Last year around this time, our team theorized some predictions for 2020.
And then, well, 2020 happened. None of us could have seen that coming.
It’s safe to say that everyone is betting on optimism and hope for a stronger 2021. Just look at Pantone’s colors of the year. But let’s get down to some marketing brass tacks.
Flex Work Weeks Are Here to Stay
Some companies have started their transition back to the office, some are still fully remote (ours included). Of course, our essential workers and some essential industries never had this option. With even giants like Google announcing they’ve pushed back their in-office return until September (which will include a flexible week option), we predict many other companies will follow suit and figure out what’s flexible and right for them. Whatever your situation is, 2020 has proven remote work is possible, especially when you have great communication (i.e. your team knows where you are and how to reach you), and boundaries.
Many Events will Stay Virtual...
From one-hour webinars to full-blown multi-day conferences, many events will stay fully virtual in 2021 or at least offer a virtual option. Many brands and companies pulled this off in 2020 — some without even having done any virtual/online meetings before. But there’s still room to grow and improve upon these experiences. If you are running a virtual event, no matter how big or small, consider your attendee experience first.
...But You Need the Leads to be Real
Let’s be honest: People probably don’t miss getting their badge scanned, but many companies who were heavy sponsors and exhibitors at trade shows do miss that crucial lead gen source. Companies will have to continue to get creative with alternative ways to fill the pipeline. (Fun fact: This is something the CID marketing team likes to help with.)
Focus on Face-to-Face
As vaccinations make their way to the general public, people will likely want to do things face-to-face as much as possible. Services like blinkup, an app that lets friends know when they’re physically near each other and invites them to meet up, could become very popular.
Google’s Local Services
Google's local services (where you can book plumbers and other services right from the search results page) is going to gain traction. So many small businesses went under or shut down during Covid. When they try to start back up again they're going to (we hope) take every opportunity to connect with customers and start bringing in revenue.
Social Media: Facebook Will Still Reign, but There are Contenders to Consider!
Facebook will continue to dominate over other social outlets, but there are some real contenders emerging in TikTok and Reddit. People posting what they’re doing is going to continue being popular or even gain in popularity, but people may spend less time on social media in general. (No more doomscrolling! Or at least less doomscrolling, we hope) In-person is going to dominate, so we'll probably see more opportunities to use Facebook’s events features for advertising.
Advertising cleans up its act
Advertising, in general, has gotten a lot leaner & cleaner in 2020, and that's only going to continue. Especially with a big shift to digital this year, going back to traditional media with no tracking data could be a difficult sell, unless it’s paired with a smart digital component. Think: getting a postcard with an offer code from your favorite online retailer, or Amazon’s gift guide.
Digital (in general) will continue to rise in prominence across all demographics. We recently heard from Nextdoor that their 65+ audience grew to 23% of their audience. When we think of older people and technology, the “technophobe” stereotype gets less and less relevant every year.
People will have to get used to wearing pants again.*
*Editor’s note/bonus prediction: But sweatpants will count as “Business Casual.”