2021 Global Marketing Trends 2021
You’ve made it halfway through 2021 (*high five*)! What a ride it’s been for all brands big and small over the last 18 months. I thought it would be fun (*cough*) to look back across the past 6 months at the predicted 2021 Global Marketing Trends.
The present in the marketing world is all about brands bringing authenticity to our brands in this digital age!
Globally we are experiencing a major digital transformation and an increase in the reliance of digital usage. So what does this actually mean for marketing your small business or brand?? It means this has created a need to not only increase human connection between brands and their customers but also their workforce, and partners.
2021 has brought us 7 distinct global marketing trends including: Purpose, Agility, Participation, Talent, Human Experience, Trust and Fusion
We are going to unpack them all.
⚡ Purpose-Driven ⚡ – Consumers are actively seeking out brands with purpose and are more loyal to them. Purpose = market share!
The need for organisations to communicate their reason for existing – their ‘purpose’ – is the top trend for 2021 and should be at the top of the list for your marketing this year. COVID-19 pandemic has been the biggest reset for brands in a century as well as how their customers behave. Almost overnight, companies have had to change how they create content, market services, distribute products, and take care of newly remote teams.
Essentially, when companies amplify purpose, it comes to life. And as purpose lives consistently across the organisation it can, in turn, offer hope to customers, employees, and all other stakeholders watching what companies are doing. Even better, it can possibly change the world. A purpose-driven company articulates why the organisation exists at all and puts the why at the centre of everything it does
Businesses need to be ready to move flexibly with their customers’ needs and allow customers not only to experience their brand but be part of its creation. As a result, storytelling will move even more to the centre of the marketer’s playbook. Purpose-driven companies are likely already better positioned to ride out times of extraordinary change (cue* Covid) — they know why they exist and who they’re built to serve, regardless of what they sell today.
In this new fast-tracked era of purpose-driven brands, we will see more and more brands rallying around the SDGs, that is the UNs Sustainable Development Goals (environmental, social and corporate governance issues). Consumers are watching how brands respond to this crisis — and are changing their buying preferences in response.
Whether you’re still in start-up mode or an established SME, a clear benefit of being purpose-driven is rethinking who best fits with your brand (think influencers, brand ambassadors, partnerships, social impact goals).
Are you positioned as a purpose-driven brand? If not, why not? What could your brand do to be more purpose-driven?
This could be the puzzle you’re missing that gives your brand positive notoriety (as well as trust and customer loyalty).
‘Agile’ – No longer just a buzz word!
For your brand to create and maintain an edge, you need to be agile to keep up with the speed of culture, conversations and digitization. The social, economic and cultural environments are unforgivingly dynamic and agile decision-making is an absolute must to survive – particularly in marketing. In a new world where customers are adopting, consuming and disposing brands more frequently and casually, agile marketing needs to be on your brand’s top priority!
But what is agile marketing you ask? It’s having agile processes, teams, and structures to keep up with the ever-changing business landscape. Brands need to be in an agile position to react, participate and predict where conversations and culture are heading in the marketplace. Brands can take advantage of some pretty amazing emerging technologies like AI to predict, generate and participate in meaningful engagements with customers in real-time to build trust! This is just the tip of the iceberg!
From the User Experience (UX) to Customer Experience (CX) in 2021 the 3rd global trend is all about the Human Experience (HX), that is, your brand becoming a bit more ‘human’.
In the rush for nearly every single brand out there to become efficient in their digital solutions in the wake of Covid-19 so many businesses have left the human experience as an afterthought. And there creates a new issue. How do you create a balance between your brand’s need for greater efficiency and our universal need for human connection?
Well it just simply starts with being more human. Take the time to revaluate and reflect on your own values as a brand to meet the needs of your customers, workforces, and business partners.
As marketers and brands, we are humans, communicating with other humans. While we love data-driven marketing, we need to be mindful that the number on our screen or on our dashboard, is a person with needs.
So how can you bring the human experience to life with your brand?
1. Identify – Listen to your customers, employees, and business partners to understand—and address—what matters most to them. What are their most pressing needs?
2. Amplify – Now that you’ve identified gaps what’s your plan to systematically address those issues and how will you communicate that when it’s ready?
3. Evolve – How can you be more proactive as an organization to identify and align with the needs of your stakeholders?
We couldn’t shout any louder the importance of nailing the human experience element to your brands marketing.
The need for connection is R-E-A-L.
The 4th global marketing trend for 2021 is ‘Trust’.
Trust can mean many things within organisations. But for your customers and clients, it’s essentially whether brands deliver on their promises. Trust is the gap between messaging and delivery.
If you’re a brand looking to gain trust you should begin with evaluating whether your ‘brand promise’ aligns with the values of your employees and customers.
Our job as marketers is making sure messages match the moment—and what your customers value.
There are 4 key attributes identified for ‘trust’. — humanity, transparency, capability, and reliability — that measure brand trust and, more importantly, influence future behaviour. Humanity and transparency reflect a brand’s intentions while capability and reliability demonstrate its competency in fulfilling those intentions.
Ensuring alignment between your brand’s intentions and competence often takes more than just a good creative strategy. It typically requires a trust strategy that consistently elevates the human experience for the brand’s customers, employees, and business partners.
There we have it! Trust is a biggy. Of course, COVID-19—like any other crisis—has put a spotlight on the relationship between brand and trust. And some brands have had some epic fails in managing their reputations. Customers will recall those brands who’ve acted in self-interest—such as raising prices on essential items and equally will remember those that actively cared for their customers and communities they operate in.
~Participation~ is coming in hot at #5 of 2021’s Global marketing trends.
When it’s done right, engagement can be a 2-way street! Creating space for your customers to participate can fuel your engagement strategy! Marketers have more opportunities than ever to invite their customers to participate in—and bring life to—their products and services.
Customer participation is changing the way many brands craft their engagement strategies. But participation these days is arguably more than writing an online product review or posting about a brand on social media. As digital innovation brings people and brands closer together, customer engagement is quickly becoming a two-way street where customers can also participate as brand ambassadors, influencers, collaborators, and innovators. And it turns out, people’s biggest motivation to participate in brands is helping others.
Here are just a handful of ideas to invite your customers to participate and grow your engagement:
1. Invite input into new product design.
2 Engage in community forums.
3. Ask your audience to create, tag you and share videos of them using your product.
4. Run a comp.
There are a million other ways to get your audience to participate. Get creative!
#6 Global Marketing Trend for 2021…~Fusion~
What the heck does ‘Fusion’ even mean in the world of marketing?
Fusion is about reimagining what’s possible. With the pandemic transforming the way people connect, brands can leverage digital innovation to look beyond company walls and create authentic, human-centric solutions for the people they serve.
This trend recognises the power of innovative business partnerships. Think restaurant dining app OpenTable, which entered into new partnerships with a variety of supermarket chains and other essential businesses to turn a visit to grocery and other retail stores so people didn’t have to worry about being in large crowds.
Marketing teams need to develop new talent models to differentiate themselves in a rapidly evolving digital environment. Marketers can develop a core team comprising roles that best reflect their competitive advantage. Traditionally, these roles include those responsible for data insights, dynamic content creation, and owned and earned media.” And don’t overlook the flexibility created by the gig economy.
Lucky for you, when you have our team on your side you are getting the best!
Get in touch with us if your not hitting the mark with your marketing.