Marketing in 2021: Adapting after a year of profound changes

When the year 2020 started, no one thought it would change the way we live so deeply. But the never-ending crisis of the coronavirus has affected all of us personally, and it modified the way companies communicate with their customers. With that in mind, let’s focus on a few elements that need to be at the center of every marketing campaign in 2021.

Online becomes the norm

As many individuals around the world were asked to stay home, at various times throughout last year, marketing online became the best way to reach customers. Since people did not walk the streets anymore, all advertising tools outside (billboards, bust stops, etc.), and even storefronts, became useless. People were at work on their computer at home, and businesses had to reach them online, to keep their sales going.

That is why we saw a peak in online marketing activities in 2020, with companies that were not used to do so, prior to the crisis, joining in. Since everyone had to adapt quickly, the campaigns were not always as they should have been. The first rule in marketing is to always use the same recognizable pallet of colors and templates so that consumers can identify the company quickly. It wasn’t the case with many firms who would just add pictures and messages on the most famous social network, instead of using an Instagram template, to remain consistent in their stories.

As the year went by, and marketing directors understood that they would have to think differently for a while, some of them went back to the drawing board and rethought their whole online marketing. Today, if you look at their posts and stories on Instagram, you will notice that they use a basic template for all of them and they remain within their logo and firm colors.

The need for transparency

Communication with the customers has changed a lot during the last ten months. That is due mostly to the fact that society as a whole has seen profound movements as well. During the first lockdown period, many countries did not know how to approach and handle this new situation. There were a lot of communication mistakes made by authorities around the world, which ended-up confusing their citizens while creating a sentiment of disbelief towards them.

That sentiment has made consumers look for transparency from product and service companies, as well. It heightened their desire for communication that would provide them with more information. In turn, clients became more difficult, in general. They hold companies to their word, regarding qualities their products and services are supposed to have and expect the delivery time to respect the one announced when they bought the product.

Consumers looking for companies with a social approach

There is a new demand for companies to have a social conscience. People want companies to understand them and adapt to their needs. It is quite natural at a time where everything has become more complicated. It is not sufficient anymore to just propose a product or a service, as the message behind the brand is as important today to the consumers. This has to be reflected into the marketing, through the choice of words and images.

Clients also want to know if the company they buy from is ecological and if they treat their employees right. The protection of our natural habitat and respect towards other individuals have become two subjects that cannot be avoided by companies. It extends in many different ways and the smallest mistake can be very costly for a business unless it apologizes quickly and makes amends.

Story Telling

The other element that was made clear, by the numerous lockdowns, was the need for people to be entertained as well as informed. That is why companies will move more and more towards story-telling marketing. It is the best way to make an efficient advertising campaign today. By inserting their products and services into stories, it calls upon the entertainment industry, to attract new customers. At the same time, the more information that can be learned about the company in these new commercials, the better it is.

To do that, companies prepare short videos. On social media, they can literally last a few seconds, but they can also be accompanied by lengthier videos on their website or on platforms such as YouTube. Video has become the main communication tool for consumers, especially younger adults who have been raised with them. This marketing trend should last in the years to come but also develop through the use of added reality and virtual reality.

The year to come will be one where marketing will be even more important than in previous years. That is because the line between communication and marketing has gotten much thinner. But don’t be mistaken: Consumers won’t be fooled by false promises. Companies have to be true to their vision and let their customers know exactly what it is.

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