Marketing lessons from 2020 🧠

This content originally appeared on December 31, 2020 as part of the Future of Marketing weekly email series. Subscribe here.


Welcome to Future of Marketing and the final newsletter of 2020. 

Each week, we send you the most relevant trends, resources, and strategies in social and user-generated content (UGC) by marketing leaders around the globe.

Today, we’re celebrating the brands and people who helped bring the world together, and revisiting some of the most memorable moments of this past year.

Thank you for your continued support. Here’s to you and the New Year. May your future be filled with peace, love, and prosperity. 🥂

Memorable brands

Studies show that brands can strike gold by correctly responding to change during a tumultuous environment.

Hats off to the following teams for their bold and authentic marketing efforts (take notes!):

Ocean Spray taught us the importance of social listening and knowing when (and where) fans are talking about your brand. Overall, Ocean Spray set the stage for turning fans into advocates – and demonstrated that UGC impacts revenue *and* alleviates content production.

Burger King is the epitome of creative marketing, collaboration, and revenue channels. From T-Mobile Tuesday collabs and Twitch promos to lending their Instagram feed to independent brands – Burger King shows *it is okay* (and profitable) to be bold and set differences aside to focus on what matters.

Even amid travel restrictions, Delta keeps fans engaged with nostalgic posts, polls, and important updates. The best part? Delta intentionally re-shares captivating UGC across multiple channels to build trust – from its website and social media feeds to physical touchpoints (a.k.a omnichannel distribution)

Spotify ended the year with #SpotifyWrapped – an experience that had users sharing screenshots (UGC) of their 2020 music recap around the globe. Spotify uses small touches of personalization throughout its user journey – such as weaving notes saying “you are in the top 0.001% of listeners.”

Overall, Chipotle offers a seamless and personalized experience – from social media to its app and curbside pick-up. Chipotle also balances entertaining UGC within its content mix to maintain a consistent and relevant tone throughout its channels.

Twitter took out-of-home marketing to a new level with its #WearAMask and latest 2021 UGC campaigns (hellooo omnichannel marketing). Twitter also gave marketers a space to connect via the #MarketingTwitter community and is now publicly building Audio Spaces – which will catalyze audio UGC. 🔮

Additional Resources

  • #YearInSearch recaps the answers people searched for in 2020 [Google]
  • A growing list of marketers to watch [Twitter]
  • What we learned, how we adapted and innovated, and what’s next [TINT]
  • Receive first access to our 2021 State of UGC research study [Sign Up]

#BrandCrush: TikTok 💘

Each week in #brandcrush, we highlight exceptional brands that are channeling their customers’ voice to connect more authentically with their audience.

TikTok set the bar for short-form video and UGC. To recap the year, TikTok launched #YearOnTikTok – its first personalized year in review

“This includes things like how long you’ve been on TikTok, what sort of videos you watched most, your favorite tracks and creative effects, metrics on how often you commented and shared videos, and more,” shared TechCrunch. 

The hashtag #YearOnTikTok is up 11.7 billion views as of this writing.

Even if your brand isn’t on TikTok, it’s worth taking a page from Ocean Spray’s playbook and listening for brand mentions (and sentiment) on a platform with high potential for virality. 


Until next year. ✌🏽

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