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Latest Advertising Trends for 2021


Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Latest Advertising Trends for 2021," discusses the state of advertising trends and forecasts for 2021.  All marketers and advertisers, regardless of business size, should be cognizant of emerging trends and forecasts.  Everyone from entrepreneurial start-ups to small businesses to enterprise organizations should be thinking about how to market in 2021.  Gone are the days of putting up simply any advertisement or marketing communication and believing that will be sufficient for brand and revenue growth.  That approach could be akin to jumping down a rabbit hole and waiting for customers to find and rescue the brand.  Trends are like a moving target, they are always in constant motion.  They can shift not only each year but sometimes at any point in time especially when economic variables have moved or behavior habits change.  Further, and most importantly, trends, like business forecasts, can alter the outcome, if even by a single percentage point, which could swing either way.  A mere 1% increase in sales could be thousands or hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, depending on the establishment's size and revenue stream.  Of course, though most businesses' goal is to increase anywhere between 3 to 4% over a quarter, and ultimately the year, however, 1% is still growth versus a loss.  According to most MBA institutions, a 3 to 4% growth average represents a healthy clip and a significant increase.


Quote of the Day: "If you set your goals ridiculously high and it's a failure, you will fail above everyone else's success." - James Cameron

Trends come and go, and it's always a good idea to understand that the latest trends that were prevalent in past years may not be relevant or face obsolescence.  The best way to prepare for change is to realize that trends can remain strong or die over time.  That said, let's dive in to learn what is shaping up for 2021.

Video Advertising

Video advertising continues to hold the highest-ranking of marketing mediums right now.  It's no surprise that videos got their lift from the television era; however, with the internet boom, advanced computers, and mobile devices, there are many more video distribution platforms.  Video is forecast to be one of the most important advertising trends occurring during the next five years.  Sales departments and their reps are eager to use video marketing as part of their sales tools to increase revenues.

The advancement of mobile devices has encroached upon various marketing campaigns, thus eroding their impact due to content that is challenging to read on a screen.  However, video formats can consistently impart messages across multiple platforms, which advances video marketing as a staple for marketing communications.  There are many video mediums and channels, such as YouTube and Vimeo, and Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And there will likely be more video platform vendors emerging in 2021 and beyond.

One should note that the video platform moves away from production status, with the content being the essential aspect consumers look for, over and above that of production quality.

The video advertising trends that are forecast to be strong in 2021:

  • Condensed Ad Length. Consumers now are inundated with available videos to watch; therefore, only ads that generate interest are the attention grabbers, which will rate higher on the engagement scale.  Since consumers are looking for instant gratification, the amount of time to watch a video is significantly reduced.  Therefore, video creation will continue to be shorter, more creative, more engaging, and get the point across more directly.
  • 1:1 Personalized Video. As opposed to sending email blasts or taking time with phone calls, advertisers and marketers can now produce personalized video messages for their customers and prospects.  Due to advanced smartphone technology and the resulting quality of 4K and 5K screen resolutions, video viewing preferences advance.
  • Live Video Experience. Facebook is awash with their live video, "Create a Story" option that can either be a real-time stream or a prerecorded offering.  These live videos are becoming more popular for businesses, mainly when distributing product demos, interviews, behind-the-scenes shots, and more.
  • Shopping Through Video. More and more consumers are taking the cue to purchase products directly from an image or a video.  This process shortens the customer sales funnel experience by offering them the option to purchase immediately.  This feature is generally provided by incorporating a popup button or direct link that opens the purchasing environment page.
  • Repurposed Text. A transcription of the video can also exist on a site that contains an embedded video is a smart way to increase SEO rankings. Further, video content can also be repurposed into a stand-alone entry for a blog; or newsletter provided the text is correctly edited.

Ad Personalization

The art of personalization is not exactly new, as, in 2018, the term "personalization" was the marketing term of the year.  In a genuine sense, personalization is linked to discovering consumer data, such as real-time tracking of clicked links, purchase behavior, buying history, survey responses, and so on.

