Marketers are community-minded people. We work together across departments in our own companies, keep track of competitive players and ensure that we are closely connected to the needs and goals of our customers.
To better understand what to expect or exactly what to look out for in 2021, I got in touch with 20 marketers for their perspective.
Although a wide variety of ideas and visions are presented below, I love the common theme of how we work together towards a better future. That’s why I assume that in 2021 marketing will be more empathetic than ever.
I continue to believe in my mantra that marketing is powerful and must be used for good, not bad. This may sound too simple, but I believe it is of paramount importance that marketers understand its influence and what a wonderful positive force it can be.
We are people and we serve people. Whether B2B or B2C, customers are looking for brands they can trust to meet their needs and make their lives easier or more enjoyable. If we treat everyone with loving kindness and respect, we will achieve the positive effects that I know we can as we build a stronger, more loyal base.
Here’s what remains in store in 2021 based on the predictions of this fabulous group of marketing leaders.
1. Marketers schedule asynchronous events to be plugged into the funnel.
Latané Conant, chief market officer at 6sense, predicts, “This year there was an explosion of virtual events as marketers adapted to a changing world. I suspect many of us are experiencing virtual burnout right now, but it still will give a place for it. ” These types of events even after we resume the personal events. Imagine a virtual event that runs around the clock. “
“Your prospects will be drawn into the event if they take the right steps in your funnel, and they’ll get in touch with this event in a number of ways, like Netflix meets Slack. There’s video content they watch when they need to, and it will Played a live stream. The site has a community of users and fans creating a unique and engaging space. Interested parties learn about your solutions and are immediately redirected to your product team after watching videos and chatting with others now sounds like a virtual venue event that is well worth a visit! “
2. Community marketing replaces event-based marketing.
Adam Masur, Vice President of Marketing at Credly, told me, “The era of anchoring marketing around a major industry event is coming to an end. We’ve all seen the annual conference go virtual because of the impact of COVID-19. But me expect the hosts to reduce their audience’s appetite for the unique virtual gathering too. “
“Look for more intimate and timely online gatherings in 2021. Experts with verified digital credentials and a willingness to share will be valued leaders and influencers of the virtual community.”
“Companies should be ready to actively contribute and add practical added value to the conversation.”
3. Businesses will find new ways to promote connections online.
Kevin Alansky, Chief Marketing Officer at Higher Logic said, “The virtual and digital world will continue to exist in 2021 and possibly beyond. Many organizations have moved their annual event and exhibition to a virtual one. However, many organizations failed because they tried have to repeat the experience on an outdated model. This has resulted in a deluge of virtual events and many people are faced with ‘zoom fatigue’. “
“Businesses are now wondering how to battle this crowded marketplace and differentiate themselves. The answer is online communities – how do you get involved before, during, and after your event? We need to find ways to better engage our audiences and.” to achieve a meaningful structure. ” Connections between our organizations and our customers. We’re already seeing the demand for engagement this year and this will continue to be a big trend through 2021. “
4. The interactivity that has been promised for decades is now a necessity for 2021.
Jake Milstein, CMO at CI Security, told me, “When the pandemic broke out, there was a huge surge in registrations and participation in virtual events trying to mimic personal events. Attendance at these events took a month or two and then went back away quickly. People are looking for more human interactions – something that is out of the norm. Webinars just don’t do it anymore. “
“People are now interested in discussions and panels where they can ask questions, they can be part of the action, they can offer their own expertise. You can’t do that by watching someone on stage, but we all know that it is something. ” You can work online. The interactivity that has been promised for decades is now a necessity for 2021. ”
5. Customer focus will drive brands.
Natalie Severino, VP, Marketing at Chorus.ai, predicts: “Throughout the many challenges of 2020, sales teams have weathered the storms and thrived by putting the customer at the center of every decision. This is only possible through Total.” Alignment between sales, marketing and customer teams as they all need to rely on the real voice, weaknesses and goals being used to build a successful partnership. “
“While traditional relationship-building methods like face-to-face meetings may not be possible today (or simply cannot be scaled up quickly enough), entering 2021 will offer us a paradigm shift to bring relationships and shared business goals to the fore at every opportunity move . “
6. Brands will find their way in an increasingly polarized social and political climate.
“One of the biggest trends in 2021 will be how brands navigate an increasingly polarized social and political climate. President’s policies, response to dealing with the global pandemic, and an increasingly isolated media and social media landscape are forcing brands to make tough decisions about how and where to coordinate with their customers. “
“Every dollar of advertising spent, every choice of channel and platform, every social contribution, every inch of shelf space, and every conference or exhibition is judged by what a brand’s marketing decisions say about who they are and what they stand for,” says Tim Linberg, Chief Experience Officer at Verndale.
