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Digital trends to look out for in 2021

2020 showed us the importance of marketing as a whole. Most importantly, however, it also showed us the undeniable gravity of having an online presence for businesses, as well as the increase in online transactions between people and businesses.
Photo by Mikael BlomkvistĀ© from Pexels
If there is anything that the pandemic has taught us – it’s resilience – and carrying this into 2021 with the addition of evolution to the mix, is a combination for success in this era. As we set off into the year, we must keep on the pulse of some key trends and advancements in the digital space.

This year, things may not be any different. Businesses need to gain a deeper understanding and gear-up on their digital marketing activities to remain relevant in the marketplace.

Here are my thoughts on trends to look out for this year:

1. Impact of user privacy protections on targeting


With more things being accessible online, including purchasing, people are becoming more concerned with the safety of their personal information. This has led to changes in data privacy laws locally and internationally. With these laws in place, businesses need to find new innovative ways to target their markets within the boundaries, whilst ensuring consumer comfort and confidence.

2. Increase in consumption of visual content


The way in which we consume information online has changed over the past few years – more so in a year due to the pandemic. People have become too lazy to read due to the amount of content being published online hourly and daily. Therefore, visual content is the preferred and more effective option to consume information. This shift challenges businesses to be more thoughtful in the content which they produce to ensure that the content isn’t generic, but rather impactful and easily understood.

3. The rise of social and e-commerce


The pandemic shifted consumers’ shopping habits from in-store to online, and drove a further rise in social commerce. According to a global report released by Facebook IQ, 37% of consumers ordered products online that they would have typically purchased in a store. With consumers spending more time on social media platforms, the report also states that 74% of consumers said they get shopping ideas from Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, or WhatsApp. This tells us that businesses need to adjust their consumer purchase journey to accommodate this change in behaviour.

4. Big Data


Now more than ever, the world is evolving towards a digital era. Data is an energy that needs to be well understood, not just at surface level, but at an in-depth level to fuel informed business decisions. It is predicted that big data will continue to grow this year and marketers need to ensure that they are making use of the best tools to optimise the data they have.

These are but some key evolutions happening in the digital space. As an industry, however, we can expect even more changes and shifts in 2021.

About the author

Paul Masuta is head of digital at Black Powder Agency
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