This Year in Marketing: 2020

Well, it’s certainly been a year! Discover the top marketing trends and topics that we’ve learnt from 2020 in our roundup.

Happy New Year everyone. We have made it through 2020 and we should all be proud of that.

There may have been a lot of drama last year with COVID-19, multiple lockdowns and working from home, but there was also a lot of good news as well.

To round up the year we give you our first annual marketing news round up.

This is 2020, a year in marketing.

Ecommerce rose dramatically and social media joined in

COVID-19 forced a lot of bricks and mortar shops to close their doors, however, that hasn’t deterred shoppers, with consumers flocking online to buy their goods.

Ecommerce has been a hot topic for us, and many other businesses last year, for many reasons.

Firstly, we partnered up with OroCommerce to become their first UK Solution Partner, allowing customers across the UK to benefit from the purpose-built B2B ecommerce platform.  

Then, in the world of social media, Instagram jumped on the ecommerce train by setting up online shopping within their platform.

Finally, we’ve heard rumblings that YouTube will be doing the same, allowing consumers the opportunity to buy goods straight from a video, without visiting another site. This is a topic which will almost certainly continue to be grow in 2021 and beyond.

If you are looking at getting started on ecommerce, now is the time and we have written a handy guide to assist you.

Collaboration is King

©Burger King

Another important news story, which has highlighted our community spirit this year, has been the level of collaboration seen from big companies.

With Black Lives Matter becoming a prominent topic in mid-2020, names such as Sainsbury’s, Nike and Asda (to name just a few) all publicly expressed their support in the movement.

But it wasn’t just the ethical issues supported this year which stood out. Large companies also came together in their marketing campaigns this year and it worked beautifully.

One of our favourite marketing campaigns from a supermarket this year is Aldi’s birthday party.

If you haven’t seen this, Aldi celebrated their 30th UK anniversary by inviting all the big brands including Marks and Spencer, Tesco, Asda and Sainsburys to a big party via Twitter.

The result? A hilarious chain of responses from those invited (and those missed off the list) full of puns and jokes. This was a fantastic social media engagement campaign and shows how important and how successful collaboration can be.

2020 was a year for setting aside fierce rivalries in order to work together to help each other get through it all.

We even saw fast food chain, Burger King promoting McDonald’s, as well as other local restaurants in a bid of support to get people to order from local delivery companies more during the pandemic.

This year showed that marketing and business isn’t always about winning against the competition. Sometimes, collaboration is king!

Brands showed us that purpose is everything


This is the year that we saw companies live up to their values, placing purpose over profit to help those in need.

2020 may have stretched a lot of companies to their limits at the times but it also showed us the true colours of some companies.

When COVID-19 hit, businesses such as BrewDog and L’Oréal and others focused on making hand sanitiser, instead of their usual products, putting their money where their mouth is in relation to their values and brand purpose.

We’ve also seen companies such as Dyson change their production line to create face masks and PPE to help those treating patients on the front-line.

From a marketing perspective, this is an excellent move, as it not only helps these organisations’ customers in the short-term, but provides invaluable brand awareness and recognition that will provide long-term sales benefits. It pays to be kind.

Internal marketing became a key topic

As a large proportion of companies have been working from home for the majority of 2020, internal marketing and communications have also become a hot topic.

How do you keep a distributed workforce up to date and engaged with working activities?

Before the lockdown, internal comms, whilst important, would not have been a priority for many companies, as teams were often office based so communication was simple.

But, the arrival of COVID-19 has put extra prioritisation on Internal Marketing teams to up their ‘A’ game and provide clear, concise messages to the whole company.

Let’s get digital

2020 was certainly the year we all went digital.

As millions were forced to work from home, meeting apps such as Zoom, and Teams saw a staggering rise in usage.

Not only this, but as more people were advised to stay at home marketing strategies had to adapt and meet the new way of living. If your advert had a big angle on spending lots of time with the family face to face or socialising with friends, it would be soon for the cutting room floor.

It was a tricky time for marketers, with pre-planned 2020 marketing strategies going out the window. ‘Being agile’ became the new priority, with marketers having to adjust to ever changing market conditions, public health updates and consumer behaviours.

This year has been the perfect time for digital transformation, with Ofcom seeing internet usage surge throughout the year.

On average, users were online for over 4 hours a day. This small change has resulted in a big difference in overall usage, especially when compared to the national average of 3 hours 29 minutes back in September 2019.

2020 may not have been an easy year but it was a time which showed us the meaning of collaboration, communication and comradery. It was a year which although put up a lot of hurdles for marketing, also opened a lot of doors to help companies thrive through this time.

From a marketing perspective it taught us the importance of flexibility and just how important digital marketing is in this era. After being thrown into a recession during the year it taught us resilience and how to change at a moment’s notice. It also made us consider marketing materials not only a large scale but on a much smaller, closer-to-home scale with internal marketing.

It also taught us that a company’s brand purpose matters. When needed, companies, should be flexible to support other sectors if they can. This pandemic has shown not only how resilient marketing is but also how much community spirit companies have and how when it comes to crunch those brands are there to help.