January 3, 2021
By Chloe Becerra - Head of Marketing, Mark Bouw Group
COVID-19 has pushed business to the brink and beyond. “Surviving” let alone winning for many businesses in 2020 has been their ability to adapt and change rapidly to an online world. Globally, we have seen major shifts in our society and industries - particularly in the field of marketing as we prepare for a COVID-19 normal world. It is nothing new to see marketing trends constantly shifting and evolving at great speed in order to meet consumer demands. With the introduction of new technologies, platforms and techniques almost emerging daily, sometimes by the hour, there’s a lot of new information to be processed. Sometimes, too much to even keep up. That being said, it is vital for any business to go above and beyond just learning the trends to stay ahead of the curve all together, particularly with 2020 coming to a close. There are some big, exciting trends emerging from the darkness and to make your life easy, here are my five marketing insights for 2021.
Video marketing, as we all know, is so important for effective marketing campaigns. However, in recent times we have seen big name brands like Apple use high-quality branded content, that consumers can relate to more effectively. As the marketing world is becoming exponentially more competitive and saturated, now more than ever the quality of the content that your business is putting out is so important. We see the trend of branded content expanding over the areas of AI, video marketing and even interactive content, to facilitate the highest consumer experience. An example is Apple's high-quality narrative video series, that depicts the stresses and quirks of working from home, something that all of us can relate to these days. This branded content is more about showing the trials and tribulations that we go through working from home and how the apple products can assist in making the experience that little bit easier. I recommend having a watch of Apple’s ‘The whole working from home thing’ for a little laugh.
Finding new and innovative ways to connect with your audience is vital so your brand does not get lost amongst the masses. Offering content that adds to your customer experience is one of the most popular ways of using interactive content. For example, interactive videos, games, apps, online AI tools, surveys and competitions are all fantastic ways of reaching your audience quickly and effectively. We see brands like L’Oreal using Instagram filters as virtual try-ons, giving their audience the ability to see which lipstick shade suits them, without ever being in store. Adding interactive elements in your marketing deployment strategy allows marketers to create additional value and engagement with their customers.
Brand Activism was one of the biggest emerging trends in 2020 and is expected to grow well into 2021. With the rise of political activism such as the Black Lives Matter movement and, the push for climate change, it has been a turning point for brands to increase their authenticity and solidarity with their audiences. Brand activism has also become increasingly important as over 2020, we have seen brands be negatively impacted for their silence on certain global issues. This sees brands having to be at the forefront of what is important to their audience and that silence is not the way to go.
Corporate Social Responsibility aka “CSR” is now a true profit center. We see brands channeling their activism to branding and product strategies that resonate with consumers. For example, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream collaborated with the climate council in Australia for the ‘unfudge our future’ campaign - where a new range of ice-cream products were directed to the Scott Morrison government to eliminate the fossil fuels and support renewable energy platforms.
Our Marketing trends for 2021 wouldn't be complete without the mention of Google! Unless you have suddenly time travelled from the past, we all know the importance of Google and the power of a good SEO search ranking. However, there is a new breakthrough about to hit the market in 2021 and it's called, Google Core Web Vitals. Announced in mid-2020, this is Google’s latest ranking factor as part of the new Page Experience signal released some time in 2021. This is huge news coming front the search giant as it is giving marketers enough notice in order to prepare for the algorithm change. Now is the time to take a look at your website, as the key factors announced revolve around real world user experience.
But what does this mean? It is all about the experience a user will have interacting with your website, including page loading speed and how your website will transfer in a mobile setting. This new ranking factor will affect what page will appear in regular search results as well as Google ‘Top Stories’. I highly recommended that you check out Google’s guide on everything you need to know.
Making authentic and genuine connections with your audience has never been more vital for your business. Brands that are able to truly resonate and humanise themselves to their audience have been more successful within their marketing efforts. As we have seen in 2020, empathy has been a big factor in brands understanding and connecting with the situation that their audience is going through. Having a brand that a consumer feels truly understands them, is the difference in achieving that competitive advantage. This trend has been in marketing efforts such as nostalgia marketing, looking back on things in the past that we have previously loved and transforming the audience’s likelihood of feeling connected. Brands such as Mountain Dew used cult classic movies, like the shining, to rework into that retro sense of familiarity in times of mass uncertainty.
2021 is going to be marketing action packed and to get your head start, the team at Mark Bouw Group are here to assist.
Happy Holidays! - Chloe