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The last year has been a major challenge as we all adapted to the Corona virus pandemic. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any more difficult, it did.

Now that we are emerging from the pandemic and beginning to reopen, we’re discovering that challenges to our traditional methods of running our business, our staff and effectively marketing to our prospects are not going back to the way they were. We’ve got to morph and adapt as much in the future as we did in the last year.

There are 10 challenges you’ll be dealing with in your marketing this year. Read on to get out ahead of the competition, find out what you’ll be wrestling with as we reopen and reengage in the next year.

It’s 2021 and the marketing landscape has changed significantly. To stay ahead of the competition, digital marketers must keep an eye on the latest trends online. From simple strategies like influencer marketing to larger, more complex questions like the state of the digital marketing industry, there are many elements which can make or break your ad campaign.

So, what are the defining market trends of 2021? What do you as a digital marketer have to keep an eye on to use your advertising dollars to their greatest effect?  Here are 10 marketing trends which are expected to define the industry in 2021.

Continuing Digital Transformation

There may be no return to “business as normal” thanks to the 2020 pandemic. More companies are realizing this and leaning into digital technology in increasing numbers, significantly changing the way they operate. This is not showing any sign of slowing down, so remaining agile in all facets of business, especially marketing, is key this year.

Growth in Focus on “Meaning and Purpose”

To stand out from the crowd, marketers need to understand their “why” before anything else. Concentrating on meaning and purpose will help companies transcend transactions and coming from a place of purpose will connect companies with customers who are better suited for them. This helps companies to be more authentic, which customers are looking for more to help inform their purchasing decisions.

Increasing Consumer Numbness to Digital Ads

Having been in lockdown now since the early part of 2020, people are becoming numbed to digital advertising. As vaccines become available and the world re-opens, there are opportunities to re-engage customers in the real world.

Investing in out-of-home advertising could prove to be a pivotal marketing technique this year.

The Rise of Livestreaming

With more people at home than ever before, this has created a hyper-connected marketplace on social media. Audiences are tuning in to livestreams from musicians, gamers, influencers, and more besides. Positioning your marketing strategy in this sector could pay dividends for your company.

Unboxing videos and livestreamed fashion shows can easily include links to products, and your brand can sponsor virtual gigs and gaming competitions - there are endless possibilities here which you can leverage for a boost in your marketing campaigns.

The Death of Cookies

Tech giants are starting to move away from cookies for targeting purposes. Google Chrome is beginning to sunset them, and other tech companies like Apple are sure to follow.

There will likely be a push for alternative targeting mechanism. SSO (Single Sign-On) authentication and other options are likely to emerge.

Digital marketers must stay current with cookie replacements to ensure that their paid ad budget doesn’t go to waste.

Social Media Alternatives

Growing dissatisfaction with Facebook and how much companies are relying on it is sure to feed into the rise of alternatives to the social media giant. Therefore, exploring alternatives like TikTok will surely be playing on the minds of several marketing agencies this year.

Programmatic Advertising

For companies who use paid advertising campaigns as part of their marketing strategy, the rise of programmatic advertising is set to be an important trend in 2021.

There are many reasons digital marketers should be embracing this, including, real-time reporting and insights, enhanced fraud protection, detailed optimization of budget spend, and advanced, finite targeting options.

Building Brand Advocates

Building brand advocates is a highly effective and cost-efficient strategy for marketers. With increasing online activity and a younger, more engaged, marketplace who distrust traditional advertising, building brand advocates of influencers and peers will increase trust in a brand’s marketing message.

Shorter Videos Increasing in Popularity

A trend popularized by TikTok and moving into other avenues like Instagram, short videos with quick edits have seen an exponential uptick in the last couple of years. Younger target groups really gravitate towards this format and it is moving beyond that market sector.

The power of this format cannot be underestimated, especially from a marketing perspective.

Increased E-Commerce Purchasing Capabilities

[quotes]2020 was arguably the year of e-commerce.[/quotes] The sector picked up significantly as footfall decreased with the mass shuttering of shops worldwide, forcing commerce online.

Aside from how quickly the established platforms picked up, many companies and services adapted to the digital landscape rapidly, leading to increased options in e-commerce purchasing.

Gyms and personal trainers offering digital sessions, medical appointments online, personal consultations over Zoom - all these services who once took more traditional transaction options now need more e-commerce solutions.

Positioning e-commerce options within a company’s offerings will help to take full advantage of consumer’s increased digital reliance.

The Lowdown

These trends and many others are defining the marketing industry in the “new normal” of 2021. By taking them on board, your marketing campaigns will be much more focused, and you will see an uptick in your brand awareness and profitability.

There is no such thing as “business as usual” in these uncertain times, so by adapting to a changing market you will be well-positioned to take advantage of a changing world.

Helping our clients prepare for and thrive in an uncertain and rapidly changing world is what we do and have been doing for entrepreneurs and major corporations for over 30 years.  Shouldn’t we be talking? Let’s set up a time to talk about where you want to take your company.

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