In early 2020, brands prepared for a busy year ahead. Like every year, they planned to have their best year yet. Well, you know what comes next. For a few months, the global pandemic forced advertising to come to a stop. It wasn’t until the last few months of 2020 that companies began to move everything online. We saw brands focus on streaming content, curbside pickup, and advertising comfortable loungewear to wear around the house. Every major event in history has resulted in a shift in the marketing world. Here is what we believe brands will do differently this year.

Digital Comes First

The biggest shift in consumer behavior was people only leaving their home if necessary. As things are slowly getting back to normal, people are excited to gather in public and enjoy their favorite activities.  However, we believe some consumer behaviors are here to stay. Consumers no longer go to the stores for every item they need. Due to this, we’ve seen Amazon become a global leader in business, even maximizing their partnership with Whole Foods and normalizing online grocery shopping. People also realized the convenience of working from home and the lack of need to be in their office space. This means companies will be left behind if they do not have a strong and attractive online presence, and limit their experience to in-person only. We expect companies to focus on providing digital products and services first, and focusing on the in-person experience second. 

Diversity and Inclusion

A global pandemic did not stop people from standing up for the injustices in this country. How does that affect marketing you might ask? Over the last few months, brands have increasingly focused on investing in diversity and inclusion. According to the Marketing Brew, more than 54% of audiences say they do not feel fully culturally represented in online advertising. 64% said they would like to see more diversity. Moving forward, 71% of respondents expect brands to promote diversity and inclusion in their online advertising, and 59% said they “prefer to buy” from brands that “stand for diversity and inclusion” in their ads. Companies have taken note of this and we should expect to see this reflected in their advertising this year. Out-of-touch or tone-deaf marketing is a recipe for a disaster.

A More Human Approach

Consumers have come to value transparency and honesty in advertising. It’s not enough for a company to sell a quality product anymore. Consumers want to know how a brand is serving their community and giving back. This is why brands will focus more on showing consumers how their product or service can bring value to their everyday lives while serving some kind of greater purpose as well. We expect companies to equally advertise the good they do for the world along with their service or product. 

For tips on how you can adapt your marketing to the latest trends, be sure to check out our complete Marketing Toolkit.