Marketing Winners and Losers in 2020 – According to Google Digital Marketing Trends

With Google’s latest “Year in Search 2020” just released and revealing that our second most asked question was “Where does Vanilla flavouring come from” (!?) we thought we’d take a look through Google trends to see what impact the mammoth events of 2020 have had on Sales and Digital Marketing Trends and just what 2021 might hold…

We looked at 5 key foundations of Demand Generation from Jan 2019 to December 2020 and the results were surprising:

Digital Marketing –  the broadest of all the terms we looked at – spiked in March, as businesses sought to sure up their online activity ahead of potential lockdown actions.  Most popular in England, the Digital Marketing trend saw its highest level of interest at the start of October. Locality played a key part in our search behaviour in 2020 too, with “Digital Marketing near me” up a whopping 350%. Interestingly breakout term  “Fundamentals of Digital Marketing” saw a huge uplift in popularity suggesting that first timers to Digital Marketing sought expertise and advice to maintain revenue in the face of change.

At the other end of the Digital Marketing Trends scale Lead Generation maintained a steady stream of interest but at a much lower rate than our broad match – instead Sales and Marketing bods were searching for Lead Generation Services and Tools to help us accelerate performance, with both terms up 170% and 150% respectively.

In the middle of the table Social Media Marketing just pipped Email Marketing in the interest stakes with an average interest rate of 17 versus 15 – perhaps unsurprisingly both areas have seen steady increases as we all looked to enhance our online presence.

With Facebook now boasting a whopping 1.9 Billion strong audience and LinkedIn showing 702 Million, the potential reach perhaps suggests we’re more focused on new business acquisition than engaging our known audiences. As we go into 2021 we predict that both sides of the coin – Conversion and Acquisition – need to rebalance to avoid big revenue holes.

Focusing on PPC  it’s remained as popular as ever – fuelled by a traffic increase of up to 30% according to Akamai consumer search habits have, if anything, been evolving this year and businesses continue to look for the best ways to attract, engage and convert this increase in search. Ironically that creates additional competition for anyone currently running search, display or Remarketing campaigns – standing out in the market remains a key consideration and a massive goal for businesses across all sectors.

So what can all this tell us about the trends for 2021 and beyond? For all of our trends we saw increases in Service, Tool, Strategy or Technique searches rocket up to 650% suggesting that pressure on in-house teams is ramping up as businesses push for better results and increased performances. For many that will mean a move towards Demand Generation for better revenue creation and more effective ROAS – joining the dots between tactics and bringing these key areas together to meet demanding business goals.


Posted by Helen Brookes on Friday 4th September 2020