2021 Marketing Trends With Future Marketing Leaders
2020 truly shook the world to its core. Global events and trends have shaken the foundations of our world, and will shape how marketers communicate and engage with their audiences for 2021.
Recently we got in touch with some up and coming future marketing and presidents of marketing clubs all over the country to hear what they have to say about current trends in the marketing industry – where we are now and where we’re headed.
With consumer consumption seemingly being influenced by values over utility (particularly the more digitally-connected Gen Z) we choose to endorse, purchase from, and engage with brands that have and demonstrate progressive brand values we can relate to. Couple this with the seemingly perpetual exposure to technology, all signs point to the marketing industry being increasingly empathetic and, who would have thought, even more digital.
2021 Marketing Trend – Showing Care Through Action
Brands will take on a more empathetic stance, doubling down on showing that they care about their audience and the world at large. This could take on the form of brands adopting and demonstrating progressive brand values that their audience cares about and relates to, and using their influential power to incite positive change in society. However, this is merely part of the equation – brands have to go the extra mile in showing their genuine commitment to their stated brand values and making positive change. Anna, the president of the Monash Marketing Students’ Society, aptly put it, “consumers want to know that the brands they’re supporting actually walk the talk. It’s no longer enough for brands to say they support a cause – they need to show it in order to gain consumer trust”.
“Consumers want to know that the brands they’re supporting actually walk the talk.”
Anna Fazio, President of Monash Marketing Students’ Society
2021 Marketing Trend – Increasing Sustainability and CSR
This value-driven mindset will see the discourse taken from social media and offline conversations into the boardroom, influencing companies on a functional and strategic level. Regarding this, Emily, the president of the UNSW Marketing Society, said ”there will be increasing discussions around sustainability and CSR on an executive level, influencing the internal and go-to-market strategies which marketing departments will utilise. Utilising polyphonic measures in marketing will also be of relevance, showing the brand’s values and opinion on social issues like women rights, environmental, digital, and diversity.”
“There will be increasing discussions around CSR and sustainability, influencing tomorrow’s go-to-market strategies.”
Emily Yin, President of UNSW Marketing Society
2021 Marketing Trend – Customer Journeys and User Experience
This empathetic approach also extends to customer-centricity, specifically how brands design their customer journey by using an inside-out approach – starting with the customer. Hannah, the President of the Curtin Marketing Association, spoke of an increasing disconnect between companies and their audience in terms of customer experience with brands saying “I think the future of marketing is becoming more influenced by user experience and empathizing with the customer’s journey with brands. I think marketing currently can be distant and not always considerate of how the customer, or potential customers feel when interacting with them”.
“The future of marketing is becoming more influenced by user experience and empathising with the customer’s journey with brands.”
Hannah Whittaker, President of Curtin Marketing Association
2021 Marketing Trend – Creativity and Streaming Services
Another significant trend marketers should pay attention to is how the ever-dynamic nature of digital has – and will – continue to – provide ample new and innovative touchpoints for marketers to reach their target audience. We spoke to Karen, the co-president of The University of Auckland’s Marketing & Design Collective, who mentioned podcasting and streaming as notable examples. The growth in recent years of Disney+, Netflix, and Spotify have the platforms bubbling with potential to serve as effective channels for brands to reach and engage with their audiences. As Karen aptly put it, “it would really pay off for marketers and the marketing industry as a whole to be creative in terms of ways to get in front of their target audience.”
“It would really pay off for marketers and the marketing industry as a whole to be creative in terms of ways to get in front of their target audience.”
Karen Hsu, Co-president of University of Auckland Marketing and Design Collective
Inherently, marketing is about understanding people, their psychology and behaviour, and the world in which they operate in. Brands have to be ever-vigilant in surveying the rapidly changing consumer landscape to pick up cues on how to better serve and understand their audiences- and we’ll need young, capable marketers to do so. The club presidents we connected with represent some of the amazing individuals companies can work with to draw upon unique, current insights and perspectives to succeed in this new era of digital, customer-centricity, and values.
We’re excited for the strides these rising stars will make in their careers, as well as what they have in store for the marketing industry on a national and global scale!