2020 had its peculiar challenges; the global pandemic and its resultant effects on global economy. Most brands and businesses are currently struggling to steady the reigns. That notwithstanding, the digital/online space has recorded a boom, with a resultant wave of digital evolution set to dictate the marketing trends for the coming year. We have thus prepared you 7 marketing trends you can’t afford to ignore in 2021.
Now check this out; of the 7.5 billion world’s population, about 3.5billion are online; about 53% of this online users do so with their mobile phones. An average internet user spends about 4-5hrs daily online. Imagine converting just as small as 1% of this population at as little as $1 dollar each. ‘How’ is the only differing factor.
Evolution of digital marketing has continued to pull a twist on the traditional marketing and advertising. The behavior, expectations and demands of the present day consumers are constantly evolving, and adaptation has become key.
Records have shown that over 60% of brands, businesses, and entrepreneurs exert enormous amounts of energy and resources designing and executing marketing strategies, yet fail to generate commensurate amount of returns. Direct marketing and advertising agencies will struggle harder to deliver tailored advertising to their clients.
However it appears, only forward looking organizations can tap maximally from the outstretched opportunities stemming from innovative marketing approaches. The rest will dabble through and grope for the lowest hanging fruits within reach.
The digital evolution calls for nothing but adaptation. Brands should not just find their feet within the digital space, but also seek within it, better ways of meeting customers’ demands & expectations at the shortest time possible.
Information is a vital commodity, and the effect of an informational gap in any organization is a million dollar opportunity cost.
Every piece of viable information is a key to a given level of freedom. We reviewed the current market trends and analyzed their individual potentials in relation to evolving demands and expectations dominant in the present market environment. We most certainly came up with quite a long list of trends which was further crystalized to distil 7 marketing trends you cannot afford to ignore in 2021.
Every tune has a vibe; every beat, a corresponding dance step; the lyric’s clear – think digital.
Remember Darwinism? “The best adapted species survive, while least adapted become extinct”.
This read has been carefully curated to illumine the rails of informed decision; concise and straight to the point to ensure you enjoy reading.
You might be challenged to try something different; no worries that’s the surest way to get a different result. But try what? Well at least be in the know; knowledge precedes action.
In order to empower you with the right information, we have reviewed scores of marketing approaches, strategies, trends and revered industry-specific experiences, insights and know-how to itemize top marketing trends you can’t ignore if you are determined to take your marketing seriously at this stage.
- Artificial Intelligence. One very important trend you can’t afford to ignore in 2021 is Artificial Intelligence (AI). This is the advancement in machine learning; emulating human cognitive processes in acquiring experiences and adapting to sets of information/data to help execute tasks intelligently. It has and will continue to generate increased productivity for brands and businesses who adopt them. A very significant application of AI in marketing is in Programmatic Advertising. It is an automated process of buying and selling ad inventory, using AI and real time bidding across digital, mobile, display, and social channels. It is a great tool for targeted advertising. Remember the key to high conversion is to first ensure you place the right content before the right people.AI can be applied in generating smarter search results; your SEO efforts should take this into serious consideration in developing your keywords and creating your content. Your e-commerce sites could also be equipped with technologies like elastic to accommodate searchers that go beyond matching keywords. More and more e-commerce brands are expected to implement auto suggests, advanced search, and the likes. You may also have realized the excellent product recommendations on Google, Amazon, Jumia, Spotify, Netflix and others; they come through as real tastes among millions of available options. These recommendation engines or systems are great marketing tools you cannot afford to ignore in 2021.Within this trend also, customer segmentation and content generation is another ship on sail. User behaviors across media platforms can be used to generate optimized contents, and processes can be automated to reflect various consumer categories. Currently, most contents are created by machines and not humans (including articles). Specific sets of information can now be turned into human readable contents.
