After several decades or maybe even a century later, the year 2020 will be remembered as the year that propelled the world to a new direction. Indeed, the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the rule book of the entire world and fast forwarded us into a digital-heavy future, where nothing is same as before. As people changed their ways of living, working and shopping, businesses had to painstakingly adjust in lightning fast speed.
Almost a year into the pandemic, most businesses are making important decisions based on shifting consumer preferences. CNBC reports that a recent study by Forrester Research titled, “Predictions 2021:B2C Marketing” forecasts that the volume of marketing messages will rise by 40% in 2021 as brands will drive personalized online marketing campaigns to boost sales and maintain a direct connection with the consumers.
Soon after the pandemic struck, nations went to lockdown mode and people were confined to their homes. The physical isolation translated into online presence and companies who were themselves working from home increased their communication with consumers via online channels to keep them informed about the developments in the business.
After a few months into the pandemic, as businesses started opening up, these communications didn’t come down. Businesses then strived to convey to consumers that adequate safety protocols were being followed and their products were safe for purchasing.
Here are some more predictions from the Forrester report.
Impending tech changes in 2021
In 2021, even if the effects of the pandemic wanes, business’ attempts to reach customers directly will linger due to several reasons. One major reason is certain announcements by Google and Apple. Google has announced its plans to stop supporting third party cookies, while Apple has declared alteration plans that will hinder user tracking by mobile advertisers.
The report thus suggests that in 2021 marketers would need to navigate an unpredictable economy, with lower budgets and smaller teams without device identifiers and third-party cookies.
Blanket messaging – not deemed as effective
In pre-Covid times, marketers would often select a large data base with different customer segments for a generic marketing campaign. In the present times when the number of notifications, emails and messages from businesses have already increased considerably such blanket marketing campaigns would not serve their purpose. Instead, customers might find these communications irrelevant and decide to click on the unsubscribe tab.
Personalized messaging will become the norm
Businesses will become very precise with their messaging in 2021. They will develop elaborate customer profiles and then drive several marketing drives with clear objectives. Companies are expected to drive digital campaigns to not just boost sales with special personalized offers for consumers but also be visible to the consumers, as they are no longer visiting physical stores where the window installations would easily take care of brand visibility earlier.
Many companies have already built their own apps in an attempt to reach the customer directly. Moreover, when a company’s app is installed on the customer’s phone, personalized marketing can become very target specific. In 2021, this trend is expected to gather more momentum as companies would like to latch on to their customers directly and drive brand loyalty by offering loyalty perks and special offers to drive revenue.
The report suggests that corporate sponsorships for events such as international sports, etc. will reduce substantially in 2021. Instead some brands might spend smaller amounts on sponsoring e-sports tournaments in an attempt to reach a larger audience through flexible contracts. The Forrester study also forecasts increased focus on localized “neighborhood-level” marketing efforts with geographically targeted campaigns.