What Will Digital Marketing Look Like In 2021


This year was a year for books, with COVID-19 tossing a giant monkey wrench into our personal and professional lives as marketers. When we look into 2021, we have to ask: what improvements can have a lasting effect on consumer behavior and related marketing strategies once a vaccine is readily available?

For instance, there is reason to be very optimistic about the future of digital ads. Although ad spending fell overall in 2020, some ad channels (such as podcasting) have already recovered, while eMarketer predicts that the pandemic would benefit from popular channels (such as search) in the long term.

Coronavirus has also gained from other digital platforms (see Zoom’s stock price as a point of reference). But what about the rest of the marketing industry? This article provides a closer look at developments that we expect will transform digital marketing in 2021 and beyond dramatically.

The economic environment will keep changing after a pandemic situation.

COVID-19’s impact has been significant and, possibly, lasting. Consumer behavior has been changed and resets, at least to a degree. We believe that smart marketers will make adjustments to ads and goods and services in the short and long term.

Specifically, influential brands would concentrate on pricing and messaging based on value. In this SmartBrief post, I have shared my thoughts on consumer behavior change: COVID-19 changed consumer behavior and marketing strategy. Although research from existing companies such as Ipsos and McKinsey offers useful perspectives, we expect that brands will conduct comprehensive research to understand better how their staff, consumers, and industry have been directly affected by the pandemic. 

Smart marketers and brands will use these findings to inform both marketing plans for 2021, and long-term media and messaging changes. Digital activities, for instance, have seen exponential growth and are likely to become a pillar of the “new normal” of marketing as conventional trade shows and conferences battle and adapt.

The digital transformation would force businesses to embrace.

For both the delivery and promotion of products and services, Coronavirus has forced brands to follow digital platforms. Since March 2020,’ digital transformation’ has become a popular buzzword. 

In migrating to digital platforms, companies of all sizes spend large dollars, including e-commerce, chatbots, email, applications, artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, omnichannel marketing, and augmented and virtual reality. There will be a post-pandemic leadership position for brands that leverage new technology to create a seamless customer experience.

In the modern digital era, one key element in a successful digital transformation is the creation of omnichannel marketing, especially as channel use and preferences shift.

There will be a success for brands that concentrate on global, financial, and ethical responsibility.

The 2020 racial inequality protests inspired us to change our attitudes and educate our clients about content strategy. We expect brands to make massive efforts to clean up business practices and adapt marketing to appeal to enlightened clients who care deeply about the purpose and commitment of a company to social and environmental sustainability.

Research has shown that, in the long run, ethical companies will be more effective, so we expect many companies to join the movement in 2021. More recently, an anti-consumerist approach to holiday marketing has been embraced by more brands. A movement pioneered years ago by REI. In 2021, look for more planning in these positions.

Influencer marketing will intensify its role as a vital channel for consumer brands.

Consumer companies have traditionally used social media influencers to view actual, unbiased advertising to attract prospects and customers. The pandemic increased the impact influencers had on food purchases due to a local chance to shop in supermarkets.

During the pandemic, social media use increased significantly, and research firms expect this trend would last. A new study found that after seeing it used by an influencer on YouTube, Instagram, or Twitter, 40 percent of individuals indicated they bought a product online. As a result, more than ever, marketers have an incentive to use social media influencers. Explosive growth was experienced by TikTok, surpassing Snapchat in Generation Z use, and brands have taken notice. Sea Salt and Oregon Paint’s timely and opportunistic adoption of influencers is just the tip of the brand iceberg going into 2021. Influencers can talk on a more personal level and offer their honest opinion that, compared to standard brand ads, resonates more with their followers. We expect influencers to gain even more attention and influencers to be used more than ever by followers and companies.

We believe 2021 will be full of hope, focused on cross-channel outcomes, empowered by better monitoring. The core principles, credibility, and digital channel success are the subject of most of the actions that consumers and brands will follow. How are you adjusting to ongoing changes in 2021 for your digital marketing?

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