- Interactive Marketing. Trigger-based or event-driven marketing is a strategy that has overtime used two-way communication channels to allow consumers to connect with a brand directly. The present day customers are enlightened and usually more sophisticated than you might have thought.Decision making as well has become tougher in the face of several competing options and alternatives. As the days go by, interactive marketing has become a trend that is set to reposition quite a number of brands for a sweepstake within the digital space.This may not be exactly as you may have expected, but you sure need to pay a closer attention to your customers; listen more, aim to understand by way of surveys; create the bond of loyalty by creating avenues that allow your customers communicate with your brand in a manner that nurtures a sense of belonging.
The winning edge is in keeping it simple, genuine, and as natural and free-flowing as possible. In setting up machineries or dedicated media managers, relational attributes is key, and you may need to tract and reference all reactive innovations, and implement changes based on feedback and expectations. This is another key marketing trend you can’t afford to miss in 2021.
Don’t just stop at creating engaging contents; ensure you follow through.
- Visuals vs Augmented Reality. You may want to recall that beautiful picture you uploaded lately on your handle and what the engagement was like.Vision is the most dominant sense and the effect of visuals on any business can never be over emphasized. Most information transmitted to our brain is visual.Now you get it, so if already, pictures can boost engagement massively, imagine what moving pictures can do to your business. Various studies have demonstrated how videos have increased conversions by over 70%.The trick is in simply extending a grasp for the olfactory senses as well as visual. ‘Catch the eyes and arrest the ears too’. In the past years, explainer videos have contributed a whopping 70% – 80% increase in conversions. You don’t need to be reminded that ‘google like videos’. Create! Build trust with visuals as a foundation for conversation & sales.
Videos have been excellent, but the game’s stepped up – augmented realty. Target multiple sensory modalities to produce a combination of real and virtual worlds.
Be sure to understand that the primary aim is to enhance creative user-experience that resonates with the perceived reality.
AR has been used extensively in architecture in visualizing building projects where computer generated images of a structure can be super imposed on a real-life local view of a property. Real estate marketers who utilize this marketing tool record more sales than their counterparts who do not.
Product previews and user guides in 3-D display models create more conversion rates than just plain visuals. The experiential rendition of a real-word environment enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information, in a manner that allows for a digital blend of brand identity into an audience’ perception of the real world, thereby creating an ownership opportunity that activates the audience’ minds to access pseudo-user experiences that catalyze buying decision processes. This is a key marketing trend you can’t afford to ignore in 2021.
- Influencer Marketing. Influencers are not necessarily celebrities and can be found anywhere across various social media channels. Maybe a popular health instructor, fashion photographer on Instagram, a youtuber, cyber security blogger, wellness and fitness coach, or a respected marketing executive on linkedin. You just have to find them. Some will have hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of followers while some may have only 10,000, more or less, but one thing is common, they have gained a reputation for being the experts in their field and are more like consultants or go-to persons that provide answers/solutions to people’s questions/needs. They may make the most engaging social posts on their specialist topics depending on the sphere of their expertise.In engaging an influencer for your brand, you have to weigh the relevance of the influencer’s thoughts and values with not just your brand but your goals.When marketing a healthcare product for instance, an influencer with a followership base of about 100,000 healthcare workers would have a better effect/outcome than one with 1million followership of adolescent college students. And the latter may be more ideal for promoting a fashion brand.You may have to further assess an influencer based on his/her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with his or her audience, and ability to influence their buying decisions. Influencers who create cult like followership are more likely to have more loyal audience who would ordinarily care more about the opinions of the influencer than they care about your brand. Establish a contract that allows you work closely with them to ensure your message design is well interpreted in a creative brief that helps you achieve your goals. Here negotiation is a critical skill you need to bring on. You may need to engage the services of an advertising agency in selecting the most ideal influencer for your brand, depending on your marketing goals. This is also a key marketing trend you can’t afford to ignore in 2021.
