2020 forced most companies to deviate from their intended marketing plans. Events were cancelled, campaign budgets were slashed, and consumers demanded more than excellent products and top-notch customer service.
While 2020 forced teams to adapt their marketing strategies on the fly, this year presents the opportunity to tailor strategies to the new digital marketing landscape.
Here are 7 trends to inspire new ideas for your 2021 marketing plan.
Trend 1: Virtual Events
2020 saw the rise of digital tradeshows, digital trade show booths, and other virtual events. This year, plan ahead to improve your digital event presence with raised awareness and accessibility, more solutions for two-way communication, and more features for customer engagement.
With virtual events proving themselves to be more cost-effective while generating more insights than their in-person equivalents, virtual events are here to stay.
Trend 2: Video Content
Stats show video content increases ROI and engagement, yet companies are still slow to adopt video as a major component of their strategy.
It has been estimated that by 2022, online videos will make up over 82% of online consumer engagement, marking a 15x increase over the last 3 years.
Struggling to generate video ideas? Start by converting proven text-based content into short and simple narrated videos to share on social media. You don’t need a Hollywood production to engage your customers.
Trend 3: Focus on Retention
From data scandals to ethical stances, the events of 2020 put customer loyalty to the test. As we continue to push through the pandemic, companies should look to reassure customers and remind them of what made them customers in the first place by shifting focus from new leads to retention.
Consider these questions:
- How has your customer’s world changed?
- How can you support them through that change?
- Can you improve the lines of communication?
- Are there new areas for you to provide value?
Trend 4: Get “Smarketing”
87% of sales and marketing leaders say sales and marketing collaboration enables critical business growth.
ABM, Digital tools, and other tactics have pushed marketing and sales teams to align. This year, take it a step further and blend the two together for a full-funnel, fully integrated “Smarketing” team. Doing so should help you develop a more detailed and actionable understanding of your customer and their needs.
Trend 5: Build a Community
In 2021, companies should aim to provide more than products. Look to tie virtual events, video content, social media, and other digital engagements together to form a greater value-added experience for customers.
Build a community where customers gain insider access to your brand, ongoing expert information, a consumer social network, loyalty programs, and more.
Trend 6: Next-Level Personalization & ABM
Every one of your customers is unique.
63% of consumers are highly annoyed with generic advertising blasts. Teams should leverage the ever-expanding data their digital tools provide by deploying more personalized strategies.
Segment your campaign targets into smaller groups, add more options to your chatbot decision tree, and further invest in one-on-one communication.
Trend 7: Live Chat and Direct Communication
While email marketing still has a place in your stack, it’s getting harder and harder to cut through all the noise. With nearly 50% of all emails being spam and 3 of the top 5 globally-used social media platforms being messenger apps, companies should consider evolving how they communicate with customers.
According to Comm100, Live Chat beats out Email in terms of customer satisfaction by 21%.
Try Something New
In-person events aren’t coming back and third-party cookies are on the ropes. Inspire new ideas by applying these trends to your business and use this year as an opportunity to build on what you learned in 2020.