We predict that consumer behavior will continue to operate around convenience in 2021. Having groceries delivered to your door, or having a Target employee drop your order into your trunk without so much as a card swipe is a luxury that many weren’t aware of prior to this year. It saves time and effort, and as we begin the slow integration back into societal norms, we think people will value their time with other humans even more – at least for a little while. This convenience concept relies heavily on digital applications. What does that mean for your business? If you haven’t already, it’s time to consider what systems or applications need to be implemented to create the most convenient and hassle-free online and in-person experiences possible for your customer. Allow for generational gaps and preferences, but we think accommodation is going to be a staple in the way we do business for the foreseeable future.
Our online lives will continue to be highly important – platforms like Zoom, Slack, and Teams are likely to stay a part of the workflow for companies. That means your marketing may also have to adapt (or continue to adapt) to a sales cycle paradigm that remains strongly digital. How can you help people grasp the experience of working with your company, touring your facilities, meeting your people, using your product(s), and so on?
In other exciting tech predictions, we think the last Internet Explorer holdouts will be forced to finally relinquish grip of their beloved browser as it will no longer be supported by Microsoft (insert cheering)!
We predict that brands will realize that diversity in representation is no longer an option. It will be the mainstream, not the niche market. Authentic visuals (meaning, not using stock photos of a team that isn’t your actual team) of a diverse company workforce, culture statements with teeth and meaning, modern representation of the diversity of humans in marketing – all these things matter to today’s well-informed consumer and that importance will continue to grow.
We also think brands must continue to humanize. Smart businesses understand being transparent, authentic, and even vulnerable is smart marketing in 2021. People connect with people. This means the brand should be personified in a way that reveals who they are and what they stand for. We’re not talking about political party or platforms here… we’re talking about having values that you communicate and deliver upon. No marketing is as powerful as that which happens when a company promises “X” as an experience or outcome, delivers big on “X,” and the customer tells others about it. The first step isn’t the telling of others, or the delivering… it’s the promising. That’s what we mean when we say brands should reveal who they are and what they stand for.
For instance, our brand promise at Crossroads Communications includes our core value, “We operate with integrity, meaning we won’t take your money if we cannot help you.” That promise is one we aim to deliver big on, so our customers will be excited about telling others.
If you want to explore your current marketing plans based on what you see ahead (or what we’ve seen ahead) in 2021, let’s talk. We can put another of our core values, “Strategy before tactics,” into play for you.
Happy New Year from the team at Crossroads Communications, LLC.