The Gong Blog

Our prediction for 2020: It’s going to get expensive

Y’all. A lot is happening this year. And because it’s going to be a busy year, that means it will likely be an expensive one, especially in the digital marketing space.  Why is that?  It’s because digital marketers are basically competing with one another when it comes to digital advertising, and with a ton of big events on the horizon – from Virginia and beyond – there’s a lot that can impact your comms strategies, and that impact will likely mean having to dedicate more dollars to online spends. 

When there are large events with lots of paid and earned media coverage, there is competition to get in front those connected to each event. Marketers leverage these opportunities to get their messages out to the masses. Space is finite, and as more marketers attach themselves to an event, particularly in the digital space, you start bidding for views and clicks. I never took an economics class, but I’m pretty sure this is a classic supply and demand situation.

We’ve compiled a list of Virginia events, as well as national and international events, you should keep on your radar in 2020. As you plan and refine your 2020 strategy, keep these in mind – and plan around them, or lean into them as part of your strategy for getting your messages out to your target audiences.

Virginia Events

Monument 10K: Richmond’s most fun race attracts runners from all around Virginia, not just elite athletes, but runners and walkers of all levels. There are over 25,000 participants you can reach on March 28.

Something in the Water: If you’re planning on promoting anything around Virginia Beach in April, brace yourself for the sophomore run of Pharrell’s music festival, Something in the Water. The inaugural fest was such a success, it’s now almost a weeklong, April 20-26.

Dominion Riverrock: On May 17-19 on Brown’s Island, Virginians from around the region flock to the river to take in all the sights and sounds. There’s lots of activities and lots of sponsors’ competition for attention.

Virginia Pride’s Pridefest: This event takes place towards the end of September, and like other events on Brown’s Island, this event is free to the public, with costs offset by sponsors.

Richmond Folk Festival: Another Brown’s Island bash, this event is all over the place leading up to the weekend itself – which is usually the second or third weekend in October.

Fire, Flour, and Fork: A foodie favorite in the region, this multi-day event takes place in Richmond Nov. 5-8. There may be a slight uptick in costs if you’re competing in the food space.

National/International Events

Super Bowl: Arguably one of the biggest nights for marketers, Feb. 2 is just around the corner. You’re probably late to the advertising train, but if your editorial content is going to reflect the game, make sure you know what you can and cannot say.

Olympics: The summer Olympics return on July 24 and run through Aug. 9 in Tokyo. Billions of people watch the Olympics worldwide, and this could impact your ad buys or web traffic leading up to and during the games.

Election: The Iowa caucus is kicking things off on Feb. 3, with the last primaries wrapping up the first week of June. The national conventions will follow in July (Democrat) and August (Republican). It’s safe to assume airwaves will be busy from those conventions right up to Election Day on Nov. 3.

UEFA Euro Cup: Qualifying matches are well underway for the Euro Cup but expect coverage to ramp up June 12 through July 12 when countries from Europe compete in a little football (that’s soccer to us in the U.S.).

Other things that are interesting about 2020 that may or may not affect anything: the Census comes out and February has 29 days.

There goes our February editorial calendar template.

Happy planning (and spending)!

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Casey Prentice

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