ThinkOTB Agency

5 trends that will define marketing in 2021

January 7, 2021

In 2020 it felt like everything we knew was out the window. But when it comes to marketing, our specialists know exactly what they’re talking about… even in our ‘new normal’ world! So here we share the perspectives of five of our marketing agency’s team on what the big trends in 2021 will be in client service, business strategy, brand design, video and content.

Business strategy trend: organisations valuing innovation in marketing

“We have all seen that with the ascendancy of digital marketing, organisations have valued the media choice more than the creative content – they have devalued the benefits of ‘differentiation’.

I think the business world finally believes that innovation and creativity are the key to their future success. As we focus on different business propositions driven by better understanding of the market, breaking down ‘normal’ processes, enhanced customer experiences, and more effective communications, we will see more effective innovation in marketing – giving better results.

It seems like the biggest business paradox of our time though: The thing acknowledged as the most important driver of business success is the thing that business seem to systematically ignore. A survey by IBM of 1500 CEOs in 60 countries, across 33 industry sectors, shows it’s easy to see why so many business leaders are sharing their belief in innovation as the key driver of business success. Whilst a majority are quick to express their belief in innovation, more than half the CEOs said they were ill-equipped to manage it.

The most telling statistic from the survey is the 56% of respondents who say that they’d like to be more creative and more innovative but don’t know how. ‘Innovative thinking’ is not a natural process for some industries, but by unlocking creative thinking with process, focus and pace, and advocating what the UK is best at – creativity and innovation – we can help organisations thrive and prepare for the future – whatever it may look like.”

Mark, our Chairman.

Client services trend: supporting clients as they innovate

“In the short-term I see client service teams developing new ways of communicating with their clients virtually – be it emails packed full of inspiration and market insights or delivering ways to conduct socially-distanced outdoor meetings.

In the long-term though, I see agency client service teams becoming the innovators for in-house marketers. Now, more than ever before, our brand and marketing clients need to stand out to connect with their customers and answer to their needs, so client service teams need to drive innovative thinking based on new customer insights.

It’s going to be customer-focused brands which demonstrate that they truly understand and care out their customers that thrive in 2021. So I think marketers will need to choose messaging and brand values over channel – with omnichannel being the new media of choice.”

Sarah – Account Director

Brand design trend: expand our imagination

“Digital is driving brand strategy and while our physical freedom is constrained, brands are using online to expand our imaginations and give us the freedom we’re craving.In 2021 brands will serve up ‘freedom’ with mind-altering optical illusions, surrealism, plenty of 3D graphics and nature-inspired design. Brands with heritage will seek to take us back to the ‘good old times’ with retro themes, while edgy brands play to our desire for simplicity with authentic, honest conceptual designs that bring out our positivity and make us feel comfortable once again.”

Dave – Creative Director

Video & motion trend: bringing type to life

“In marketing, video is all about making emotional connections and breaking down big concepts into something unforgettable.In 2021 the trend for kinetic typography will continue as a great way of making words unforgettable. By telling a visual story with type, marketers can make words come to life for the target audience and ensure that the right messages stand out.

Lucy – Motion Graphics Designer

Content trend: Creating communities

“Online communities have long been the ideal for big brands. Get loads of brand advocates talking about your brand and bringing new prospects into the fold by simple word-of-mouth… It’s the marketer’s dream! For 2021, this trend will continue. Lockdown has revealed new creative talents in many of us. People will want to contribute their own content to the community. It’s good news for marketers who need to free-up their content resource, but it will create a demand for content monitoring to ensure quality and brand integrity remain strong.”

Sarah – Content Writer

We hope our perspectives on 2021 marketing trends have inspired your marketing strategy. There’s plenty more inspiration for you in our work catalogue.


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