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Top 5 marketing trends we’ve seen so far in 2021

March 29, 2021By
2 people in a kitchen smiling at a computer

The world has changed, and so has your customer. Today, 79% of consumers believe the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services. So how does your customer experience stack up?

Trend 1: Digital Everything

When we went into lockdown over a year ago, in-person experiences ground to a halt. We looked online for our entertainment, our shopping, and our personal interactions. As COVD-19 cases spiked—and consumers were looking for a safe way to purchase—digital revenue also spiked.

In fact, according to Salesforce, in the height of the pandemic social media orders increased by +104% and digital media revenue increased by 55%. As a digital marketing leader, you should be looking to deliver an entirely digital customer experience to capture your audience, convert shoppers to customers, and to drive brand loyalty.

Trend 2: Speed is The New Competitive Advantage

A McKinsey & Company report shows that when leaders foster a sense of urgency and provide a mandate to experiment, companies are 1.7x more successful. During the pandemic, brands who were able to pivot offerings online—and at speed—experienced rapid growth, while those that were rigid, did not.

A great example of this is when we look at companies who pivoted to offer curbside pickup or click and collect; in Q2 2020, they were able to grow their revenue 2.3x faster than those that didn’t.

Trend 3: The Customer Obsession Era

Customer expectations have evolved, and organizations that go beyond satisfaction and deliver on customer obsession are thriving, even in challenging times. Your goal must be to not only understand, but anticipate, your customers’ needs.

As Shannon Duffy, EVP, Digital 360 Marketing at Salesforce, explained during Traction on Demand's recent Customer Obsession event, “Their way is the right away. Customers have preferences, and will abandon retailers quietly when they’re not able to engage in the manner, method, channel or device of their choice.” In fact, 40% of customers won’t do business with a company if they can’t use their preferred channel.

Achieve Your Customer Obsession Imperative in 2021

If you’re looking to achieve your customer obsession imperative in 2021, check out the recordings from our event, The Customer Obsession Era.

Trend 4: The Proof is in the Personalization

Today, 62% of customers expect a consistent and personalized experience. Your customers are constantly being bombarded with ads, email marketing, product offers, social media promotions and more. To stand out amongst the noise, marketers need to get smarter, they need to get data-driven, they need to get personal.

“What we’ve learned is that brands must demonstrate a human connection to break through the noise and establish meaningful relationships with their customers.”

Trend 5: The Data Revolution

So we know an agile, digital-first and personalized customer experience wins, but how do the best marketers do this?

With data. Lots of data. Marketers who are looking build brand loyalty and reach their target audience need to start with a foundation of data. From transactional data to declared interests, known digital identities to offline identities, if you have one priority this year, let it be data!

“Data is fundamental, data is key, and data is the lifeblood.”Shannon Duffy, EVP, Digital 360 Marketing, Salesforce

So, What Does Best in Class Look Like for 2022?

So, based on these marketing trends, if by this time next year you can:

  • Empower your customers to engage on their terms (when, where and how they want)
  • Engage every customer empathy, context and relevance
  • Equip your business for your future customer by making data-driven decisions

You’re on a path to best-in-class digital engagement! If you need help getting started, get in touch with a member of our dedicated marketing automation team today.

Looking for More Top Marketing Trends?

Recordings from Traction on Demand's Marketing Cloud event, The Customer Obsession Era are now available to watch!

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