Consumer-facing marketers know they always have to stay nimble and forward-looking when it comes to their strategy. No matter your industry, it’s a highly competitive market, and you can’t afford to be standing still and let your competition set the pace when it comes to how you use data to your benefit.
As we approach the end of a year unlike any we’ve seen before, there’s likely never been quite this much uncertainty about what the near-term future holds. Coming out of an unprecedented year, what can we really say about the state of data-led marketing? Here are three trends that seem sure to continue shaping marketing strategies in 2021:
No more hands in the cookie jar
With Google Chrome set to end support of third-party cookies by Q1 2022, we know that retargeting and other digital ad tracking will be impacted, but it’s not entirely clear the extent of that impact. Marketers will need to take ownership of learning what an Adtech world looks like without the ability to track a large portion of the visitors to your website.
What it seems likely this will result in is a deepening of the importance of the first-party data you collect and own. Marketers may put more emphasis on gaining subscribers to their newsletter, attending events, and producing webinars in order to get data they know is voluntarily given, and they can then use to both track results and build messaging campaigns that are tailored to what they know about their customers.
Genuine connections will continue to matter
Now more than ever, customers want to feel a connection to the brands they do business with. Especially with brands that they’re going to be loyal to, they want to know that company shares their values and is being respectful of the customer’s needs. It can be a challenging expectation to meet. To do so, you not only need skilled copy writers who can craft empathetic language, but also reliable and readily accessible data that helps you better understand who those customers are.
Consumers are likely to remember for a long time the brands that showed respect for the challenge of 2020 while still helping them cope with the year by giving them genuine moments of joy, comfort, or maybe a product that really helped them. Those sorts of brand connections are likely to foster loyalty going forward well into 2021.
Email proved its durability (again)
The constant drumbeat of “Email is dead” proclamations has become a bit of a running joke among email marketing veterans, but few events have solidified how essential email is for brands and marketers than 2020. When marketers had no other reliable way to communicate with their customers that didn’t feel intrusive, and when their customers were largely stuck at home, email was right there.
The inbox is still the best way to reach most consumers in most cases. Yes, even with younger people. In Hubspot’s State of Email Marketing 2020 report, 73% of Millennials said they prefer brands to communicate with them via email over other channels. Even as the state of the world improves in 2021, the durability of email is going to continue to make it an essential part of every data-led marketer’s toolbox.