Marketing Trends For 2021

Marketing is an ever-changing world shaped by society, but that also helps direct society’s course. New marketing trends appear every so often, and businesses and agencies alike learn how to adapt to them to stay relevant. Since the age of social media started almost two decades ago, these trends seem to become faster and have more strength, as information flows continue to pick up speed. 

Major world events seem to be significant catalysts for marketing trends to appear or fade. This year’s rise of TikTok and video streaming platforms such as Twitch and Mixer directly responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, e-commerce sites and delivery apps also gained popularity within the context of 2020. Many other businesses had to reevaluate their marketing arsenal and reconsider how they were spending. 

Other significant events, such as the worldwide social justice movements, forced prominent brands to reconsider the ways they marketed and even their internal structures, which shape how the consumer perceives a business and influences their final purchasing decision.

Considering 2020 events and possible swifts in the coming months, here are some of the trends that seem to be here to stay and others that might emerge coming next year: 

  • Esports and Gaming video streams: Many of us have been staying home for the last 4 months, and this meant a lot of time online, not only on the “traditional” social media platforms but also watching esports and streaming hours of gaming. Marketers picked on the cues and advertising on platforms such as Twitch and Mixer grew significantly, as brands saw the potential for influencer content and partnered with streaming stars for shoutouts and product placements. The rising popularity of these platforms during the first half of the year hints at a trend that might be here to stay, targeting mostly Gen Z and Millennial consumers. 
  • Social Media Listening Tools: This is perhaps not a marketing trend, but a tool to stay on top of trends and build strategy. Social media listening tools help brands understand the conversations around their product or service and provide consumer insights that were often limited to reviews. Understanding your own business’s perception can help you keep the necessary consistency or pivot if improvements are needed. These tools provide data that can be easily classified by location, keyword, and language; that way, each market’s nuances can be more easily analyzed. Moreover, brands can use social listening to engage with the consumers that might be talking about the business or their specific market, securing clients, and building leads.
  • Hyper-Targeted Advertising: Businesses are trying to do their best to avoid being victims of “banner blindness” or people generally ignoring their ads. The obvious way to prevent this is to have great, eye-catching, and direct ads, but if the right target is not identified, these can still fall flat and reduce the ROI. Advanced market research that helps businesses understand their demographics is the key to create customized ads that will reach the right people and put your business at the forefront of options. Paired with the trend of personalization, targeting individuals and niche groups based on their searches, likes, and previous purchases, specialized targeting will continue growing in the years to come. 

Adapting quickly to changes is an asset that can make a difference between success and failure. Businesses that stay on top of the trends learn to swiftly make the necessary changes and have better chances to stay relevant and grow.