Income and budget
7. A / B testing becomes a waste of time and budget.
RJ Talyor, CEO and Founder of Pattern89, said, “The next decade will mark the end of A / B testing. Marketers have long relied on A / B testing to validate their intuition to help make creative advertising and marketing decisions to manage – however, the rise of AI is not only making this obsolete, it is also wasteful. “
“Once machine learning predicts the trends before they happen and gives marketers clear guidance on why they should waste money testing something that isn’t working so well? Soon marketers will be able to decide all-in what works best.” without having to test the theory. ”
8. Digital marketing spending will continue to grow.
Bridget Perry, CMO at Contentful, predicts, “We have found a digital innovation gap between customer needs and current brands. That’s why industry leaders tell us they want to spend an average of 25% more.” and 25% is just the average – some plan to spend significantly more. CMOs who don’t increase their digital spend will soon be outperformed by the competition. ”
9. Technical spending will normalize again through 2021 – but not all categories will benefit.
“Some companies will stay away, others will move to hybrid offices, and some will – eventually – get back to business as usual. In 2020, TrustRadius conducted a search for software categories such as e-signature, collaboration, video conferencing and endpoint security, antivirus and Telemedicine of course. These categories will remain strong through 2021 and beyond, reflecting the new workplace. Other categories – such as event management and facility management – will be radically reinventing themselves, “said Russ Somers, VP Marketing at TrustRadius.
10. Content marketing starts with conversation.
“The content marketing playbook we use is at least two decades old. Marketers still focus on keyword heavy blog posts as the main tactic to engage their audiences. But it’s a strategy designed for Google, not people . “
“Today, your audience wants to have an authentic experience with your brand. The best way to do that is by engaging in conversation.”
“As marketers aim to create a more people-centric experience, we will see more content from actual conversations with people in the industry that can provide the real interaction that today’s consumers are looking for,” said Lindsay Tjepkema, CEO of Casted.
11. Many companies will cut their marketing budgets.
Melissa Sargeant, CMO of Litmus, says, “In the coming year, marketers will see budget cuts and even smaller teams. This is the way companies prepare for failure. During an economic downturn, companies pull out and starve. Marketing efforts are no good. And when they do If our consumer-oriented environment returns, these brands will lag further behind than these budget-conscious decisions. “
“Ultimately, the pandemic accelerated business trends. For example, look at the digital transformation and work from home. However, if there were previously cracks in the business model, the pandemic brought them to light and now is the time to do so . ” Fix it, don’t bury it. Companies have to position themselves as well as possible in order to come out even stronger in the end. And it requires a mature, advanced, multi-channel strategy with experienced marketers. “
Teams and collaboration
12. The year 2021 is all about people, people, people.
Caroline Tien-Spalding, CMO at Aptology, says, “The North Star of Marketing will continue to evolve in 2021. Marketing has always been about understanding people and responding to that knowledge. One key difference in 2021 is that marketers are more than ever can know. It’s the rise of the psychologist and the rise of the digital marketer. ”
13. Many companies will implement a new web operations team.
Christy Marble, CMO at Pantheon Systems, predicts, “Marketers need technology to be able to respond in real time to customer needs that span the customer lifecycle and each customer touch point. The events of 2020 taught us that we must demand agility in order to to transform on a. ” Right now, to respond to customer needs. This forced an end to the era of longstanding multi-year brand and website re-creations. “
“In 2021, these will be inventions of the past, being replaced by cross-functional teams working together through technology-based workflows to continually test, learn, and develop their digital customer experience. These WebOps teams will have a distinct advantage – especially those who supported by. ” artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation. “
“The pace of change has accelerated, but one thing will remain constant: Marketers who focus on people – the customer experience – will keep pace with change. Focus your team on improving personalization, driving your customer journey, and to create a truly authentic web experience that meets your customers where they are. ”
