How to Lead with More Certainty

As this year comes to an end and we prepare for 2021, we continue to face the unknown. If you are feeling uncertainty around “what’s next,” you are not alone. 

In the Global Marketing Trends 2021 report by Deloitte Insights, their research shows a significant drop in confidence among C-suite executives to influence their peers and make a strategic impact.

Many executives have prioritized improving efficiency and productivity over more human centric initiatives. 

While improving efficiency and productivity are paramount to survival, it’s equally important to understand and deliver what customers are looking for during these times of change—authentic human connection. 

“People are looking to brands for help—and rewarding those that can meet their most pressing needs in the moment.” 

Top 7 Marketing Trends in 2021 

While there is no crystal ball, understanding trends can help you face the future and lead with more confidence. The top trends identified by the report share the theme of “breaking out of our often defensive mindsets to more holistically—and authentically—meet human needs.”

1. Purpose. Brands that are uniquely positioned to navigate unprecedented change are the purpose-driven companies that know why they exist and who they are built to serve. Consumers are taking note of such brands, and are taking action through their buying preferences. 

2. Agility. Success will be rewarded to marketers who invest in an “agile digital channel strategy that meets customer needs as they unfold.” Those who choose retrenchment over innovation, risk losing relevance in an already tight marketplace. 

3. Human Experience. This isn’t the year to focus on speed-to-market and efficiency, it’s an opportunity to innovate and rebuild the human experience through authentic connections. This will require effort to uncover human needs and address those needs holistically.

4. Trust. Trust is built by delivering on promises made. C-suite members need to come together to ensure their intentions are aligned with their actions. Companies need more than a creative strategy, but a holistic trust strategy that elevates the human experience. Shifting the focus from demographics to values can help with this. 

5. Participation.  A deeper level of customer engagement is gaining popularity as digital technologies bring people and brands together; activities like writing online reviews, giving advice to other customers, and acting as brand influencers and collaborators. 

6. Fusion. Innovative business partnerships to better serve human needs are on the rise.  For example, people don’t need surgery, they need to be well. “The most disruptive companies start looking beyond traditional industry boundaries to find better ways to serve customer needs.”

7. Talent. Incorporating talent trends such as AI, gig work, in-sourcing and upskilling are all ways to differentiate and transform your workforce to address the rapidly evolving digital environment.  

Meeting Both Business and Customer Needs

The disruption to "business as usual" has surely given us a chance to reexamine how and why we do things. While human connection through experience and value need to be high on your list of priorities, there are technology solutions that can help address efficiency and productivity, as well.

Success in 2021 is reliant on agile marketing strategies, and this will require better communication and alignment between marketing and technology teams moving forward.

Bringing Marketing and Technology Together

Leading with confidence doesn’t mean you have to know everything. Sometimes you need extra support. This is where we can help. 

Our focus, backed by experience, is bringing marketing and technology teams together, and helping companies achieve their goals by delivering solutions that produce real results. 

  • Get a clear picture of your customer with a customer data platform (CDP) that connects insights from multiple channels. 
  • Understand your customer journey easier with a customer relationship management (CRM) system. 
  • Get expert advice and recommendations on the right martech stack that meets your needs.

If you’re interested in becoming a more agile company in 2021, let’s talk. We can help you navigate the unknown with a little more certainty.