New Trends in Digital Marketing: Navigating the 2021 Landscape

As we approach the end of the year, it’s time to take a step back and consider the major factors that will influence marketing in the coming year. In 2021, you should start thinking about six essential subjects.

The Aware Consumer

This arc was pushed by the pandemic. Take the organic food market, for example, which has increased 18X in the last 12 years. Traditional brands like Kraft Heinz, which had to sign $15 billion in brand equity in 2019 because of consumer preference for healthier options, have already felt the impact. As more people become concerned about their health and well-being, the organic movement will gain traction.

The Conscious Consumer isn’t just concerned with their health. Purpose-driven and ethical brands have become popular among consumers. In 2021, the tendency for sustainability, ethics, and purpose will further grow. By the end of 2021, customers in the United States alone are estimated to spend $150 billion on environmentally friendly products. We should expect to see a sense of belonging infused into the packaging, marketing, and product offerings.

The Nomadic Entrepreneur

Working from home will soon become the norm for a major section of the population. Working from home became work from anywhere during the pandemic. During the lockdown, Airbnbs within 100 miles of major cities were completely booked, with many people staying out for many weeks to escape the city.

The Professional Nomad is the new business persona formed, now that organisations have worked out how to support remote workers. Longer stays, all-inclusive packages, business-class amenities, and the pleasures of being on vacation when they check out are all on the agenda for this new identity.

The travel and tourist sector has already begun to prepare for these professional nomads. Advertisements for month-long stays have begun to circulate on social media. In the coming years, the travel and tourism industry will probably court this new character.


The Pace of Marketing Innovation Has Reached Its Peak

According to the Salesforce State of Marketing study for 2020, innovation is the top priority for marketers. Because of COVID-19, all brands were forced to shift, resulting in a transition timeframe that many had not even anticipated. Many aspects of marketing transformation were imposed upon brands.CC

Companies were forced to adopt agile approaches to replace extensive development cycles with a test-and-learn strategy. Agile marketing provides brands with a technique of producing better results faster, therefore it’s a basic tenet of marketing transformation. “We could decrease our time to production from 6 months down to 30 days with Agile,” said a Chief Experience Officer in a recent interview. Expect to see more companies adopt agile approaches as a standard way of doing business in marketing.

Marketing decentralisation is another element of marketing transformation. As a result of the epidemic, many companies have had to decentralise marketing into smaller teams, focusing on important moments in the customer journey. These new cross-discipline teams are using agile approaches to develop new experiences more quickly and efficiently. Many brands have been able to move faster and deliver better results for their customers as a result of this decentralised marketing methodology.

During the past year, there have also been significant digital investments. These new tools and capabilities were immediately integrated and put to work, resulting in improved client experiences. New metrics and procedures were applied alongside the new tools, resulting in a wave of innovation and improved consumer outcomes. One of the Chief Experience Officers we spoke, has developed a new procedure and technology to help customers onboard. Customers’ time to value was cut in half as a result of the combined efforts.

These new capabilities will only get stronger and more valuable as we progress into 2021 and beyond. It will be difficult to compete with companies who have altered their marketing teams since they can move more quickly, deliver better results, and provide better outcomes. In 2021, marketers should expect to focus heavily on marketing transformation.


Outcomes Have Become the New North Star

Customer satisfaction has long been measured using the Net Promoter Score. New patterns, on the other hand, indicate a considerable shift to a new metric for customer success, which is the outcome

Experience has long been a priority for enterprise providers, who have utilised NPS to gauge their success. While Net Promoter Score is a widely used statistic, it has several flaws that make it vulnerable to change.

In the coming year, expect to see brands abandon NPS in favour of a new metric called Time To Value.

While consumer experiences are crucial, they are not the end aim. True, a better experience can lead to greater results, but that does not guarantee that customers will stick around.

“We have happy clients depart all the time, and dissatisfied ones stay,” said one Chief Customer Officer we spoke with. The distinction is in the results they get.” It’s good to have good experiences, but you need outcomes.

Whereas NPS assesses the quality of an experience, Time to Value assesses the speed with which a goal is met. TTV is aimed, allowing new go-to-market strategies like outcome-based selling and service to flourish.

Expect a substantial movement towards outcomes as a competitive advantage. Vendors who can guarantee the delivery of Outcomes will have a considerable advantage over those who can simply claim that Outcomes can be achieved.

Businesses will gather under the phrase “Experiences are the way, Outcomes are the purpose, and Time To Value is the indicator” in 2021.

A New Data Revolution Is Born From The Post-Cookie Era

Brands are seeking new ways to target customers now that third-party cookies are being phased out, and first-party data is the answer.

Expect a new era of approaches and technologies aimed at assisting marketers in capturing and leveraging first-party data.

This is the beginning of a new era in data.

Brands will use a variety of tactics to gather first-party data. A prominent multinational beverage company, for example, already uses 30 different strategies to get first-party data.

