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Our predictions for the world of digital marketing in the year of 2021

I’m fairly sure most agencies and businesses would’ve written a prediction blog back at the end of 2019 for what 2020 was going to bring. I’m fairly sure everything that they’d have predicted would have been wildly wrong considering how unpredictable this year’s been. As such, it seems somewhat risky to come up with predictions for 2021.

But let’s be positive. Assuming the negative stuff continues, how do we get ahead of it? And what have we learned from 2020 that we could use to help us as we move forward? Other than singing happy birthday while we wash our hands, that is. 

Time to predict, predict, predict.

 

People will continue to rush to digital in 2021

The pandemic and lockdown have forced many businesses to radically rethink their approach to staying offline. They may have trundled along fine relying on their high street footfall – but that footfall dried up. Now, many have no idea how to get in touch with those customers other than some phone numbers jotted down in a tatty journal.

It’s almost 2021, it’s time to get online.

What the beginning of lockdown taught us is that those who quickly adapted quickly got ahead. From back-of-van pubs to local deliveries from independent grocery shops, the plucky little folks who got online got ahead.

We think we’ll see significantly more uptake of digital now that the larger, not-so-plucky folks are realising that they’re missing out on potential customers simply because people can’t find them.

So set yourself up to make it easier for clients to go digital.

If your first pitch to an independent shoemaker focuses on the engagement-based cross-platform remarketing efficacy of multi-funnel, intra-funnel, inter-dimensional multimedia campaigns, then you’re likely to be met with a long silence on the phone.

Speak in a language that people are going to understand.

“You make great shoes, let’s make sure that people can find out about them easily. Let’s focus on the quality you produce, let’s keep it simple.”

The people just now moving to digital are those who will have become used to a certain way of working over years and years of work. Make it easy for them, help them understand what’s what, and we’ll all be in for a better experience.

 

Businesses are seeing the value of good visuals

Investment in visual brand identities for digital channels has been rising for some time now. But the lockdown(s) have shown brands the need for not only a strong visual identity but a wealth of imagery for their products and services.

In short, you need to be sexy.

If the only way that people can find out about your products is through your website, you need to make sure that you have a bazillion photos of those products on your site. 

The need for vastly increased visual assets is going to mean that business owners who were previously indifferent to visuals are now going to need a whole bunch of visuals. This means photos, videos, illustrations, graphics, and the capability to host those visuals effectively on their sites.

This isn’t something to just look nice. It not only lets you be found more easily, It’s the ability to show prospects how good your products or services are. Think about it this way: you could be standing in front of the best Italian restaurant in the world, but if you can see that everyone’s eating off plastic kids’ plates with plastic cutlery then you’re probably not going to trust them.

A html website is the digital equivalent of plastic kids’ plates.

As a digital marketer, you need to prepare for people rushing to these services.

As a business, you need to rush to these services.

 

Fully-integrated ePOS systems in 2021

Until surprisingly recently, ePOS systems (electronic tills) were little more than fancy calculators with touchscreens. But recent innovations in the field have meant that you can really easily track your sales, your stock, your staff, or anything else you want to track business-wise.

For marketers, this is a miracle. That’s because it allows us to get the information we have otherwise had to guess at in the past. Receipts, for example, don’t really need to be printed in order to be immediately binned; why not ask a customer whether they’d like to sign up for your loyalty program and get receipts emailed? All you need is an email address!

These systems improve the customer experience and make it so much easier business-side to track what’s going on and stay in touch with customers.

As marketers, we need to be aware of any legal implications of integrating these systems, as well as get familiar with how to get information from these systems so that we don’t have to rely on digital newbies to give us terribly-formatted csv files. 

 

The state of business in 2021 in a nutshell

So, in a nutshell, 2021 we predict will be the year of the majority of businesses joining the online sphere. We’ve all been saying it for years, “you’ve got to be online to be found”, but this year may have just been the motivation many of them needed! 

As an agency, you need to be sure to adapt your approach for pitching, selling and communicating the move to digital to make sure you’re not chucking jargon, and promises of things no one understands just because it sounds fancy…

The online world of small businesses, indie retailers and pop up shops is about to get even more populated, and it’s our time to shine to help these guys stand out, using cost-effective, easy to manage digital solutions to do this.

 

If you’re one of these businesses reading this, then get in touch as we’ve got some great digital package solutions for you through The Spark Agency.

If you’re an agency and would like to partner with us so we can offer each other’s clients awesome services, then learn more about our Agency Partnership programme!

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