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2021 Marketing Trends to Set Your Brand Ahead of the Curve

In 2021, top advertising agencies should encourage clients to remain agile, put customers and employees first, value trust, and get creative.

A Deloitte Insights paper prefaced its own vision for 2021 marketing trends by first recounting some history. They observed that past crises tended to spark new innovations and shift perceptions of value. As examples, they mentioned the telephone became popular during the flu pandemic in 1918, and the Cold War sparked the rise of TV. By the 1960s, TV broadcast so much of the turmoil surrounding the Vietnam War and civil rights that people’s perception of these conflicts shifted.

Of course, these historical innovations and attitude changes dramatically changed the way businesses operated and marketed. Today’s crisis centers on the coronavirus pandemic. Is it possible to develop some insight into the innovations and perceptual shifts that will come out of this crisis in order to craft marketing plans for 2021?

Expected shifts for 2021 marketing trends

It’s a lot easier use hindsight to spot such dramatic changes as the point when phones and TV sets grew popular than to figure out exactly how people will remember 2020 in 50 or 100 years. During the 1918 pandemic, some people predicted that their great-grandchildren might have flying cars within a century, which did not happen; however, they didn’t expect autonomous vehicles, which multiple manufacturers have already tested.

Perhaps the difficultly with even objectively measuring the present explains why nobody can predict the future with 100-percent certainty. Deloitte Insights might have found a solution though when they chose to look at companies that flourished during 2020. They examined how these successful businesses and their customers reacted to market disruption to better understand the the most important characteristics companies will probably need to thrive in 2021.

With this relatively new data and a mindfulness of past history, Deloitte uncovered some likely marketing trends that can help a marketing strategy agency forecast new trends and develop sensible plans.

1. Purpose: All kinds of organizations need to set their business goals around why they exist and who they exist for. Businesses that stay tuned to and communicate their sense of purpose tend to flourish during the toughest times.

2. Agility: Businesses that could react swiftly to a rapidly changing environment maintained an unsurprising advantage.  Meanwhile, other companies struggled with pandemic restrictions, shortages, and changing behavior. Sometimes, companies suffered because they communicated the wrong message for the times and alienated their customers.

3. Experiences: Companies did a better job of enhancing their brand positions by putting the experiences of their customers and workforce over efficiency.

4. Trust: With all of the uncertainty generated by a global pandemic, customers demonstrated that they had little patience with businesses that did not deliver on their promises.

5. Participation: These days, businesses have cemented relationships with famously loyal customers by giving them a voice. They give customers a voice in the products they deliver and how they deliver them in order to better serve them.

6. Integration: More than ever, companies broke out of their shells to form new partnerships with other businesses and public ecosystems. For instance, some businesses needed to rely upon other businesses to make deliveries or even take orders.

7. Talent: A creative marketing agency should not just deploy talent but consider that talent pool a competitive advantage over less inspired brands. Very often, businesses needed to rely upon creative solutions to urgent problems during 2020.

How top marketing agencies use predicted trends to position their clients

It’s fair to evaluate the most innovative, successful companies to anticipate the direction that most businesses will move in next year. If there’s one thing 2020 taught businesses, it’s that even the most successful companies could not predict the future.

Barely anybody talked about a global pandemic in January. By March, few people talked about anything else. Still, some companies kept themselves agile enough to cope with all of the issues while remaining focused upon the market they needed to connect with and serve.

For instance, when some customers did not want to enter the stores, the stores responded by offering deliveries and curbside pickup. If some restaurants lacked the capacity to deliver, they partnered with services that did or supplied pre-packaged meals that nearby grocery stores sold as a convenience. These businesses adapted and found new partners.

In response to such issues as social distancing and supply chain problems, good organizations developed creative solutions, communicated transparently with customers and employees, and also, valued these people enough to consider their needs and sensitivities over just their bottom line.

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