2021 : our analysis of upcoming trends
If 2020 showed that predicting trends might not be worth much when a pandemic shows up, the past year also brought to light many precedents that will certainly leave their mark on the year to come. Here are a few trends that caught our eye.
Flexibility and the short term
2020 was a year of deconstruction and adaptation of marketing plans. If the “new normal” is starting to replace a return to normal, and as people are starting to better understand the influence of the pandemic on consumers, uncertainty is still hovering in the air, forcing marketers to plan for 2021 with a certain skepticism. From now on, annual planning must be marked with an asterisk, to take into account the possible disruption of markets, and flexibility will be required in execution and deployment. Optimization of elements that will be produced, the possibility of modifying media investments, the redefinition of short-term objectives: all must be considered in order to ensure the necessary flexibility in planning to minimize risk in the year to come.
Funnel and measure
With the ongoing growth of e-commerce, omnichannel communication strategies will continue to be developed and integrated into the various stages of the conversion funnel. Quantifying the contribution of communication initiatives relative to key factors of success, and evaluating the contribution of media placements to conversion are more than ever important…and possible. If the omnichannel approach has gained considerable ground in consumption habits, it should be the same for communication strategies.
The rise of social shopping
The barriers between social networking platforms and e-commerce have begun to crumble in 2020, and they risk being even more fluid in the upcoming year. In the United States, more than one social media user in three will make a purchase on a social platform in 2021 (38.4%). TikTok and Shopify have just concluded an agreement that will allow merchants on the transactional platform to reach out to the young users of the social media platform. Already, third-party platforms allow the conducting of complete transactions on Instagram, without having to leave the app. It will be interesting to see if this phenomenon will increase in scope and how social media platforms will succeed in preserving the integrity of the experience on their platforms.
Finally, even though it’s not new, interbrand partnerships seem to have enjoyed a growth spurt in 2020. McDonald’s made a lot of noise due to its collaboration with Travis Scott. Adidas launched a new collection with Lego. The well-known video game Fortnite, produced by Epic Games, launched a promotion with Disney, where players who made a transaction in the game received two months free on the Disney+ platform. Partnerships between brands often allow a brand to reach out to a new audience through its partner, a strategy that can really pay off if it is well executed. For example, if we take into account that Fortnite has more than 350 million active players, and that 62.7% are 24 years old or younger, Disney’s strategy is likely to be profitable because it will allow the company to efficiently reach a younger audience than its current clientele.
The protection of private life
The end of 2020 will be marked the adoption of Bill 64, aimed at protecting the private lives of the general public. People will have more control over the use of personal information by making enterprises responsible for their actions through potential sanctions amounting to 4% of their worldwide revenues (up to a limit of $25M). This bill, inspired by what has been done in Europe, obliges enterprises to obtain the consent of their users to use their personal information for purposes of targeting or personalization. The new law therefore entails reviewing all methods of data transfer and manipulation to ensure that they conform to the new norms. In 2021, we’ll see an increase in check boxes asking for our consent and a greater sensitivity to the sharing of client data on advertising platforms.
Digital marketing and the disappearance of cookies
The race for data is well underway. With the disappearance of third-party cookies by 2022, we observe a growing tendency regarding the creation of closed ecosystems (walled gardens) by publishers. More and more, media will ask you for personal information in exchange for content, in order to counter the disappearance of cookies and to better control their relationships with users. The consequences of this will be the creation of quite hermetic ecosystems by big media players. Therefore, it will be more difficult to obtain multiplatform measurements through different publishers. In 2021, it will be important for advertisers to further invest in proprietary platforms to better understand their clientele and gather data that allow companies to serve them better. As for cookies, 2021 will see the appearance of new technologies that allow us to better target users. Of course, we will need to test these technologies to determine which is the most efficient.