2020 has been a challenging year for many individuals, businesses and industries. While GRIT has also had to adjust to a “new normal” (which includes remote work, virtual meetings and events and more), we optimistically look forward to a new year that will bring fresh ideas and innovations to the marketing communications industry.

Each year, new technology, applications, strategies and tactics are brought to the table and change how businesses market their products and services. Not only do these trends, if implemented correctly, benefit the company’s bottom line, but also the consumer experience. Check out what we predict will be the top five marketing communications trends in 2021.

#1: Digitization Will Continue

Although GRIT predicts many brands will cautiously move into 2021, our team believes digitization will continue to rise. Digitization is the process of moving information into a digital format to be published on websites, social media and other online platforms. Specifically, we predict digital ads and influencer marketing will continue to rise in popularity.

Earlier this year, many brands cut their digital ad spend budgets. However, a study conducted by Zenith suggests digital ad spend will recover by 5.8 percent globally in 2021. With over 313 million internet users worldwide, it is no surprise more brands will move away from traditional advertising methods and towards digital advertising.

While GRIT believes brands will begin to revamp their marketing communication efforts in 2021, some may still be strategic on where they spend their dollars. Therefore, it is predicted influencer marketing will be on the rise next year. Influencers, which are those who are experts on a specific topic and have large followings on social media, promote or endorse a brand’s products or services in their blogs, social media posts, YouTube videos and other online channels. It is predicted influencer marketing will continue to gain popularity because it is cost effective and drives results.

#2: eCommerce & Social Commerce

In 2020, eCommerce sales reached $4.2 trillion worldwide. As a result of the pandemic, more and more people began shopping online and we predict this trend will continue into next year. In fact, many social media platforms are incorporating shopping capabilities into their profiles. For example, the Instagram app features a shop button in their bottom navigation. By adding shopping capabilities to social media platforms, users can easily learn more about products and services as well as make a purchase without having to leave the site. Not only does eCommerce and social commerce improve customer service, but it also increases brand awareness and aids in the ability to gather consumer data.

#3: Mixed Media Methods

With more brands than ever before transitioning to digital media tactics, GRIT predicts many businesses will implement mixed media strategies in 2021. While it is critical to stay up to date on digital tactics, it is important to not forget about traditional marketing tactics such as direct mail campaigns, radio spots and print pieces to name a few.

Depending on a business’s target audience, not all individuals will have access, resources or interest in using digital media. Therefore, it is critical to understand the demographics and psychographics of the target audience to determine what channels they consume information through. For example, if a target segment includes senior citizens, they may not consume information via social media or online channels, so it will be important to still include traditional media such as mailers and radio spots.

#4: Hybrid Marketing Experiences

Due to social distancing and increased safety guidelines, high-touch, immersive experiences have been substituted with virtual events. As we move into the new year, GRIT predicts many brands will offer hybrid marketing experiences. Hybrid events, which are experiences that combine a virtual event with a physical component, are expected to gain popularity. While virtual events allow brands to expand reach, build relationships and make their information accessible to more people than ever before, the physical component will address some consumer’s desire to return to physical experiences.

#5: Motion Logos

In 2020, video and animated content gained popularity. Therefore, in 2021, the GRIT team predicts motion logos will become trendy. As the name suggests, motion logos are designs that include moving elements. Motion logos will help businesses grab their target audience’s attention and tell their brand story in an engaging manner.

As an award-winning, full-service marketing communications agency, GRIT has experience in branding, digital marketing, website design and development, communications and design. To learn more about our services, team and how we can take your marketing efforts to the next level in 2021, connect with us today!