Digital Marketing Success in 2021

A lot has changed in the past year and a half and as always adaptability is key. Here’s a look at key changes.

By Wadih Antoun

About 4 min read . May 14, 2021Digital Marketing

For the past year and a half, advertisers have had to adapt and readapt to rapidly shifting behaviors. We’ve already addressed how tracking online is going through new chapters of great limitations in a previous blog post. But it’s not just about the technology. Behaviors and economic factors are playing an even bigger role. Facebook has published great insights from 2020 here and we’ll walk you through a quick summary of the findings along with our take on it from what we’ve experienced with our many clients.

“Specifically, many will still face four key challenges in 2021: unclear market learnings, decreased marketing spend, inconsistent consumer engagement, and shifts in mindshare.”

Let’s take it one by one.

Unclear market learnings

Many businesses are rethinking how they operate and what messages will now resonate with their audience. This becomes an understatement in Lebanon, as we all pave the way in uncharted territories.

What to do: Build a test-and-learn culture. Long gone are the overconfident statements and “gut feelings” of the past. The world has become too complex for long-term trends. Conduct experiments and studies. Always reassess and evaluate then iterate again.

Decreased marketing spend

Another thing bites the dust: big ad spending! As marketers, we’ve been forced to rethink strategies to make the most out of smaller budgets.

What to do: Enable flexibility & scalability. Reduce over-targeting and rely on machine learning from ad platforms to deliver to the right people regardless of where or who they might be. With more flexibility, these platforms can better find you the best quality for your money. Also, more than ever, there’s a bigger strain on creativity and capturing attention be it in new technology usage or more eye-capturing visuals or interactive messages.

Inconsistent consumer engagement

How people consume content and then how they interact with your business is shifting. This means you might not be getting to them at the right time or in the proper way. Context is one of the most forgotten aspects – and it happens to be one of online advertising’s key strengths. A beautiful example of this is an old Purple Mattress campaign to generate the most boring videos ever.

What to do: This is a tough one. It comes down to really understanding your business and the consumer journey relevant to it. Tracking along the way and understanding cross-device attention and effectiveness is key. It’s also another spot where creativity in messaging and campaigning can come in handy.

Shifts in mindshare

It’s been said that a brand is the sum total of a person’s interactions with it. Then a number of these connections have been weakened due to the above-mentioned reasons, especially with a reduction in ad spend, physical interactions, and inventories in some cases.

What to do: Balance your long-term and short-term needs. It’s true you need to change and adapt but stay true to what makes your offering unique. Measurement is key to understand where the disconnect is happening and work on building better brand affinity. You need people to build a connection with you instead of a shallow transactional relationship: open a dialogue, serve others and break the mold.

In summary, the world is getting complex and so is the need to navigate it. You can easily fall behind if you don’t keep at it. So make sure to adopt a test-and-learn culture, enable flexibility in your targeting, capture consumer attention and boost brand affinity.

We’re always here for you along the way. Just drop us a message anytime.

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