14. Brands unlock the key to orchestration.
Andrea Lechner-Becker, CMO at LeadMD, told me: “Data should stay in the mind of every marketer in 2021, but not in the way it usually is. B2B marketers need to recognize that they are generally strong at orchestrate their own data, but unable to rely on marketing automation or CRM platforms, but strongly consider building your own system, much like a CDP if they do? You have unlocked the key to orchestration and success with data in 2021. “
15. The “Panic Pivot” becomes a more targeted reinvention.
Laliv Hadar, vice president of marketing at InVision Communications, said: “In 2020, for pandemic-induced reasons, marketers were quickly turning personal events into virtual events and innovating ways to connect digitally with audiences. In 2021, the reactionary Panic Pivot “Will lead to a more focused reinvention of the way we involve our core audiences. This reinvention will manifest itself in hybrid audience experiences that are fully connected to the overall communications ecosystem. This integrated branding approach will be built on the premise that our audiences include real People whose brand perception is shaped by their experience and who today more than ever yearn for professional empathy and solidarity. “
While quarantines, social distancing and remote working will play a crucial role in our eventual emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic, they have also had a significant side effect: withdrawal. In 2021, marketers will harness the human need for just the opposite: engagement. “
16. Brands will benefit from change.
John Graff, Sonim’s Chief Marketing Officer, predicts, “I believe 2021 will be a year that the company has significant opportunities to grow / expand their market share. Why? Because many companies will fall into the trap of having a post.” will give. ” 2020 “back to normal.” Marketing has undergone constant change and development over the past decade. Just because many people are ready to get out of the COVID era doesn’t mean the change will stop. For the best of the breed, it will actually accelerate a lot. Everything has accelerated has changed, be it work-from-home, education, online retail and more. “
“The best marketers will look to keep taking advantage of these changes in 2021 while others unfortunately fall back on the old pre-COVID playbooks. It’s a great time for marketers to keep moving forward and be the stewards helping their businesses to grow and gain shares. ” in 2021! “
17. Marketers will continue to include real, real personalization.
“Marketing automation shouldn’t be confused with personalization. Often times it’s all about faster batching and blasting. When marketers use intent data and data-based insights to drive their automated communications, they can create remarkable brand experiences that discerning consumers depend on. In the coming.” Year marketers are going to be better at incorporating real, real personalization, “says Nick Runyon, CMO, PFL.
18. Marketers rely on deep data insights and machine learning to deliver value to potential customers.
Richard Jones, CMO of Cheetah Digital, predicts, “The next generation of personalization is not about cookies or third-party data, it is not about merchandising, and it is not about guesswork. The next generation of personalization is about Relying on deep data insights. First and third party data and the use of machine learning to infer not just the right content, not just the right offering, not just the right channel, but the right sequence of events to lead to an automated path to conversion. “
“The next generation of personalization is about providing consumers with an exchange of values the moment you have them on your mobile app, on your website, or in your store. How can you offer them something, that trust and affinity to the customers? ” Brand?”
19. Cross-channel integrations will continue to grow.
Meg Scales, CMO of SlickText, said to me, “Including multiple channels in campaigns is much more effective than simply consolidating all resources into one channel – even a versatile channel like SMS. Therefore, channels and different tactics will continue to intersect.” -integrate in the coming year. “
“For example, channels will introduce services like loyalty programs to better connect brands with customers through a variety of strategies on just one platform. Also, customer interaction in one channel could trigger a personalized, automated sequence in another, generating data and behavior. which many are currently unable to produce due to a lack of time, money and expertise. “
20. We will see an acceleration with the digital first layer.
Auseh Britt, VP, Growth Marketing at Terminus “We saw an acceleration in the move to digital in 2020, largely due to the void that live events left. Substitutes like virtual conferences have not been able to really engage audiences as they do into glorified webinars which exacerbated the ‘zoom’ fatigue. “
“I see this trend continue into 2021 as we look for more creative ways to reach customers and prospects through hyper-personalized contacting, impactful direct mail, intimate and interactive virtual experiences, and relevant educational content.”