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Top Marketing Trend Predictions for 2021

There’s never been anything like it. Ever. 2020 threw everyone for a loop. In many cases, marketers faced slashed marketing budgets and tentative businesses. Of course some industries got hit harder than others, but overall, it was a year that forced advertising agencies to adapt, learn new methods and apply creativity to exploring new ways to reach customers shackled to their homes. So what does all this mean for 2021? Here are my predictions. 

  • Connected TV will continue to rule the day. The pandemic changed consumer habits virtually overnight. It’s important to reach people when they’re most receptive to consuming ads and CTV is a powerful medium for building awareness and creating one-to-one engagements. 
  • Marketing budgets will slowly rise as vaccinations reverse the pandemic tide. Smart companies will recognize the value of investing dollars into reaching consumers who are hungry for experiences, interactions and basically getting life back to normal.
  • Mobile app usage will continue to grow. More Americans have spent time looking at their mobile devices than they’ve spent watching TV since 2019 according to eMarketer. Savvy marketers will increasingly leverage mobile in-app advertising, taking advantage of its many benefits. 
  • Cable TV will continue to decline. Large cable and satellite companies lost about 5.5 million traditional pay-TV customers last year – a roughly 8% decline according to public filings. Streaming services are offering high-quality programming and innovative new shows at a fraction of cable’s monthly fee. 
  • More companies will evaluate the pros and cons of working from home. Although many times clunky and annoying, platforms such as Zoom and Google Meet have become commonplace. My neighbor, who works for a Fortune 500 company, told me that it is considering the cost savings of more employees working from home. This will force marketers to consider new ways of building brand relationships and continue proven and reliable channels – such as email – to reach potential customers. 
  • Video growth will explode and continue to play an important role in growing brands’ internal and external storytelling. Video is more cost-effective and easier to create than ever and provides the ability to connect face-to-face with customers and stay relevant, helpful and genuine. 

Most people are relieved to put 2020 in the rearview mirror. Marketers who struggled can finally look forward to a light at the end of the tunnel. While many agencies have taken a gut punch, they live in an industry that requires resiliency and finding creative ways to respond to uncommon situations. That is why I predict 2021 will be a year to celebrate, finally.