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Sure you’ve heard about this – “everything begins with a search”. Whether consumers are making a purchase or a life changing decision, search is the connective tissue between the moment of inspiration and action. Search is the principal companion of every decision made in the global space today. The big question is, “how can you be found… and where?”Ability to show up on search engine result pages (SERP) can be a major differential factor between successful businesses and struggling ones. Your focus hence is to create traffic to your brand from search engines either organically or paid.The organic SEM would include technical SEO content SEO, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, while the paid SEM would include PPCs on Google ads, Yahoo/Bing ads. The overall goal of SEM is to increase visibility in search engines by achieving higher ranking in SERPS or top positioning for ad placement.Higher ranking will translate to higher clicks, higher traffic, and ultimately higher conversion/sales. The first five results on SERPs get over70% of all clicks. You may have heard the joke that ‘if you ever need to hide a dead body, you should place it on the second page of google search results’. This kind of statement goes to buttress the importance of hitting the first page of google search results. Begin with a proper keyword research to build and optimize your content to meet the bull’s eye. You may need to check out a beginner’s guide on this, or hire an advertising agency to walk you through this process. You don’t need to be reminded that this is a key marketing trend you can’t afford to ignore in 2021.
- Personalized Marketing. Humans are emotional beings and as a result, most assessments are made based on how a particular product/service makes them feel. More than 60% of buying decisions are made from the left corner of the brain (the emotional hemisphere). To add to this, humans are generally selfish by default. This means that you assess every proposition, outcome, offer, projection in line with how best it suits you personally as an individual or a brand.You are happier when people go all out to treat you specially. This is your fundamental expectation from life itself and everyone share these same set of traits, including your customers; the more reasons you need to go out of your way and ahead of competition to device means of creatively tailoring your marketing efforts to meet individual customer’s personality, concerns, and expectations.Personalized marketing thrive on data collection, analysis and use of technology to deliver individualized content to recipients/audience.The first thing that comes to mind with personalization may be a gift item with your name engraved on it or a commodity that was uniquely customized for your specific needs. For traditional offline marketing, these assumptions may hold, but within the digital space, personalization/personalized marketing may assume a different approach. It allows for tailoring your solution to specifically target each customer individually, depending on their choices and preferences without infringing their privacy.
Remember, a person’s name is to that person, the sweetest and most exciting sound in any language. Your ability to effectively use customer’s demographic or behavioral information/data to deliver tailored solutions to them will set you high above the competition. Personalized mails have recorded the highest click-through rates in the past years.
Pay close attention to your marketing tools for the purpose of data collection, segmentation and automation. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems for instance, can help keep track of user activities through the buying cycle, as well as guide your promotional campaigns. This will increase your overall customer retention ability, build and maintain loyalty, and create up-sell opportunities. It is a marketing trend you can’t afford to ignore in 2021.
- Brand Advocacy. The virtual world has transformed the traditional word-of-mouth approach to marketing, and social media simply enhanced it by making sure everyone has a voice to talk about your product or services. Here, in order to stay ahead of the competition, all you need to do is ensure that your client and community are saying the right things about your brand.Records show that over 90% of consumers trust recommendations from their social circles. You might have just rolled out another advertisement, and while over 70% of prospects may not exactly believe you, 90% will happily believe the word from friends and social class like bible. Thus, whether it has to do with building brand awareness, acquiring new customers, or improving retention, brand advocacy is a stunt that will help you achieve these goals by convincing leads that you are just as valuable and trustworthy as you say you are.Super stars promotions has been one of the greatest proponents of brand advocacy and have personally carried out several campaigns using this strategy with massive ROI. What marveled me most however was the total near ignorance of many brands out there, of the possibilities embedded in this approach. Most clients would put calls through initially during the strategy formation and development, and ask ‘how exactly’ but the good news is that even clients with the least budgets always realized huge conversion rates upon the decision to implement specialized approaches to brand advocacy.Use groups and communities to your optimal advantage. Learn how to apply the tremendous edge of user-generated contents, feed backs and reviews to rise above competition.
The key is in finding dedicated advocates of your brand and nurturing them. You may use help here to engage and Implement effective brand advocacy campaigns.