2020 made it very aware of how reliant we are on technology in our everyday lives and businesses. In 2021 its importance will continue to be very evident as businesses navigate and restructure to meet the demands of today.
When it comes to the world of marketing, technology plays an indispensable role:
Everything from the web and social media platforms to data visualization software all makes it simply easier for businesses to perform marketing duties and essentially differentiate themselves among competitors and consumers alike. Innovations in technology will continue to change marketing. Marketing professionals must adapt quickly and know how to operate emerging technologies to find success. It’s that straightforward. For 2021, the marketing trends and the technologies that empower such trends will make a huge impact. Below, we will provide some insight into 7 marketing trends that may set the industry’s tone for the upcoming year.
2021 Marketing & MarTech trends your business should be aware of…
1) Increase in Voice Marketing
It’s been reported that 46 percent of consumers use voice search to look for a local business, most likely daily. This speaks to the fact that voice marketing will play an important role in the way businesses approach marketing, especially local businesses. Some of the prominent forms of voice marketing tools include Google Home and Amazon Echo, making daily activities, like searching for the closest hair salon, much easier. As the popularity of Siri, Amazon Alexa, and other voice assistants grow, more and more smartphones are being equipped with voice assistants to initiate or complete commands. What makes voice technologies so advantageous is its reliability, ease of use, and the speed at which we can obtain information.
We, as people, tend to be quite the chatterboxes. So it comes to us as no surprise that people would use their voices, something that comes so naturally to us, to perform certain tasks. As we have stated, the fact that 46 percent of consumers utilize voice search to find local businesses speaks volumes. If you are a small business who is working towards becoming more visible and taking advantage of voice search technologies, then the next step is to optimize your business’s website and other platforms to ensure your voice search capabilities will function at all times. The efficiency that voice technologies bring is perhaps one of the key elements as to why this form of technology is so successful and will continue to create a powerful impact.
2) The Big Bang of Online CRM
Software and other technologies that allow businesses to analyze their customers and provide them with an accurate overview make CRM (customer relationship management) software a necessary technology that companies should incorporate. Just how vital is this software? About 91 percent of businesses with over 11 employees now use CRM, compared to 50 percent of those with 10 employees or less. This tells us that if businesses, from small to midsize organizations, would like to achieve a certain level of success through a solid customer base, CRM technologies are essential. CRM can tell us a complete story by using your data to paint a crystal clear image of your current and prospective customers. Some of the questions or concerns that CRM can answer for you include the following: What have they purchased from your business? What are some of the issues that your customers face when navigating your organization’s online platforms? What are some of the products or elements of your organizations that your customers like? What are their dislikes? What are your customers saying about your organization on their social media platforms? Also, to ensure your business is able to drive and manage successful customer journeys, you will certainly need the help of CRM tools. So, for 2021, consider investing in CRM technologies or enact strategies based on customer relationships.
3) Phygital Becoming a Necessity
You probably keep seeing throughout major news outlets about the shifts that the retail industry is currently experiencing. Major retailers are declaring bankruptcy left and right, and some are just closing for good. Other retailers are evolving and working towards transforming themselves to ensure their survival and long-term success in the market. One of the best ways for businesses, especially retailers, to survive these circumstances is including physical and digital marketing tactics to assist respective customers, thus promoting sales. It’s called phygital marketing, and in 2021, businesses should seriously consider the benefits of incorporating phygital tactics to attract consumers and enhance the customer experience. Phygital marketing may seem intimidating, but once business leaders and marketing professionals are able to grasp the essentials, phygital marketing can be as easy as pie. Examples of phygital marketing include sending digital coupons to customers and utilizing and creating QR codes. When 86 percent of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience, this alone can convince most business owners about using phygital marketing to help secure business goals come next year.
