Trends to watch in 2021... If you’d have told me this time last year that I’d spend the majority of 2020 masked-up, frantically searching the store shelves for hand-sanitizer and toilet paper, I’d have never believed you. To think that, since April, I’ve seen as many loved ones in-person as I can count on two hands is also hard to fathom.
It has certainly been a year for the books, and while no one could have anticipated the reality that we find ourselves in now, we can paint a better picture of where we might be 6 months from now.
The Economist shared a post last month dedicated to the Top 10 Trends To Watch in 2021. This article discussed hot topics such as the vaccine, (you know the one), global economic recovery, social-political upheaval as it relates to global trade, and other sweeping issues that have plagued this past year. And, while these macroeconomics are worth paying attention to, there are some more marketing- specific threads to pick apart, that can impact how you run your business.
Let’s take a look at a few. Here are the top 5 trends to watch in 2021, and how these trends might shape the way that you scale your agency in the months to come.
With the vaccine well on it’s way, and with talk of new economic relief packages to help revive our economy, consumers and business alike are eager to return to normal. But, what does that really look like now? Much of the workforce has become accustomed to the work-from-home lifestyle, and business have seen that perhaps paying rent on that fancy office space just wasn’t really worth it all along. Big tech has paved the way for a more flexible work-life future, and so talent pools have adjusted their expectations, too.
Similarly, we’ve become accustomed to making many purchases online, and the once-crowded malls from 2019 have fallen quite silent in parts of our country. So, what does this mean for marketing? And for your agency? Well, if you’re working with clients in the commercial real-estate sector, it’s time to get creative. How might this shift in mentality effect this sector in the long run? And, if you’re hiring new faces to help you scale, how can you incorporate a remote workforce, is this is right for you?
With all the change that 2020 brought, perhaps the most apparent is a change in consumer’s priorities. One McKinsey Report showed the impact of CoVID-19 on consumer behavior, (for example, an 80% reduction in spend on international travel and tourism), but will this sustain long-term? Travel, perhaps not, as so many consumers feel eager to get out and see the world again – though the underlying anxiety of uncertainty and a turbulent economy will likely linger for at least another year. Our homes have become our sanctuaries, and as made evident in an increase in spend on home-related comforts and entertainment, this may be the case for a while longer. Whether it’s an investment in a home office, a treadmill for the garage, or a new puppy to bring joy home, consumers in 2020 have paid extra attention on nesting related spend.
One interesting trend is the thought that, in 2021, Social Media will become increasingly close to a true sales channel. This makes sense, given the uptick in the influencer space that we’ve seen over the past few years. Swipe up links, and “click to purchase” type marketing will likely play an even greater role as we move forward, so pay attention to how your brands can use such techniques. Aren’t sure if and how you should be using influencers in your marketing efforts? Check out this post here for more details.
Whether it was for the meditation, fitness, homeopathic, or medical device industry, 2020 was certainly an interesting time. Home gym equipment saw record sales; more people tried mediation than any year before; and of course, hand sanitizer sales were through the roof. But what about now, when it feels like we are almost out of the rough? Well, old habits die hard, and these trends will likely stick around a little longer, too. With that though, comes new competition; brands that were not around at the start of 2020 in the Health and Well-being space. Pay close attention to the competitive landscape for your brands because things have likely shifted. Think about where you still have a competitive edge, and make any adjustments necessary.
Of course, we are all itching to get out and do something. Whether it’s to go to our favorite restaurant and hear the hustle and bustle of the city around us, sit in a packed movie theater to enjoy a movie surrounded by others, celebrate a big wedding with loved ones, or to get on a plane and travel somewhere new, there’s a ton that we hope to do in 2021. Industries that suffered in 2020 will likely see a bounce back as we return to normal, though it may not be as quick as you think. Expect to see many consumers take a “wait and see approach”, at least initially. Don’t be disheartened though, if things take a little time to level out again! Trust that they will, and that you’ll be sipping on a Margarita on the beach in Mexico before you know it…!
So, there you have it - 5 trends to watch in 2021. I may just be speaking for myself, here, but I can imagine that I’m not alone in saying that my priorities shifted in 2020. I’m ready to take on 2021 with a little more confidence, optimism for what is ahead, and with a sense of gratitude for all that I have – especially the people in my life. The post-covid me will value experiences over things like I never have before, and I’ll be spending a little more time checking in with myself, making sure that everything I’m doing is in line with my values. How has 2020 changed you, and your business? As you evolve to a new wave of trends within society, how will your actions shape those trends, too?
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