marketing strategy. As much as abandoned cart is now.

I am enthusiastic about AMP, but realistically expecting this to catch on more, only if it is standard included in templates or plugins and not so much as “special type of custom emails”.

Jordie van Rijn is email marketing expert and MarTech watcher at email vendor selection.

Nazzareno Gorni


User experience

Hyper-personalization is an evolution of traditional personalization that’s capable of exploiting a larger data set in real time thanks to artificial intelligence (it will be increasingly important to rely on a CDP). Through this, the segmentation principles are replaced by algorithms capable of operating empathically at the individual user level.

UX shapes the entire customer journey, from the first click on a banner to the post-sales phase, and it is becoming more and more decisive in guiding customers’ preferences. On the other hand, customers are growing unhappy with mediocre experiences, delays, mistakes, or unnecessary complications. So it’s about Lifecycle Marketing context.

Marketing managers will need to be able to orchestrate different investments and technologies (marketing stack), identifying specific priorities and KPIs depending on sector and strategies. Such a task is by no means easy, given the extraordinary speed of contextual evolution. However we can face it by devoting a share of our time and budget (about 20%) to experimenting with new technologies and channels, such as—in B2C —addressable TV and shoppable posts.

Nazzareno Gorni is the CEO of MailUp Group.

Gianluca Diegoli



I see marketing managers carrying over themes into 2020 that had already been growing in recent years. There is also an awareness of the need for a general effort to consolidate and integrate strategies and methods (between digital and non-digital tools) rather than more innovation or pure experimentation or pindaric flight toward new and fashionable platforms.

Of course, someone will naturally start experimenting with TikTok; someone could also (in the US and UK markets) dust off Snapchat. But the bulk of the investments will be for strengthening the foundations of the marketing system outright.

Even non-native digital marketers have now learned—and often at their own expense—that there are no magic potions in digital, that the formulas, methods, the latest buzzword-du-jour (More influencers! More Videos! Stories!) work within the limits in which they firmly rest on cornerstones, such as market analysis, targeting, positioning—all of which are valid for digital and in general. Indeed, as the tactics (the structures of the advertising campaigns, app functions, for example) become equivalent, it will increasingly be worth rediscovering the fundamental purpose of marketing. Digital must help create motivation in the target, increase the ease of purchase through content and UX, bring the product into the arms of the customer through new channels (e-commerce), and facilitate the “old” ones, such as brick-and-mortar retail.

Thinkingabout the future (and training people in teams) of social networks, channelsand formats will definitively be irrelevant in the impact on the business.

Gianluca Diegoli is the IULM Professor and Marketing Consultant.

Domitilla Ferrari


(independent) content newsletter  

Just as the death of the blog has been declared many times, the return of newsletters continues to make headlines.

Perhaps we’d also thought that—given the plethora of information we receive via social media—we would no longer have time to read anything else via e-mail. Instead, it was precisely the overabundance of information that made us appreciate constancy, content focus, editorial plan, and consistent tone of voice.

The newsletter— who’d have thought?—allows the retention of an audience with whom a relationship is established. And this audience is not restricted. On the contrary, I have more subscribers to my newsletter than friends on Facebook, for example.

How do we survive this overabundance of information? By subscribing to a newsletter.

NightReview was started in 2013 precisely based on the idea that during the week we never have time to stop and read longer and more detailed pieces. Those selected arrive every Friday, for free.

Instead, Good Morning Italia requires a paid subscription, which sends a daily briefing edited by the editorial staff. Starting in 2013, it received the Premiolino, which is the oldest Italian journalistic award. This informs us while saving us time. Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin had a similar thought, and founded The Skimm in 2013, which reaches over 7 million members, including Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey.

News that’s fit to click summarized for millennials (80% are women between 22 and 34 years old) who know enough about what is happening in the world to understand that they need to know more in a short amount of time. This means there’s more time to waste on something else.

Domitilla Ferrari is Professor of Digital Communication and author of Two and a Half Degrees of Separation (Sperling & Kupfer)

Ale Agostini


Personal privacy
Artificial intelligence

If you advertise on Google, Facebook, or Amazon, then you should know that there’s a new privacy policy in California. Following the GDPR, you now have to deal with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Effective January 1, 2020, the CCPA is important because the conditions of service for the digital ad industry reside in California.

One of the key points focuses on the purchase and sale of data. If the ad company buys data exceeding a threshold of 50,000 users, then strong obligations and heavy penalties are triggered in case of violation.

