While a lot can change over the course of a year, especially with digital opportunities, we’re anticipating a few trends to be front and center for a good portion of 2021. We’re already thinking strategically about how our clients can take advantage of these marketing trends so we can hit the ground running in the new year.
- Marketing Flywheel Model – The marketing flywheel model puts the customer first in every way. It creates momentum (just like the flywheel in an engine) based on the speed it’s already accumulated. Applied to marketing, it helps campaigns generate impact based on three general principles of Attract, Engage and Delight, and uses attention to customer needs to drive growth.
- AI Advancements and Integration – AI advancements are taking the world by storm in almost every industry. From self-driving cars to medical diagnostics and treatments, AI is being integrated in exciting ways. For marketing, we’re looking to AI in the form of machine learning to help us collect and decipher data, for integration with smart devices, to deliver relevant advertising and in other capacities.
- Branded Video Content – There is a difference between a video ad and branded video content. A commercial (video ad) is self-explanatory, but branded video content takes storytelling a step further. While the goal may be the same—promote the brand—the tactic is hugely different. Branded video content is something that consumers want to watch and will seek out, presents the brand authentically and connects with the audience often through a creative narrative.
- Social Media Marketing and Social Commerce – This year has shown us how important digital capabilities will be for 2021. By enabling social commerce for products, brands change the purchase experience and make it easier for customers to buy! Once a customer discovers a product through social media, they don’t have to leave to make a purchase. This reduces barriers to entry by making the process from discovery all the way through to purchase seamless.
- Chatbot Utilizations – Chatbots can be used to answer customer questions, generate leads, purchase items, collect feedback and customer data, send notifications or connect customers with the right resources. Some brands even implement chatbots for their social media pages through Facebook Chats and Twitter DM. We’ll see chatbots become more widely used in 2021, especially as a marketing tool.
- Micro-Influencer Partnerships/Promotions – Move over big celebrities, 82 percent of customers are likely to buy a product recommended by a micro-influencer and 92 percent trust micro-influencers over celebrities. Micro-influencer partnerships/promotions can engage important content creators to help boost your lead gen and sales with an authentic approach.
The new year is going to be full of marketing trends and emerging technologies. We’re keeping an eye on these six trends right now and thinking ahead so we can strategically implement these for our clients where appropriate. We’re looking forward to seeing how marketing and PR trends develop in 2021 and anticipate adding more trends to our list as our industry is known for moving quickly and being ever-changing.