2020 has been a year filled with uncertainty and as digital marketers, we find ourselves having to improvise, adapt and be nimble on our feet to survive.
Instead of mapping out the year plan for marketing’s key messages, channel strategy and so on and so forth, many of us find ourselves pivoting between ad hoc plans at record speed.
The year is coming to an end. Now what can we expect for 2021?
The Enabler Space team took a look at various trends and statistics. This year, we delved further into factors beyond digital marketing:
- global economic data
- consumer spending indexes
- recovery plans set by various institutes
- what the big players such as Google and Facebook are up to
- media spending statistics throughout this year
- changing human behaviour (potentially permanent changes)
- and from that, empathise what would we do, if we were in the shoes of all these various players
From that, we’ve came up with a list of ‘speculations’. While they are predictions of digital marketing trends for 2021, we’re using the word speculation this round, because of the lack of certainty and clear path. Data and statistics over time on media use, channels and spending has also moved from the standard trend we see year-on-year.
At best, we felt, if we were to do some best educated guess on what digital marketing trends we may see in 2021 was to step out of looking at only marketing data, but at a larger scale of what’s going on in the world.
Digital Marketing Trends 2021 – Predictions and Speculations
#1 – Rise of Information Marketing
What is information marketing and how does it differ from content marketing.
While content marketing has a lot to do with creating high quality content that ranks well on Google and other search engines, information marketing has less to do with SEO and more to do with the information/content being marketed itself.
Information marketing is about creating and selling digital products in the form of content, such as e-learning, e-books, video training courses and softwares that helps solve some problem.
#2 – Monetization of C2C Social Commerce
C2C stands for consumer-to-consumer buying and selling purchase model. In other words, what we see happening on Lazada and many other popular online shopping marketplaces.
However, C2C set-ups happen on an actual e-commerce platforms, such as Lazada. Where as, there are lots of social groups where people go to post WTS and WTBs (want to sell, want to buy), such as Facebook groups. And these groups have yet to implement C2C features on a global scale.
The idea being, you can complete the buying and selling of various items within the group itself, with the ability to add credits to your Facebook account per se.
#3 – Strategic Re-focusing on Data Ethic Practices
The last couple of years, we’ve seen big data playing an increasingly bigger role on how we do online marketing.
While data continues to play an important role. Its role has also changed from simply using data to gain marketing insights and set targeted ads. AI (artificial intelligence) learn by being feed huge amounts of data.
And to a certain point, how that data is being handled by AIs that are involved in predictive analysis would be beyond the engineers’ breadth of surveillance.
Today’s consumers, the growing millennial are also much more aware of how the internet works, and questions how their data are being used. Ethical practices on the use of data is quickly becomes one of consumer’s criteria on selecting a brand’s products and services over another.
#4 – SEO Gets AI Upgrade – AI Backed Tools
While search engines and various vertical search engines has upgraded their algorithm with AI to provide users with ever more accurate search results, what’s to say anything is stopping the AI tools that simulate search engine results to do the same.
10 years ago, the SEO algorithmic logic was more simple. When SEO marketers realise that Google’s algorithm looked at quantity of links, we saw the link war era. Then when SEO advanced to giving weight to high quality content, we saw the birth of SEO content marketing in how they ensure websites continued to rank.
Now, when search engines’ algorithm gets an AI upgrade, what’s to say that SEO tools are not also getting those upgrades? And if we have yet to see this mass change in how marketers are doing SEO, it’s coming soon.
#5 – Rise of Organic Marketing
Let’s first define organic marketing. It is a process of generating website traffic naturally over time via blog posts, case studies, showcasing products and services, generating reviews and other user generated content and online word-of-mouth. In other words, everything that does not have to do with media buys.
Email marketing, social marketing, content marketing, are some samples of what organic marketing is about.
With the changing consumer behaviour and the projected lower household income for the next couple of year, we can expect that consumers are going to want to be more careful and check the real value of their purchases.
As such, running ads on promotions and discount campaigns may not work as well as they use to. We may see marketers turn more focus on truly making their brands, products and services stand out by engaging, educating and really reaching out to customers on a human-to-human level.
#6 – The Big Bang of Online CRM
There are 3 key drivers to the big bang of online CRM (customer relationship management software) here. As consumers are switching to buying online more than in-person, instead of the usual person-to-person greetings, these greetings are going to happen online.
And instead of remembering a familiar face with the ‘regular’, we may move to remembering a familiar name and email.
With the uncertainty 2020 has caused, many of us marketers may have switched focus on retention and the BOFU (button of funnel) part of the sales funnel from previously having focused on TOFU (top of funnel). And successful BOFU strategies never go without some sort of CRM.
Finally, we’re seeing more independent service and product vendors, from independent contractors, freelancers to small size startups. Smaller size businesses, means one person may is spread thinly, having to do the actual work and production, while also handling the sales, after service and perhaps tax as well.
In the past, we tend to associate CRM with large enterprises, thinking Microsoft CRM, SAP and so on. Today, a CRM system can work wonders for small scale business.
And there you go, our speculations and predictions of Digital Marketing Trends in 2021.
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