5 Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2021



2020 is almost over and I think I can speak for all of us and saying we won’t be sad to see it in the rearview mirror.  As we head into the new year, here’s some things I’m going to be watching for in marketing.

Number one – marketers are spread thin.  COVID’s had an impact on the workforce across almost every industry and, even as hiring picks back up, the marketers we’re talking to have been asked to do more and are juggling a lot of balls coming out of the holidays

Number two – more emphasis on ROI.  Budgets got cut in 2020 while we all paused during the shutdown. Some of that spending is coming back of course but organizations are laser focused on ensuring that whatever money is spent on marketing in 2021 is effective and is achieving the desired ROI.

Number three – the focus is going to be on digital.  The world won’t be back to normal for some time yet and business that was traditionally done in person is going to be increasingly done online.  Companies and industries across the board are pressing fast forward and developing digital capabilities and they’re going to continue to do so even as we slowly reopen.

Number four – measurement it’s less precise. 2021 will be the year the cookie finally crumbles and the historic means of measurement like multi-touch attribution are going to get phased out as new solutions coming from multiple players in the industry using stitched together networks of logged in users and cohorts and users and the like will take their place.  That means more blind spots and less precision.

Finally, number five – search is going to continue to grow.  Search is one of the biggest beneficiaries from the pandemic and the world staying home.  Ninety three percent of online sessions start with a search engine and the number of online sessions has exploded in 2020 so that’s ninety three percent of more sessions.  Companies are going to continue to invest in capabilities and infrastructure that allow them to compete for those growing numbers of eyeballs.

Here’s hoping for an exciting, though less eventful, more traditional 2021.  Happy holidays!

Brent Bouldin

Partner & Co-Founder | New Media Advisors

Brent Bouldin is a Partner and Co-Founder of New Media Advisors. Previously, Brent was Head of Marketing, Media and Customer Acquisition at Choice Hotels International and led the Digital Marketing and Media Center of Excellence at Bank of America. Brent has held strategy consulting roles at Deloitte Consulting and Ernst & Young and served as the Chief Strategist at FedEx.com. He has led Digital and Social Committee of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and has a seat on the North American Board of Directors for the Mobile marketing Association (MMA).

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