the latest marketing trends – can you announce them with real excitement?
Marketing trends for 2021
The end of the year is favorable for summaries and conclusions, and the beginning of 2021 – for planning and implementing appropriate actions. It’s also time to listen to the latest trends in marketing, but … can you announce them with real excitement this time? The coronavirus pandemic made us realize that everything can change in the blink of an eye and significantly distorted the image of the reality we perceive. It was also a difficult test for companies from many industries and strongly influenced consumer behavior. On the other hand, it has become a catalyst for – often ground-breaking – changes in the way brands communicate and operate, both online and offline.

1. Visual commerce, or the power of visual communication

The closure of brick-and-mortar stores prevented consumers from having individual shopping experiences – touching, smelling, trying on or testing the product. Eye-catching shop windows, the scent of luxurious perfumes in a drugstore or freshly brewed coffee in your favorite cafe … they ran out of that for a moment, which was a pain for many people.
When shopping online, customers had to rely solely on the sense of sight and hearing, i.e. photos, videos and content on websites, brand communication channels and in advertisements. If the content was not visually and factually refined, and users did not find exhaustive information about the product on the landing page, many of them gave up the purchase.

Brands – for the purposes of online sales – should definitely refine their visual commerce, i.e. visual commerce. It is “the concept of using compelling visual content and augmented reality to improve customer experience” [1] and conversion, which is part of an overall sales strategy. This means that all elements should be consistent, engaging and perfectly reflecting the brand’s DNA – this is the only way to build a strong and recognizable brand.

User-generated content, ie User-Generated Content in social media, reviews on the store’s website, in price comparison websites or on internet forums are also of great importance in visual commerce. As many as 48% of respondents indicated that opinions are a factor affecting the credibility of an online store. [2]

Marketing trends for 2021

2. Implementing new solutions based on social listening

Every marketer who wants to be up to date with news, trends or RTMs should be reflexive, creative, but also have an analytical flair and be able to properly use the research method, which is social listening. [3] It includes the observation of the industry, competition, but most of all mentions about the brand along with a quick reaction to them. Users, seeing that the company takes into account the problems and suggestions they report and proposes specific solutions, feel trust in it.

In addition, the collected information can serve as a guideline in the implementation of further goals of the marketing strategy and adjusting the offer of products or services to the expectations of consumers. They will also allow you to reach new customers more effectively and profitably and loyalty to the existing ones. Conclusions drawn by a specialist at the level of analyzing the mere mention of a brand on the Internet or even during the standard moderation of a profile on Facebook or Instagram, can be very helpful. Quickly responding to comments and messages in Messenger is the key, because – I know from experience that users contact the fan page more often than call the hotline. Brands, paying great attention to professional and efficient moderation, build a positive image in this way.

Customers quickly notice that the brand’s communication style or business profile is changing – in relation to the current reality, trends or trends. Deloitte, in its study of 2,447 consumers from around the world, found that “58% of people were able to name a company that quickly modified its offer to better adapt to the current global situation, dominated by COVID-19.” What is more interesting, as many as “82% of people from the same group also said that such a new offer, tailored to the existing situation, made them more willing to buy products or services of this brand”. [4] The most popular and commendable example of recent times were all clothing companies that started sewing masks.

Marketing trends for 2021

3. Omnichannel sales with an emphasis on Social Media

In the face of the changing shopping habits of Germans and the introduced sales amenities, the key to success will be a refined omnichannel strategy, which should assume the integration of all available channels of reaching and customer service – so as not to limit their consumers to only one form of shopping. Since the brand is “everywhere”, the customer will want to take advantage of its offer “anywhere” and at any time.

The ability to check the availability of the product in the nearest store, complaint of the product via the Internet (even if it was purchased stationary), standardized method of calculating loyalty points regardless of the sales channel … these are the most important assumptions of omnichannel sales. It will be easier for stores that use an ERP and / or CRM system to implement it – the integration of individual IT systems is easy. The use of this method in non-synchronized environments will be a greater challenge, as many data must be unified and “tidied up”, and this requires the intervention of an experienced specialist. [9]

If you want to implement omnichannel, you cannot be indifferent to the sales potential of social media such as Facebook or Instagram. This is a good starting point for small and local businesses. Now, thanks to functionalities such as Facebook Shops [10], every company will be able to transfer their business to the Facebook social network and also connect it with Instagram. In the marketing strategy for 2021, it is undoubtedly worth including sales via social media, as Zuckerberg assures us that many features are being tested in the US, so we can expect that they will also be introduced in Europe soon.

Marketing trends for 2021

7. Content marketing built on valued values

Deloitte in its consumer research showed that customers in difficult times expect something more from brands in return for their brand loyalty. 4 out of 5 people remembered when the brand responded correctly to the pandemic, and 1 in 5 agreed that this was an incentive to increase brand loyalty. And those consumers who noticed that companies acted exclusively for their own benefit, in 25% of cases decided to give up their products or services. This points to the fact that transparency, good intentions and real help are still highly appreciated. [20]

In my opinion, content marketing in 2021 will invariably include its basic assumptions, i.e. building relationships with recipients and increasing brand awareness. However, this should be done not only by arousing curiosity in the recipients, providing them with high-quality content – both seasonal and evergreen – avoiding excessive sensation and fake news, but by placing more emphasis on relationships and interpersonal bonds, as well as courage in expressing their views.

Marketing trends for 2021

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