The key trends that will impact marketing in 2021

From refining agility to the need for a two-speed strategy and embracing failure, here are the key issues, challenges and opportunities that will shape marketers’ working world in the year ahead.

2021Our coverage of the ‘trends’ for the year ahead is slightly different this year.

Yes, we are flagging what we think you should be spending your time and money on, and why, but equally it is a commitment from us to focus on these topics in 2021 to help you better navigate the year ahead.

Click on each heading for the full analysis

Adopting a two-speed strategy

It is key to take a two-speed approach to business strategy. Businesses still need to take a long-term view, to have a goal to aim for or a purpose to strive for. But within that long-term plan there must be room to allow for short-term disruptions and to adapt on the fly…

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Selective innovation

Rather that throwing every possible idea at the wall and seeing what sticks, innovation had already begun shifting towards a more thoughtful mode when the pandemic hit…

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The value of value

In a recessionary environment, brands and marketers need to show their worth. It will be all too easy to pull the price and promotion levers, paving the way for a sea of red as discounts pervade the high streets and the ecommerce world. That might work for some, but the best marketers will be thinking about what more their brands, products and services can offer consumers…

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Refining agile frameworks

Brands that have started to work with a more agile mindset during 2020 will need to think about how to bring that approach to life in the hybrid office environment, especially if they want to deal with the complexity of the new working world…

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Embracing failure

For too long failure has been considered the worst thing that can happen in business. This mentality is symptomatic of a working culture where new innovations, campaigns and services are the product of months, if not years, of planning. The stakes are so high that anything less than perfection is considered a serious problem…

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Be personal, not personalised

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. It’s often said, but marketers should take particular note when it comes personalisation…

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Bursting the bubble

Concern there is a disconnect between some marketers and their customers has been growing for several years. The last twelve months has only exacerbated the sense there is a gap between how marketers believe customers behave and how they do…

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And finally, a call to action – make apprenticeships a trend

One of the great tragedies of 2020 is the number of people made redundant. Young people aged 16-24 are among the biggest group impacted, either losing their job or seeing opportunities dry up…

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