Last year threw us a curveball that none of us could have predicted. The result in the marketing world was that many of the trends defining where marketing was heading were rapidly accelerated, if not immediately pushed in that direction. It was all about adaptation to a changed world. Now, marketers are embracing those rapid changes and are anticipating how to best adapt them wholeheartedly. Here are a few 2021 marketing trends that we’re paying particular attention to.
Virtual events are king
Virtual concerts, virtual 5Ks, virtual product showcases. It’s all gone virtual! The novelty of the webinar is now the norm of event marketing. This trend that event organizers and marketers were rushed into in 2020 is not going anywhere in 2021. It’s a necessary means for brands to engage with their customers and will be even after in-person events resume. That’s because not everyone will be on the same page about returning to public at the same time—and some may prefer virtual indefinitely.
Opting for online interactivity
Given the barrier to in-person interaction, it’s all about interacting online in 2021. You might be thinking, “Wait, everyone was already online—why is this different?” It’s because whereas before, interacting online (with customers during a virtual event, for example), was an optional perk, now it’s a necessity. Marketers will need to determine the best way across multiple avenues to reach their clientele digitally as a standard, rather than an option.
Continued investment in digital marketing
Given the 2021 marketing trends we just mentioned, this one might seem like a no-brainer. It’s important to note, however, that scaling up digital spending is a must for brands who want to keep up with the competition. Digital marketing is no longer an option. In fact, according to a recent article by HubSpot, digital advertisers plan to spend 25 percent more on average in 2021.
Curating brand culture
In times of hardship, we tend to unite as a society (think post-9/11). Dealing with the Great Pandemic of 2020 (who knows what it will end up being in the history books) is no different. Neighbors are helping neighbors. Strangers are helping strangers. And ultimately humans are helping humans.
What is your brand doing to help (customers) at this time? People want to know, and the way to tell them is through your marketing efforts.
Presenting a human side to marketing
People want to be treated like people, not just numbers in the system. This means starting conversations (and actually listening to feedback). It means appealing to human emotions. And it means going beyond the traditional sales pitch to try to help people better their everyday lives.
Turning frenzy into innovation
Marketers, like the world as a whole, were forced to adapt—rapidly—to the circumstances thrusted at us in 2020. Now that the shock of this adaptation has somewhat minimized, it’s time for marketers to innovate. Embrace the change, and take intentional steps to strategize new ways to broadcast effective, engaging content.
No one can predict the future, but we can speculate. These 2021 marketing trends have us excited about the year, and the outlook on marketing in general.
McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.