Marketing Trends: What do we predict for the year ahead?

Posted by Imogen Arnold on Feb 9, 2021 9:58:09 AM
Imogen Arnold
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How do we market for growth in 2021 and what marketing trends should we prepare for? First and foremost, today's consumers and business buyers expect a great and consistent experience. You see, digital experiences continue to get better and easier. When one company does something great, that becomes the new benchmark. Just think about how Uber has changed your expectations of ordering and paying for a ride.

When it comes to marketing and sales transformation, here are 10 areas to consider, through the lens of creating outstanding customer experiences.

1. Digital first

Your website is your calling card and no doubt a critical method of doing business. It needs to both attract attention and sell your brand. So is it mobile friendly? Quick to load and easy to navigate? Does it represent your brand and sell your products and services well?

If your website is not performing at the top of its game, particularly on mobile, then this should be a top priority to fix. Consumers have very little tolerance for a sub-par online experience nowadays, and it will cost you dearly if your website is not up to scratch.

2. Embrace Technology 

Recreate a human experience, online. Consumers will reward businesses that make their lives easier and will remember those that don't. They expect a first-class online experience and appreciate it all the more when it's tailored and personalised. So pay attention to creating a pleasurable online experience. Whether that's an elegant online ordering system, smart booking experience or app integration that's cutting edge. 

Consider the technology systems you have in place. Are you making the most of automation and integrations? Do you use chatbots, clever online booking functionality, product tracking, email and text automation services, cutting edge payment functionalities, real-time reporting and updates? 

While many of these ideas used to be cutting edge, they are now mainstream and expected. All industries are being challenged to better embrace technology in new and innovative ways.

3. Content is king

We have developed an insatiable appetite for content, and it's all about convenience. We now expect to digest content precisely as we want it when we want it. From a marketing perspective, this means having to repurpose content across multiple channels like never before.

Consider:

  • Long and short-form mobile video
  • Blogs
  • Webinars and online tutorials
  • Podcasts and audiobooks
  • YouTube videos
  • Downloadable PDFs
  • Emails

When we think about content today, almost all of it should be digital-first and complemented with a hard copy when justified.

4. Social Media

Be relevant and add value. Consumers are becoming more discerning when it comes to following businesses on social platforms. They're growing tired of spam in their feeds.

Businesses need to get savvy about their advertising on these platforms and make sure they are creative, relevant, highly targeted and offer something of real value to their target audience.

Given the choice of channels is growing, think: Instagram, YouTube, Facebook Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, Snapchat and Pinterest, to name a few. Having a clear, well thought out social media plan is critical, or it can be a real marketing trap.

5. SEO

Getting found online has never been more important. However, with the threat of Google Search leaving Australia, it pays to be aware of the impact this may have on your business and consider alternative online strategies for this year.

6. The rise of webinars and video conferencing

With more of us working from home or working remotely, video conferencing services such as zoom have become a daily part of our lives. We're used to digesting content in this way now and have seen a big surge in the rise of webinars and video conferences using these tools. 

7. Podcasts

As quickly as video streaming services have exploded, so to have podcasts. They're the latest and greatest way to digest content while we go about our busy lives. But they must be engaging and produced to a high standard to gain cut-through. 

8. Personalisation

We touched on this earlier when talking about technology but it deserves special mention again. Given the rise of social isolation, consumers are looking for meaningful ways to connect and feel validated and loved. Businesses that make consumers feel special will do well. As will products that are customisable and one of a kind.

9. Trust and credibility

Consumers expect transparency and up to date communication. If this is lacking, then it breeds mistrust and creates significant barriers for your business. As we're forced to have to embrace businesses online, online reviews will become more important, as will a faultless customer experience that's consistent and transparent.

10. Expect the unexpected

Given what we have all just lived through in the last year, one thing is for certain. Expect the unexpected. It pays to remain flexible and innovative in your marketing approach and embrace technologies and new buyer behaviours. 

Poignand Consulting is a strategic marketing and sales enablement consultancy that exists to unlock customer value for your business. We do this by helping enrich the customer experience at every point of contact – from the first seed of awareness to enquiry to opportunity, purchase, the post-sale relationship and repeat purchases. 

If you would like help with your marketing and sales, please contact us. Or why not take advantage of our obligation-free discovery session and gain commercial insights and a fresh perspective for your business.

Topics: strategic marketing, inbound marketing, Content Marketing

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