The impact on how you can personalize your campaigns is strong. For example, the frequency of ads will be more difficult to manage, and the risk of overexposure and consequent damage to the brand increases.

The application of AI to digital advertising and web analytics will help companies overcome the possible extinction of third-party cookies, which is responsible for, among other things, the frequency in which people see ads.

The only way to avoid overexposure is through machine learning or auto-learning, which will make it possible to predict the likelihood of people visiting different websites.

Like Avantgrade.com, we’re working with AI based solutions that can manage this “ad bombing” risk.

Who are the winners here? SEO which, by nature, respects user privacy.

Google, as a search engine, has built its success on the belief that search results are neutral and free of advertising.

Insiders (who understand the difference between paid and organic ads) click on organic results much more often. Surveys made during my SEO courses show that organic results are considered more targeted, less invasive, and more user friendly.

In my opinion, from an era of advertising bombardment, SEO returns to the center of the marketing mix because it does not pose itself as advertising. Rather, it’s a relationship of trust based on content quality. Long live #SEO visibility on Google.

Ale Agostini is the CEO of AvantGrade

Miriam Bertoli



I think thata key 2020 marketing theme will be efficiency. Let me explain. Marketing hasgone in two directions over the past decade.

On the one hand, there’s the multiplication of platforms and contact points combined with a growing need for investment in advertising. Instagram has joined Facebook, LinkedIn has expanded its potential, and Marketing Automation has reached a wider slice of companies, to name just a few. There are new opportunities and, at the same time, the need to expand budgets.

At the same time, people and skills, whether in-house or from external suppliers, it doesn’t matter. Companies have found themselves investing more in digital-related marketing professionalism.

This has often generated inefficiency in processes – think how dispersive and chaotic the management of much desired leads often are in the transition from marketing office to sales office – and with little investment control.

Essentially my observation has been that for medium-sized Italian companies, 2020 is the time to put things in order, rationalize and redistribute. Let’s start from an integrated strategy built on the customer journey, a clear map of contact points, and a ruthless assessment of what is and isn’t actually helping  generate business.

Then, we should review choices and investments and work towards efficiency. This doesn’t necessarily mean making budget cuts—on the contrary. Positive business results resulting from more effective use of resources – especially in companies where there is flexibility and budgets aren’t tight – can trigger new investments during the same year.

Cameron Kane



We’ve been talking about the importance of data for years now, but here it is, the year 2020, and we still have work to do in order to make the most of the data we have now—let alone figure out how to deal with the deluge of data yet to come.

Data is the thread that ties everything else we do together. That means all the data generated by email marketing, social media activity, online transactions, CRM systems, mobile apps and other data sources such as web analytics.

To succeed, we must have access to all of our data, preferably in real time. Yet we haven’t yet figured out how to effectively leverage all this data we have on customers, both behavioral and demographic.

We are gradually getting better at it, but I still see businesses dealing with data silos, struggling to access 100% of their data 100% of the time, all while keeping this data safe to comply with GDPR and now CCPA—and whatever new regulations develop in the near future.

On the plus side, we have the data. On the down side, we’re still trying to get a handle on it. But I predict 2020 will be an eventful year as we make real progress in this effort to captureintegrate and leverage this data across all platforms, so we can improve our segmentation, content, automation, reporting and more.

Cameron Kane is the CEO of iPost

Francesco De Nobili


Integrated Marketing Automation

Thanks to my research activity on Digital Marketing I’ve had the opportunity to analyze the “behind the scenes” of different types of companies and sectors, as well as accompany them in strategic choices both in terms of activities and in the choice and evaluation of outsourced services.

Despite the fact that Marketing Automation has been indicated as the most effective technological innovation—especially for those who have an e-commerce—for years, the number of companies that have used it to date in Italy is really minimal.

The first problem was not having a real data driven approach to really measure the marketing activities carried out and consequently the much feared ROI, or  return on investment.

What’s changing then? Companies have finally understood that you can’t just buy a data-driven approach like you buy software. It’s a process that also requires continuous support.

Investing in a path of continuous accompaniment is making it possible to make serious use of Marketing Automation in 2020, thanks also to the latest technological innovations that allow us to be closer to the needs of the market.

Francesco De Nobili is a Digital Marketing Manager

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Andrea Serventi

I was born in 1986 in Milan, where I graduated in Modern Literature and started writing for online newspapers, magazines and TV news programs. Having now converted to marketing and the digital world, I am a Content Editor at MailUp: I read, listen, collect ideas, and write about what email marketing is and how to use it strategically.

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