2021 Marketing Trends…so far!

With so many new advertising and marketing strategies over saturating the market, what are some of the interesting and new ways in which brands are marketing their campaigns so far in this whirlwind of a year? We are halfway through the year 2021 and due to the pandemic and lots of adversity that the world has dealt with both socially and culturally, brands have to show their adaptability and capability to grow and develop new and fresh ideas. 

Artificial intelligence or as it’s also known, AI is being used as a marketing tool. Crazy to believe it but AI is already so heavily used across many platforms and industries. AI is becoming a tool for brands, for example, chatbots used with companies like Facebook, Banking companies like HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds Bank all have chats in which users of these apps, typically used on mobile devices, are able to quickly and effectively resolve issues or queries any consumers may have. The bots use natural language processing to form an appropriate response to help the consumer and respond as if a real person. This has largely reduced the strain for a need for multiple working people to withstand the expanding population of people who require help and support while mobile banking or using social media. 

In terms of creating content, brands are able to use AI to develop keywords and understand topics that are currently trending through AI. This allows companies to expand past their competitors and get a better understanding of what content is interesting and current. It also allows for brands to cut down on their employees and thus save money in the long run. 

What’s better than personally being able to market towards a customer? Personalization is more used and current than ever before. Companies now send personalized emails that both use the names of the customer and use data that the consumer has consensually given to the company to create advertisements that target that particular consumer. Stats claim that 90% of people say that personalization advertising and marketing is appealing to them and 80% of people are more likely to do business with a brand if their experience is personalized. 

Another thing we see not just online but now on above-the-line advertising, like on tube platforms and on big billboards are personalized messages to the location in which the advertisement is. For example, recent posters at tube stations in London for transport agencies like Uber, Bolt, and FreeNow. The taxi company Bolt has a quirky and cool billboard with text reading ‘Londoff, London’ this was released when the first lockdown restriction rules were eased, encouraging people to use the service again now London was ‘back on’ again. This both is personalized to consumers due to the shared effects of the lockdown and desire to ‘go out’ again, and also as Bolt is a service primarily used in London, the advertisement is personalized to be used by the typical Bolt user. 

As social media has reached its highest levels of global domination, so has the growth of influencers allowing a gap in the marketing world for influencer marketing. This type of marketing uses key figures in culture at the current time and normally consist of YouTube and Instagram users. They normally have cult followings that spread into wider and or niche markets. For example, a brand trying to advertise their eyeliner would go to an influencer whose content and following revolves around makeup. Stats claim that 63% of consumers are more likely to trust an influencer over a brand itself and 58% of people have bought a product in the last few months due to an influencer. A mediakix study estimates that next year influencer marketing could be worth $10 billion. 

A mediakix study estimates that next year influencer marketing could be worth $10 billion.

One consideration a brand has to think of when using this type of technique is return of investment, ROI. Some of the costs associated with influencers being used in marketing can be astronomical. James Charles, a popular Instagram influencer, with 26.2 million followers at this current time charges $384,000 for him to endorse a product on his social media. For a company, they have to estimate whether the return from this sponsorship will cover the initial cost.

Would using your Alexa or Google help market and showcase your product? Well maybe, as global smart speakers shipment has almost tripled from between 2018 to 2019, growing from 9.36 million to 26.1 million, it would seem silly not to jump on this bandwagon. You the reader probably have some sort of smart speaker, whether that be inbuilt in the phone or laptop your reading this blog on, Apple with Siri, or Amazon with Alexa or Google with Google! Or maybe you have an Alexa or Google device installed in your home. These devices are so commonly used now. For making shopping lists, for contacting people, for making lists, or even for making purchases. Brands have to understand that the advertisement and products they put out have to use keywords that people may phrase or say when communicating with their smart speaker. Lots of brands have already adapted to allow consumers to purchase products using smart speakers. Dominos, a pizza delivery service, allows you to order pizza from home without having to touch your phone or leave your sofa. Campbell’s, a food and snack company allows users to help choose and cook recipes, which is great when you have sticky fingers while cooking. During this process of delivering the recipe to the user, Campbell’s can mention product names, a very small and subtle usage of advertisement. Brands must make sure they target google for featured snippets and focus on keywords people would use in speech. Another thought is that this channel of marketing is not for showing advertisements on people’s faces. Instead, marketers can focus on consumer interaction and have a more impressionable and subtle approach. 

Well, these are some top current trends. I’m sure we will see many more as we as humans both develop digitally and culturally. The interesting thing is all of these trends incorporate the use of AI. Personalization uses data calculated and collected by an AI. Instagram influencers are selected by AI which can’t work out the reach of influencers and down to the smallest details like using stats of what is most conventionally beautiful to a consumer and pick influencers based on their likeliness to this beauty standard. Smart speakers are technically small and very simple AI’s that are always listening. This is a very clear and interesting indication of the growth of humankind and technology and how it can change our methods of marketing and advertisement.

Written by: Stewart Russell-Moya

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