Digital Marketing: 10 Exciting Predictions For 2021


What are the evolving habits of customers, emerging technology, and developments in the industry that are likely to disrupt marketing in 2021? Let’s start without a long and unnecessary intro.

1. Snackable video content

Today, the latest dream of every teenager is to become famous for TikTok. The massive creation of video-sharing apps demonstrates new ways to connect with content and the form of content that sticks. Huh. Raw. Uh, smart. Creative-looking. Yeah. Snackable. But what are the effects for advertisers as the span of user interest becomes ever-shorter?

A way forward is to reimagine advertisement storytelling using shorter formats and machine learning to serve personalized variants, which invite a journey of experimentation to engage and patch together. This has already been used successfully on YouTube by some brands, including Lego and Nike, and 2020 will see a flood of advertising testing this new model.

2. Voice Assistants

For customers next year, voice assistants can become a much more significant engagement touchpoint. More than 1.6 billion people will be using voice assistants daily at the end of 2021, and their desires will not only be based on asking for time or sending a text.

We are moving into an informal economy as users, one in which voice assistants at home can play a big part. Brands would be able to construct more instant and effortless interactions by listening to clients’ emotions and needs at the time of interaction.

3. Digital marketing transformation

Our lives have been transformed by technology beyond comprehension what we used to expect from every product or service from the most top-level services we now expect. The evolution of digital marketing is today’s key to success, and we hope it to become an even more significant theme in 2020.

We also built a digital maturity framework together with BCG to assess their current level of maturity in digital marketing and put together a growth plan. We piloted this system at the start of the year with Raiffeisenbank in Russia. Elsewhere in the world, Samsonite has successfully applied it to its model.

4. Inclusive marketing

Consumers today want more than product data from brands. They demand the opinion of the brand on subjects that matter and how they contribute positively. In 2020, the brand’s viewpoint will become much more relevant to diversity and inclusion, climate change, and sustainability.

Consumers expect to hear from various voices, for instance, and so we should consider identity, culture, and representation. Brands such as Axe and Gillette have also led to a change of attitude globally.

5. Mobile customer experience

Consumers on all platforms, including mobile devices, will also expect a frictionless experience in 2020. Conversion rates on mobiles, however, are still lagging compared to those on the desktop. Marketers wishing to remain on top of the mobile trend can:

  • Make investments in new technologies such as AMP & PWA
  • Experiences tailored to different consumer search 
  • Pursue advanced methods of measurement to better map the journey of the consumer
  • Use automated bidding to maximize the value of bids from Ad campaign behaviors.

6. Brand transparency

A majority ( 60%) of Generation Z, those born between 1995-2005, say they want the world to change. And this new generation has all the resources to learn about the brands with which they interact. Yuka, a barcode scanning app that evaluates products’ health benefits, is used by one in six individuals in France. Good On You, in luxury fashion, classifies brands by their ethics.

When 77 percent of brands have disappeared, consumers do not care. Therefore, for brands, being transparent about their role in society can be a competitive differentiator in 2020 and highlight where they plan to invest in becoming even better.

7. Personalisation at scale

We are approaching a new era where machine learning reshapes traditional marketing. As machine learning can help understand customer journeys to increase engagement and add value at critical moments, marketers are becoming more intelligent about customer experience and personalization on the scale. It can make marketing more personal, human, and omnichannel by using this information responsibly. The ability to understand and adapt to machine learning allows for extremely individual and relevant consumer engagement. For example, the car manufacturer Škoda has successfully used this technology to personalize its video ads on a large scale.

8. Visualising Search

This year marked 20 years (thanks to Versace, JLo, and that dress that ‘broke the internet’) since the invention of Google Images. When searching for answers, deciding what services or products to buy, or even seeking inspiration, consumers increasingly rely on images. So much so that “image search” grew by over 60% on mobile from 2016 to 2018.

Hitting the right text and picture combination will produce incredible results. In 2020, we will continue to experiment with search visualization to help marketers and advertisers adapt and grow their campaigns in this visual age.

9. Data-driven marketing

To deliver business outcomes, marketers will turn more and more towards machine learning and automation. Although rule-based marketing has produced successful results in the past, it works less and less in today’s times. Consumers are demanding ads that meet their personal needs.

Via predictive models, marketers that use machine learning to trigger their data can monitor bidding strategies more precisely. For a better return on advertising spending and more revenue, this focuses on the most precious conversions. Advanced advertisers like Otto and Freenet are successfully implementing this method.

10. Creative-led campaigns

Have you seen one of the first TV advertisements produced in the world? It was a radio ad being repurposed. When we see long TV adverts edited down for online video, history repeats itself. In truth, creative-led campaigns have a better chance of making an impact. 

A greater emphasis will be put on creative-first solutions focused on customer insights in 2020. This strategy allows for greater versatility and better calculation and space for innovation. It can also be modified, with opportunities for beta testing and on-the-spot evaluation, to present specific commercials to the right people at the right time.

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