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Marketing themes and concepts are evolving: Brands changing approaches too

One of the main marketing themes of the year? Digital access to products/services, and constructive communication within ad messaging is evolving quickly in the digital space—no matter the size of the business. 

In a recent survey, 47%—said that they already thought of themselves as a digitally-transformed sales and marketing organization; 37% replied that they were “accelerating the process” to transform their company.

The digital shift has been the main focus of 2020, with thousands of marketers transferring user flow into their brands’ products and services over to the digital sector to provide safe and contactless access for their consumers. When asked how they perceived “digital transformation,” 25% of the responders of this report said that it was “a means to enable new channel for sales & marketing.” Another 23% marketers looked at Digital Transformation as a new channel for customer outreach. In total, almost half (48%) of the responders looked at digital transformation as a new channel for customer outreach, including sales, marketing and service.

Customer acquisitions gaining importance
Customer acquisition seems to the primary marketing goal for 2021. This is understandable as businesses gear up for growth as an agenda for 2021 based on an expected increase in consumer demand. With regards to budget, a majority of our CMO responders (58%) said that they did not reduce their budget during lockdown. Along that line, 55% will be increasing their marketing budget by at least 11% in 2021.

Constructive communication within marketing is being utilised more in tandem with digital tactics such\ as personalization and advanced audience targeting. We’ve seen this in prominent campaigns such as the “Not Just A Cadbury Ad,” and majority of responders for the report have been using automation in digital advertising and social media, and using customer journey mapping and cross channel marketing, respectively, for their customer personalization strategies.

It does seem that a lot of our respondents have not yet received the benefits of marketing automation. Whether this is because of no marketing automation or a failure of the automation project needs to be ascertained further. Ease of implementation continues to be the No. 1 factor for choosing an automation solution.

In terms of challenges that marketing strategists see on the horizon in 2021, the largest hurdles seem to be not a lack of knowledge or skill, but rather getting tactics rooted in the new normal and digital transformation through the idea pipeline, and approved by the proper parties. 41.2% of responders said that rising fragmentation—handling more channels, audiences, and geographies in demographic terms— was the biggest content marketing challenge. Interestingly enough, that same number (41.2%) said that justifying revenue impact on social media ad spend was their largest hurdle. The role of IT in deciding martech decisions being a possible hurdle was an astoundingly low number, at just 14.7%; this denotes a rising synergy between tech and marketing as new, more effective channels are developing for the modern consumer, who focuses more on safe access to their products and is keener at decision-making through the buying funnel.

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