Marketing trends for 2021 and beyond

Business as usual has changed rapidly in the past year. Businesses have had to do more to ensure they survive through the storm and the key to this is switching up how they do things. Living through unprecedented times has prompted many industries to rethink the way they do business and how they market themselves, even in the midst of uncertainty. 

What worked last year may not work this year. That’s why it’s important to create a solid marketing strategy that will also be relevant for the future and beyond. While you might need to update a few elements to keep your marketing efforts current, here are the key marketing trends you need to be aware of for 2021 and beyond.

Artificial Intelligence for consumer insights 

You may be familiar with Artificial Intelligence (AI) from conversations around tech and digitisation. However, it has also infiltrated the marketing industry and grown to be a popular tool to analyse consumer behaviour and search patterns. 

AI uses data from social media platforms and blog posts to help businesses understand how customers find their products and services. It’s also a key part of chatbot as it uses natural language processes ( software that seeks out what the customers want and responds to these interactions as if it were a real person. 

Programmatic advertising for automated Ad buying

Another win for AI! Programmatic advertising uses AI to automate Ad buying so you can target more specific audiences. If you’re familiar with real-time bidding then you have an understanding of how programmatic Ad buying works. It’s much more efficient, resulting in higher conversions at lower customer acquisition costs. 

This new development is projected to grow rapidly within the next two years – ultimately changing the face of digital marketing. It’s no wonder it has been hailed as one of the major changes to look out for in digital display ads. 

Conversational marketing for real-time connections 

With the rise of robots and all the digital changes at play, there is also a need for real-time connections between marketers and customers. Over the years, customers have become more aware of the type of brands they want to be associated with and the importance of building a genuine connection with brands to decide what to spend their money on. 

Unlike traditional strategies, conversational marketing can happen over multiple channels, allowing brands to connect with customers on the terms, devices, platforms, and time schedules that work best for the customer. The main aim of this form of marketing is to revolutionise how brands relate to and speak to their customers and, most importantly, enhance the user experience through a feedback-driven model for increasing engagement and loyalty.

Personalisation to increase engagement

In addition to conversational marketing, it’s also important to create a personal experience for customers. Competition is fierce, and it’s important for your business to constantly remain top of mind for your customers. The best way to do this is to create a personalised marketing strategy that taps into the heart of your brand and is fully aware of the type of customers you are communicating with. 

While conversational marketing is more about being strategic on the type of device, platform and times you communicate with your customers, personalisation is about the type of content you create. Consumers are highly aware of generic advertising blasts which more often creates a disconnect with the brand. Personalising your content and products relies on perfecting your offering and knowing your existing customer base and target audience very well. 

Video marketing 

Video marketing has been hailed as one of the most important marketing trends and today – and possibly for the next decade. The demand for video content is blowing up, and it’s no surprise why. Google reports that most consumers would rather watch videos than live TV, with consumers between ages 18-49 spending 74% more time on YouTube ( If you’re still wondering what the big fuss is about, these numbers should give you an idea. Video content such as GIFS, vlogs, live videos, customer testimonials, recorded presentations and more are by far the most popular way to teach customers about your product or service, and most importantly the brand as a whole. 

Influencer marketing 

The world of influencers isn’t going away any time soon. Despite suggestions that the influencer marketing model may be outdated, studies also show that this type of word-of-mouth marketing is the key to amplifying your brand and tapping into a larger audience. 

The secret to making influencer marketing work for you is finding the right fit for your brand. You can choose key people such as well-known celebrities, content creators with good social media content – and a high following to match – or other influential people that are relevant to your brand. More often they are Instagram or YouTube personalities with a huge niche following who can help spread the word about your business or product through their social channels.

Visual search for a better user experience 

Customers are constantly looking for better and faster ways to find what they are looking for online. Visual search does just that. It allows the user to easily search for what they are looking for by uploading an image to conduct a search and get more specific results. In the battles for user experience, this is definitely a game-changer and can take your user experience to the next level!

You can add visual search functions to your website as it’s most ideal for brands with products, making it easier for the customer to see visual representations of what they are looking for, and navigate your website even better to get more specific results. 

Creating a marketing strategy for the future 

The world ceases to evolve without innovation. As changes continue to happen in the world around us, so should the approach to brand building and marketing. Businesses of the future will be those who continue to break boundaries and be brave enough to reinvent the wheel where necessary. The common thread throughout the different marketing trends mentioned here, is the importance of prioritising customers and ensuring that user experience is at the heart of production. 

If you’re not sure where to start, outsourcing is your best bet. You can get a solid marketing strategy and expert content management anywhere in the world through an outsourced marketing agency

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