2020 had a substantial impact on global marketing. As the new year begins, marketing departments need to re-evaluate which strategies to keep and which to toss in the coming months. Follow this guide for three trends that will shape marketing in 2021.
Lessons from Quarantine
Businesses are slowly starting to return to the office and finding ways to facilitate a smooth transition. For marketing departments, experts, like Eyal Gutentag, have noted the difficulties faced in the past year and how to carry those lessons into marketing plans for the coming year. Automation, in particular, was fundamental to managing limited resources. This tool will continue to be key as offices re-open. By continued reliance on automation, team leaders can maintain consistency in messaging and timing. Additionally, marketing departments will use automation to produce more content and improve customer interactions. While uncertainty remains, reliance on these mechanisms will help marketers adjust quickly to changing conditions throughout the year.
Corporations, celebrities and other leaders faced a reckoning of sorts this past year. Whether it was racial, economic or political, these issues were at the forefront of some of the largest movements of the year. Moving forward, social inclusivity is a necessity for corporate culture and branding. Customers are demanding better values from their companies. However, this cannot be simply including more diverse faces in marketing materials; companies will need to embrace an overhaul across the board. Consumers are looking for authenticity and follow-through from their brands. Marketing campaigns fall flat when companies promote values in their ads but behave differently in practice. When mistakes are made, companies must show accountability and honesty to avoid a public backlash.
After a year of staying in, people are tired of staring at screens and are looking for more tangible experiences. While online marketing will never fully go away, expect to see more direct mailing to create a physical touchpoint with customers. With large tech companies slowly killing cookies, targeted advertising campaigns will be more difficult. By utilizing direct mailing campaigns, companies will create newly focused marketing strategies to interact with their customers. Companies will rely on these physical interactions to facilitate memorable experiences for the customers. Marketing departments will need to account for these shifting tactics and timelines when creating their annual budget and plans.
As the year progresses, keep track of what is working and re-evaluate when necessary to ensure consistency and quality.