Both the customer support and business decision-makers are incorporating two data collection methods, using customer experience management software or business intelligence applications.  These tools provide target marketing and can be utilized for various marketing platforms, including video, social media, TV, display, and print advertising.

Personalized Targeted Marketing Projections

The question becomes, how important is personalized experiences for the customer?  This is what the personalization trends demonstrate:

  • 63% of consumers experience being annoyed with generic ads or marketing incursions.
  • 59% of consumers attest that personalized content is significant in influencing shopping decisions.
  • 51% of customers, since 2020, have been looking for organizations to offer meaningful suggestions even before any communication begins.
  • 90% believe personalized content appeals to them.
  • 80% will most likely be driven to conduct business among companies that provide personalized experiences.

Print Advertising

For starters, print advertising isn't dead; in fact, it's far from it.  Print has quietly improved its stead through the advent of digital technologies, which has kept this medium in step with digital innovations.  Print's big selling point remains consistent throughout its pre-digital days, as being trustworthy and is now even more highly regarded in the era of fake news and disinformation.

We just experienced learning about a celebrity's death, and the botched reporting left us thinking it could be a hoax.   Since most people learned about it online, the information was questionable.  Conversely, if the information was disseminated via a newspaper, condolences, sadness, and sympathy result from reading the newspaper; this example represents a noteworthy difference that bolsters print advertising trends.

Over the past several years, print marketing's value has risen, and according to Statista, print marketing flyers in the US rose to a $15 billion market valuation in 2017. And in 2021, that valuation is forecasted to continue to grow.

With the pandemic forecasted to continue well into 2021, the physical mailbox represents a more uncluttered area for consumers to receive marketing messages. Besides, the physical mailbox also provides relief from digital overload.

Add to that the human aspect that craves a tactile experience.  Being able to touch and feel a piece of marketing collateral offers a real feeling of comfort that digital marketing cannot provide.

Therefore, a piece of tangible material such as print media, stands a better chance to create new connections and add credibility to the brand offering.  The trends that are continuing to rise in print advertising are:

  • Personalized content via the implementation of subscription data.
  • More creative use of different types of inks, finishes, mattes, textures, and die cuts.
  • Customer stories are the engagement point that should be front and center.
  • Smaller, more concise, and focused publications.

Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, among other social media channels, can potentially advertise and get marketing messages out to specific groups and demographic targets.  The larger social media channels have the propensity to reach gargantuan size audiences and the opportunity to build a network for the brand.

That said, Facebook is the largest social media channel, and now advertisers are using it as a marketing tool.  One effective method of utilizing Facebook is to place a short ad within the live video or popular videos.  Videos that focus on engagement and brand awareness do particularly well in the Facebook arena.  Many folks have received political marketing messages throughout the 2020 presidential campaign, with targeted, informative content relating to polling places, voting days, volunteer recruitment, and so on.  However, one must remember that there are pros and cons related to social media marketing:

Social Media Pros:

  • Increased sales and revenue
  • Improved marketing opportunities
  • Improved SEO rankings
  • Increased website traffic

Social Media Cons:

  • Requires clear marketing strategy
  • Online exposure attracts data leaks, negative feedback, etc.
  • Needs daily monitoring
  • Needs continuous active management

The Net-Net

Rounding out these 2021 trends are Programmatic Advertising, Increases in Ad Spending, Display Advertising, and Mobile First Advertising.  Now that we are in the throes of 2021, businesses will continue to navigate through the next phase of the pandemic, and life will get better as we move forward. Advertising and marketing concepts will also make improvements to ensure that changing consumer behaviors will be understood, and most importantly, on a personalized level.  We wish all a Happy and Prosperous 2021, and thanks for stopping by and taking a moment to read "Latest Advertising Trends for 2021."

Let's have a conversation about integrated business solutions and how they can help grow your business, change behavior, and improve the customer experience.  Let us show you how to improve your document processes to optimize your workflow, reduce your costs, and maximize your organization's printing, letter shop, and mailing capabilities.

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