4) Accessibility-Focused Marketing
Did you know that Americans with disabilities have $200 billion in spending power? So, if business leaders make the mistake of excluding this important cohort of Americans, then we are honestly doing a great disservice to ourselves and especially disabled individuals. We must make the clear distinction that business leaders are not doing this on purpose. Sometimes, there is an element of unconscious bias, which tends to affect how certain software or technologies are created. You can take specific steps to ensure your business’ platforms are accessible and user-friendly for disabled consumers. The first is to recognize that there is an accessibility issue. By addressing accessibility concerns, as indicated by disabled consumers, you are already creating the steps necessary to solve this important issue. In today’s age, there are a series of technologies and user guides available for businesses to ensure the needs of disabled individuals are met. Such technologies address concerns and create solutions for certain impairments, including vision, hearing, and other physical limitations. Touch screens, audio, or voice capabilities on web platforms, closed captioning, color contrast checkers are some of the best ways to address accessibility concerns within your organization’s platforms immediately. So, for 2021, keep in mind the needs of all consumers, including those with disabilities.
5) DEI Becoming Mandatory
DEI or diversity, equity, and inclusion are elements that need to be considered when creating marketing plans. In 2021, we should encourage more organizations to acknowledge the importance of DEI and incorporate it into all aspects of marketing going forward. Why should we consider DEI? Well, for starters, most believe that DEI is some human resources issue. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Remember the Pepsi ad fiasco with model Kendall Jenner? Many critics felt as though the ad was minimizing the Black Lives Matter movement. There are numerous examples of prominent brands that completely missed the mark in tone-deaf advertisements and consequently creating firestorms fueled by negative press. As we’ve seen with some of today’s most successful brands, inclusive marketing describes campaigns that understand and embrace diversity by incorporating people from different backgrounds or unique stories that a specific target audience can embrace and relate to. For this reason, businesses should assess the demographic makeup of their entire staff at all levels and create diversity and inclusion goals to hire applicants of all backgrounds to reduce the possibility of creating a tone-deaf campaign. Bringing in diverse individuals, diverse in thought, culture, etc., can avoid potential PR disasters for your organization.
6) Personalization Becoming Less Creepy
Marketing personalization is a tactic that more and more organizations are utilizing. After data is collected, brands create and deliver personalized messages to consumers that they are trying to reach or maintain. Considering the fact that more than half of consumers are willing to provide personal data (link to article: https://instapage.com/blog/personalized-marketing) so as long as they obtain benefits from personalized marketing, it comes to us as no surprise just how necessary it is for companies to produce marketing efforts in a more direct and personalized manner. Consumers can easily identify generic marketing messages, and many of these ads do not meet their specific demands. This is where companies can utilize marketing personalization to avoid general messages. Did you know that 36 percent of consumers say retailers need to do more to offer personalized experiences? With this in mind, personalization makes it easier for organizations to avoid major faux pas and circumvent awkward moments. By utilizing CRM tools, businesses can create the steps necessary to deliver personalized messages without being too intrusive. For 2021, incorporate these personalization marketing tactics to build and strengthen relationships with prospective and current customers.
7) Hello Micro-Influencers
Influencer marketing is nothing new. Today, organizations go to social media personalities or influencers to gain access to their followers and audiences. What makes these influencers different from celebrity influencers is their established base cultivated over the years. The trust that these influencers can gain from their base makes them the ultimate differentiator from traditional public figures. Many of these influencers have millions of followers from beauty gurus to gamers, which makes evident their influence. When it comes to micro-influencers, those who have anywhere between 1,000 to 10,000 followers throughout their social media platforms are a great way for organizations to reach valued consumers. Although these particular influencers may not have the immense following as their counterparts, the engagement they receive is typically higher than some of the most prominent influencers, as indicated by a Markerly study.
Those influencers with a following of over a million earned likes only over 1.7 percent of the time on Instagram. The influencers with a following between 1,000 to 10,000 earned likes through Instagram at a rate of 4 percent. Because many of these micro-influencers have a more distinct following, organizations have the opportunity to reach consumers that are more likely to engage with them. So, if you are an organization working towards reaching a particular audience, for 2021, consider reaching out to micro-influencers to establish relationships with prospective customers/clients.
Stay on Trend
Trends come and go, but when it comes to technology and its influence on marketing, such trends tend to stay for the foreseeable future. If you would like to learn more about the marketing tactics, strategies, and platforms, contact the b.iD team to explore the number of ways you can implement marketing for your business in 2021.
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