These include traditional loyalty programmes and owned digital domains, as well as newer areas like dating apps, direct-to-consumer websites, and sponsored Wi-Fi hotspots.

In the years ahead, the firm intends to extend these projects.

There are three reasons why first-party data is the next big thing.


It’s simple to gather, and it can be used for immediate returns right away. The first party’s strength is also multifaceted.

Brands can customise experiences on their properties with first-party data, which can also create omnichannel personalization within “walled gardens.”

A Walled Garden is a digital property where the data created in the space can only be used to promote within that space.

A great example is Facebook. Only on Facebook’s ad network can you use Facebook’s extensive first-party data to drive your advertising. Another good example is

These results in improved customer experiences, higher purchase orders, and higher lifetime value.

First-party data has been demonstrated to boost Ad efficiency besides personalisation. Some firms have found that ads based on first-party data are 50% more effective than ads based on third-party data.

A modest amount of first-party data can also be used to model new audiences, allowing companies to enter new marketplaces. Finally, the data offers a company a continuous stream of client information that can be leveraged to drive innovation and simply build new products and services.

Brands will begin to invest extensively in first-party data collecting and tools that allow them to quickly design and deploy apps, as well as consumer data platforms to combine disparate data and AI to assist drive deeper insights from the data in 2021.

From supermarkets to walled gardens, there’s something for everyone here.

Retailers are discovering that their digital domains have a new upside as extremely profitable ad marketplaces, as eCommerce becomes a significant business on the internet. Advertisers have been selling shelf space, end caps, and shopping cart space to retailers for a long time. These tactics have now become programmatic, and brands like CVS, Best Buy, and Walgreens have all become walled gardens as a result of internet storefronts.

This information can now be used to offer adverts at the point of sale in real-time. These advertising are also seen at the point of sale, allowing for closed-loop reporting.

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Retailers will benefit greatly from these gardens since they will generate a large new cash stream. For example, Amazon’s ad network is currently the second-largest behind Google’s, and it accounts for 13% of the company’s overall eCommerce income.


For these reasons, a rush of new ad networks is expected in 2021, forcing firms to reconsider their marketing strategies.

As businesses begin to focus more on performance marketing within these gardens in 2021, this will almost certainly result in a major shift for brands.

Expect major stores to launch their ad network to attract these performance marketing funds. In the year 2021, retail marketing will enter a new age.


FAQs About New Trends in Digital Marketing

Q. What Are the Key Trends in Digital Marketing for 2021?

A. Key trends include the rise of the aware and conscious consumer, nomadic entrepreneurship, peak marketing innovation, focus on outcomes over experiences, the post-cookie data revolution, and the emergence of walled gardens in retail advertising.

Q. How is the Aware Consumer Changing Digital Marketing?

A. The aware consumer is driving demand for healthier, ethical, and purpose-driven brands, influencing companies to infuse a sense of belonging and sustainability into their products and marketing strategies.

Q. What Impact Does the Nomadic Entrepreneur Have on Digital Marketing?

A. The nomadic entrepreneur trend is reshaping marketing strategies in the travel and tourism industry, emphasizing longer stays, business amenities, and the blend of work and vacation experiences.

Q. How is Marketing Innovation Accelerating in 2021?

A. Marketing innovation is accelerating through agile approaches, decentralization of marketing teams, and significant digital investments, leading to improved customer experiences and outcomes.

Q. What is the New North Star in Marketing Outcomes for 2021?

A. The new north star in marketing is shifting from Net Promoter Score (NPS) to Time To Value (TTV), emphasizing the speed of achieving customer goals and outcomes over experience quality.

Q. How is the Post-Cookie Era Influencing Data Strategies in 2021?

A. The post-cookie era is pushing brands towards first-party data collection and utilization, leading to a new era of data strategies focused on personalization and ad efficiency.

Q. What Role Does First-Party Data Play in Digital Marketing Trends?

A. First-party data is crucial for personalizing experiences, improving ad efficiency, modeling new audiences, and driving product and service innovation.

Q. How Are Walled Gardens Emerging in Retail Digital Marketing?

A. Retailers are transforming their digital domains into profitable ad marketplaces, leveraging real-time point-of-sale advertising and closed-loop reporting, similar to Amazon’s successful model.

Q. What Should Marketers Focus on in 2021’s Digital Landscape?

A. Marketers should focus on adapting to consumer behavior changes, leveraging agile marketing, prioritizing outcome-based strategies, utilizing first-party data, and exploring new ad networks in retail.

Q. How Will Digital Marketing Evolve Beyond 2021?

A. Digital marketing will continue to evolve with advancing technology, changing consumer behaviors, and innovative marketing strategies, making adaptability and foresight key for marketers.

About Author

Hitesh Dhawan

Founder of Neuronimbus, A digital evangelist, entrepreneur, mentor, digital tranformation expert. Two decades of providing digital solutions to brands around the world.

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New Trends in Digital Marketing: Navigating the 2021 Landscape

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