A Quick Digital Trends Recap of 2020

I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a crazy and unpredictable year with a lot of changes happening around the world that affect how business is conducted.

With the rise of the COVID 19 pandemic, a set of new rules were applied to society; including social distancing, restrictions on events and small businesses and working from home where possible. People were forced to adapt and innovate.

This new environment created a big push towards the digital. Most people working from home brought along a flux in updating the home internet providers, as well as subscriptions to video streaming services like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.

Local cafes became delivery services, and online shopping increased generally. 

Where pubs and restaurants are open, new distancing measures were applied, and a lot of the places have used online ordering systems via an app or browser.

With the vaccine on the way, and the lockdowns having their effect, Australia is now slowly moving into the Post Covid world. 

Let’s see what the next year might look like when it comes to data and the digital space.

Learn more about why Digital Marketing is on the rise!

1 – Digital Trends Around Gathering Data Will Change.

Google Chrome, as well as other popular browsers, are discontinuing to support third-party cookies in 2021. While this is excellent news for individuals regarding the privacy of their data, marketers will need to come up with new strategies, focusing on improving the ways they gather first-party data for campaigns and targeting.

Despite these changes, we will see the continuing growth of the hyper-personalised marketing trend. Gathering first-party data will improve, as marketers will now make the best of that, we will also see the increase in the use of virtual agents. 

Existing Marketing technology and platforms will be affected by this change. Most of these tools will most likely be improved to adapt to the new ways of using the first-party data, as they can already facilitate most of the requirements. Updating the existing tools will be a much better option than developing completely new technology.

According to Hubspot “In 2021, the secret to delivering better advertising lies in marketers’ ability to unlock the data at their disposal and leverage it to deliver hyper-relevant messaging and a unified buying experience. At HubSpot, we call it ‘CRM-powered advertising’.”

CRM Powered advertising means that the ads are automated based on the CRM data and reporting from the website.

In 2020, we saw a massive influx of businesses adopting CRM systems, which will improve their data-based marketing capabilities for the coming years.

 Read here about Cookies.

2 – Digital Trends are Moving Toward Privacy-First Culture 

The current digital trends have been to gather as much data as possible on your audience, and use these learning in your marketing strategy. However, issues on greater consumer privacy have been gathering momentum and taken priority both in the public and private sectors. Data security issues have reached a point where it is inevitable that an industry-wide privacy framework will be applied in the near future.

This means that businesses will need to prepare for a change in digital trends and how they do their marketing, and they need to adapt fast.

As the tech giants are limiting cross-site tracking, the current Adtech tools and platforms will be affected. Retargeting and data companies that rely on the existing tracking mechanisms will be heavily impacted and may not be able to operate if they don’t change their strategy altogether.

Marketers will need to work harder to find out new ways to improve their advertising results with more limited targeting. Instead, the marketing strategies will need to rely more on contextual targeting, which will become more and more sophisticated in 2021. Eventually, audience data will be replaced with contextual intelligence.

With such changes, new technology will always come along. It is a good idea to start investigating and testing this in preparation for the significant change.

As this will affect the whole advertising industry, we will probably see much collaboration between companies to work towards new solutions. 

Death of third-party cookies may seem difficult to overcome, but in the long run, it also brings along an opportunity for a better, more meaningful way to do marketing, without disrupting peoples privacy.  


3 – Move Toward Consumers Owning Their Data

It is no secret that data has been a huge topic in recent years. Companies are working hard to gather as much information on their audience as possible. This approach has also brought along lots of data security and data breach issues, plummeting consumer trust to an all-time low.

There is a possibility that this will change and the tables will turn completely. Imagine a world where the people own their data and have a portal where they can access and manage all the different data points different brands have about them. This way, you will be in charge of what brands can advertise to you.

According to SlickText, the permission-based campaigns are becoming the new normal in near future digital trends. 

“You know customers want those notifications and touchpoints because they opt-in for them, creating a greater marketing ROI while connecting you with your core audience”


4 – Email Marketing in 2021

Email marketing has been one of the digital trends that has been on a steady rise over the past years. It went through a massive influx in 2020 due to a reduction in available advertising channels brought on by the COVID restrictions. After all, there were no face-to-face events, fewer people driving past billboards and, and more occasional phone calls answered in the offices. 

The email was one of the few remaining channels that remained unaffected by the impacts of 2020.

We will see this trend continuing to rise in 2021 as there is no reason for companies to stop. A lot of the changes applied due to COVID will remaining in place in the post COVID world. Also, now that the companies have gone through the effort of setting up their email marketing systems, it is unlikely that they will stop doing it. Quite the opposite, it is most likely that the focus will now be on improving the email strategies rather than just setting them up. 

As we will start to rely on email more and more, a greater focus will be set on email security.

According to Valimail, multifactor authentication will be mandatory in 2021 for all companies that gather data for email marketing. This means that when you subscribe to a brand, you will not only have to verify your identity via email but also via a secondary method, which may be a text message, a security token or a code from an authentication app. 


5 – More Cross-Integration Between Channels and Platforms

Modern marketers already know that marketing across multiple channels is more beneficial than putting their eggs into one basket. Multi-channel marketing is a trend that is not going anywhere soon, and we will probably see a lot more cross-integration between channels and platforms in the coming years.

We will see a more unified approach, where customer actions on one channel, can trigger an automatic movement in another. Cross-channel automation is an obvious next step as streamlined, personalised and meaningful communication across different channels is becoming a necessity to gain and retain customers. 

It will become more and more critical for companies to be visible and interact with their audience early on in their journey when they are in their research phase. Just having advertisements and sponsored product ads running online will no longer be enough.

Brands need to work on their reputation, visibility and transparency. It needs to be clear from the start, why they are the go-to for that specific product or service. This will continue to frow the trend of moving your presence to social media channels, which will again confirm the need to have a unified approach across different channels.


 Conclusion for Digital Trends 2021

To sum this up, it looks like there is quite a significant change ahead that will affect the whole digital marketing industry. Businesses will need to prepare for the wave to be able to ride it, rather than let it take them under.

With data security as a top priority, the ownership of data will be shifting from companies back to the individual. Death of Third-party cookies will bring along new marketing strategies, which will change from data centered targeting towards more contextual targeting. Integrations between different channels will continue to improve, allowing marketers to create a more unified and meaningful customer experience.


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eBrochures is a Product of MMR, a small creative agency in South Melbourne. Alongside eBrochures, MMR also created Datacleanse.com.au and live-book.com.au