Among the chaos and disruption brought on by 2020 and the big shifts in our society, many industries – marketing and communications included – have had to adapt and reimagine the future. With new technologies, trends, and behaviours emerging on the daily, the way we attract, connect, engage and influence our audiences is constantly evolving.
As we approach the new year, we have summed up our top marketing trends to help brands build connection, engagement, and growth in 2021.
Harnessing the power of digital tools for marketing agility
When the global pandemic brought in-person events to a halt, customers relied on digital interactions, and the onus was on brands to meet them in the digital world or risk irrelevance in the new environment. Brands are expected to respond quickly to changing customer needs, adapting their services and models with a deeper understanding of the evolving marketplace.
Conversational marketing utilises targeted messaging, often done through chatbots that respond immediately to customers. Your brand should have an integrated chatbot built into your company’s website, to create a new touchpoint for customers and enable them to progress any enquiries straight away. This is a vital tool for your business to be on the front foot with real-time enquiries, but it also allows brands to analyse customer needs and enhance customer experience.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the power to gather, analyse, and interpret exploding data volumes from different channels. AI helps marketers understand consumer trends to create and harness powerful insights into empowered marketing strategies. With the right AI, customer knowledge is at your fingertips and marketing strategies will become more effective.
Video content and live streaming
Over the past year, video content has dominated the web. The views and engagement on video content are at an all-time high. This includes video content across all social platforms, with video streaming applications such as Tik Tok taking off in 2020.
Live Streaming continues to gain popularity, especially as the COVID-19 lockdowns around the globe force the world to broadcast online. Businesses can capitalise on the power of live events to promote their brands and engage with audiences. Examples of these can include full partnerships, sponsored streams, and featured ads or affiliate deals.
Engagement marketing and human experience
The world has moved online, and it is up to marketers to differentiate themselves from the competition. This can be achieved by crafting an engagement strategy that taps into audience participation. Customer engagement is quickly becoming a two-way street where customers participate as brand ambassadors, influencers, collaborators, and innovators. Engagement is what allows you to get that all-important interaction with your customer base, building relationships and trust which ultimately leads to sales, leads and enquiries.
While digital solutions can help companies increase efficiency and create new customer touchpoints, brands need to strike a balance between the virtual world and human connection. Reexamine your company core values and reflect on how they’re meeting the needs of your customers, workforces, and business partners. Values drive human emotions and actions. And since 95% of our buying decisions are driven by subconscious urges, it’s imperative for brands to put core values at the heart of their strategies.
Even in the thick of today’s pandemic and as we emerge from recession, savvy businesses need to leverage cutting-edge technologies and empowered marketing strategies now. As brands rush to respond to the everchanging COVID-19 landscape, constant change has become the new normal.