Together, marketing and advertising comprise one of the most dynamic industries in the modern world. These are competitive disciplines at their core, which essentially means that everyone practicing marketing and advertising is looking to out-perform a counterpart. Constant competition breeds innovation and creativity, and as a result, there is always something new in marketing campaigns — whether we’re talking about a new food truck dueling for local attention with a beloved sandwich shop, or two international retailers butting heads over new territory. At every level of business, shifts in marketing and advertising help to define competition and determine success. Because of this, it is always helpful for businesses of all kinds to keep a close eye on trends that speak to the near future of marketing and advertising. They’re not always easy to identify in advance, and there can certainly be surprises that come virtually out of nowhere. As of the early days of 2021 though, there are some evident trends that we expect to influence the next few years at least in these industries. 1. Strategies Informed By Data Analytics The concept of data analytics is so widespread at this point that it’s almost easy to dismiss it as a generic buzz term. But the truth is those analytics are continuing to transform modern businesses in all sorts of fascinating ways. And as more and more people take up an interest in this field — exploring it, studying it, and even now pursuing advanced degrees in data science — careers in data analytics have expanded into numerous specific fields. Rest assured, these fields include marketing and advertising. Already, companies hiring experts in data science are developing far more effective marketing and advertising campaigns. Gathering and assessing data allows for more specific targeting of customers, as well as more effective strategies with regard to search engine optimization and general visibility. In time, it’s only going to become clearer that marketing and advertising departments that aren’t using data are falling behind — which in turn means that we should continue to see a trend toward the embrace of data. This doesn’t mean that creativity will be taken out of these industries. But more and more, creativity and strategy will be driven by data findings. 2. Video-First Content Marketing We’ve looked into video marketing before as an effective strategy for on-site presentations. As noted, video can be processed up to 60,000 times faster than text, which means visitors to a business’s website can take in information much more efficiently through video than text. Additionally, video content is more likely to be shared, with visitors passing it long through social media channels — whereas they’re both less likely and less able to do the same with blocks of text. Building on this idea, there are already various video marketing trends that have emerged in the last year or two, and which we expect to impact the near future of marketing and advertising. In addition to sharing basic on-site content through video instead of text, companies are engaging in vlogging as a way to share information while building credibility and familiarity with audiences; they’re personalizing videos for campaigns aimed at specific audiences; they’re creating interactive videos to encourage engagement, and they’re even putting out “shoppable” videos on compatible social media platforms. These strategies have all proven to be quite effective when used correctly, which is why we expect them to become even more significant trends in the months and years ahead. 3. Social Outreach as a Point-of-Sale It’s amazing when you stop and think about it; just how much influence very simple social media innovations can have on the world of marketing and advertising. Instagram and TikTok videos have brought the very concept of modern influencer marketing into existence. Facebook’s groups have replaced the need for certain types of email marketing. And going back a little further, the hashtag is so influential that it’s now referred to in academic essays as an “iconic” symbol with influence in TV, on physical products, and in advertising. Little things in this realm can shake the foundations of digital marketing and advertising. In this case, though it’s not one small detail or change we expect to see becoming trendier, but rather an increasingly widespread concept. That concept is the use of social media posts as points of sale for products and services. This idea often referred to as “social commerce,” is, like video marketing, nothing entirely new. But it’s spreading rapidly across different social networks and uses, and it is bound to be looked upon as increasingly essential marketing and sales strategy moving forward.
Written exclusively for Thynkgroup.com
by Holly Capper