December 14, 2020 5 min read

Much like the exhale after a long stretch, the end of a year can feel like that moment of relief to many of us. It’s been a year unlike any other with many facing unexpected career shifts, zoom fatigue and uncertainty in every corner. With the new year approaching fast and furiously, many are hoping for a fresh start in all things, including their marketing careers. But where exactly should you focus your efforts? With marketing trends bursting on the scene to meet consumer demands new paths are being paved. This means that for young professionals like you, opportunity isn’t on the horizon; it’s here. Let us fill you in on the emerging marketing disciplines to keep an eye on for your shot in the new year.

Let’s Get Digital, Digital

When you think of digital marketing, picture the roots beneath a tree: strong, long and growing steadily in every direction. The pandemic accelerated digital marketing and pushed it to a whole new level that can only be described as essential. According to Hootsuite’s 2021 Social Trends, digital marketing is now all about “[delivering] short-term ROI with targeted performance marketing tactics." And how do you exactly do that as a marketer? 

Building innovative digital experiences that win long-term loyalty by bringing discovery, connection, and fun back to the customer experience. — Hootsuite 2021 Social Trends

Overhead shot of hands typing on laptop with digital graphs and charts displayed on the right.

In a nutshell, digital marketing brings the customer experience to the forefront without interruption (maybe a slight internet interruption from time to time, but it happens, we know). With in-person experiences and events on hold, digital bridges the gap. Not to mention that its constantly evolving with innovations and features. Does that mean you have to be on top of them all? There’s social marketing, paid advertising, SEO, SEM and the list goes on. A strong marketer knows which tactics are worth pursuing and which to keep on the back burner. Deloitte’s 2021 Global Marketing Trends Report saw “67% of C-suite respondents said they increased their presence on social media”. That’s a jump that no one saw coming and isn’t expected to slow down anytime soon.

Begin your digital marketing education bit by bit. There are many resources available to provide an understanding of what you gravitate toward. Take Google. They’ve taken up the call to provide “new products, features and initiatives to help businesses and consumers adapt.” This also includes expanding their free digital skills learning platform. Even if you’re not a digital marketing wizard, having a basic understanding will be a clear indicator you’re ready for this marketing job.

Keeping the Conversational Marketing Ongoing

It should come as no surprise this marketing trend is on the rise with social distancing restrictions in place. What makes conversational marketing unique from just regular digital marketing is that it’s all about real-time responses and interactions. Think the game telephone but on a whole different level and with 100% more accuracy. Whether it’s through a Facebook chat box or a friendly bot on a site, these touchpoints provide the online space for consumers to ask questions and receive answers instantaneously. What would curbside pickup be without these types of conversational marketing tactics in place? Sure, it wasn’t perfect in the beginning, but some ecommerce sites now make it look like a breeze.

Woman texting on her phone at table.

What does this mean for you? If you’re tech-savvy, then knowing how to implement this for a business is a huge win. Likewise, understanding the impact of conversational marketing and knowing how to apply it effortlessly is a double win. It’s all about communication skills previously associated with customer service platforms. Now all industries are looking to integrate this more effectively to keep the (digital) conversation going with their customer. It builds trust in the brand, it builds connection. Go beyond activating customer relationship management technologies like Salesforce. Look to companies that are doing this well and be ready to jump in with both feet.

Video Marketing in All Its Glory

Video marketing has opened not only front doors, but back doors and windows, all leading us to the inside of brands, companies, and home offices in 2020. Suddenly it seemed video content was not only just a nice have, but also a must-have, especially in the form of live streaming. For those trying video chats for the first time, 55% were satisfied with the experience. This goes to show that consumers are open and ready for alternative ways of communicating. For marketers, that means stepping up their video marketing tactics and strategy.

Get ready to take it live. That’s right, live streaming is a marketing trend that will continue to dominate in 2021. If you thought you were imagining all those live events pop up out of nowhere, then be assured the largest social platforms, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter, “prioritize live content in their newsfeed.” The motivation comes down to increased engagement that spread from your network to the next. We’re all looking for more ways to connect and live streaming does just that.

It may seem intimidating, but like any skill, it takes practice to get it right. Creative marketing professionals who know the ins and outs of engaging video content creation are bound to be in high demand.

Read the Data Analytical Signs

A printout of analytics graphs and data.

Ah, the left side of the brain. Where would marketers be without insights and analytics? Data analytics specialists and data scientists have fair to good job prospects according to the Job Bank of Canada. More than just reading the numbers, data analytics tell a story – sometimes it’s about success and other times it’s about a need for improvement.

With more and more data becoming available thanks to digital marketing innovation, not only is data analytics a marketing trend, but it’s also what keeps the lights on for every marketing campaign. If you’re the type of professional who loves to get to the root of a problem, then data analytics could be your niche. Plus, it’s not limited to a specific industry – everyone is looking for answers and you might just have them.

There’s More to Come

Some trends are more obvious than others, but 2020 has been a year no one saw coming. Despite it all, we have endured and emerged knowing what we’re made of. Now it’s time to move forward with all we’ve learned for the better.

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