Digital Marketing Trends for 2020-21

Digital Marketing Trends for 2020-21

We have compiled this list of articles to assist you with your 2021 website marketing. Keeping up with digital marketing trends can be a daunting task. We hope this article will shed some light for you and enable you to make valuable decisions this new year.

[1]There is always a huge interest in digital marketing trends and innovation in marketing as we get closer to the new year. And rightly so, since reviewing innovation in digital marketing, technology, and platforms for the year ahead can help marketers identify new opportunities that agile businesses and marketers can tap into… if they’re looking in the right place and know the right questions to ask…

From reviewing the latest hype cycle and from my recommendations on innovations in this post, here are the core marketing themes that I think will be most significant for marketers considering their adoption of digital technology in 2021 and beyond:

Conversational Marketing:

Consumer privacy: Consumer privacy and consent is significant emerging technology on the marketing curve, but, surprisingly, it’s not on both curves, particularly since one of the biggest trends in advertising during 2020 are the steps by Apple, Google, and Mozilla to increase privacy controls for their users in their browsers which threatens to significantly shake up the advertising models of Facebook, Google, and the ad networks.

Artificial Intelligence: Artificial Intelligence and machine learning for marketing are entering the ‘trough of disillusionment.’ This fits findings from our research on managing digital marketing amongst marketers, which shows a relative lack of enthusiasm for adopting AI and Machine Learning despite the number of vendors offering AI solutions. Our research also shows that many businesses are at a low level of maturity in their digital marketing, so only the c10-20% of businesses who have the scale and skills to deploy AI are currently using it. You can read more in our infographic on 15 applications of AI for marketing.


Marketing Hubs: Marketing Hubs (clouds) and email automation are nearing widespread adoption. Many of the techniques described in this article are already available if you use a capable marketing cloud.

Fewer innovations than in previous years since the innovation trigger part of the marketing curve are sparse, suggesting relatively few genuinely new technologies are emerging. Indeed, I’m sure visual search has previously appeared here. This suggests that maturity in tools has been reached, and genuinely new techniques will be rare in the future. Our Digital marketing tools wheel (free download) is suggested, which identifies 30 categories of technology for marketing.

[2]Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising means using AI to automate ad buying so you can target more specific audiences. Real-time bidding, for example, is a type of programmatic ad buying. This automation is much more efficient and fast, which means higher conversions and lower customer acquisition costs.

It’s changing the face of digital advertising so swiftly that, according to eMarketer, 86.2% of digital display ads in the U.S. will be programmatic by 2020.

According to Irina Kovalenko of SmartyAds:

“Most search-driven manual advertising campaigns (even those performed with professional tools) take into account three or four targets: the keyword, time of day, and location. Such tools like programmatic demand-side platforms can use hundreds of targeting signals to individualize the advertisement and even target according to lifestyle or behavior habits when integrated with customer data platforms.”

[3]Digital Marketing Transformation

Technology has changed our lives beyond recognizing what we used to expect from the most upper-level services we now expect from any product or service. Digital marketing transformation is key to success today, and we expect it to become an even stronger trend in 2020.

Together with BCG, we have developed a digital maturity framework5 to measure their current level of digital marketing maturity and put together a development plan. At the start of the year, we piloted this framework with Raiffeisenbank in Russia. Elsewhere in the world, Samsonite applied it to their own model with success.

Inclusive Marketing

Today’s consumers want more than product information from brands. They really demand the brand’s perspective on topics that matter and how they positively contribute. In 2020, a brand’s view on diversity and inclusion, climate change, and sustainability will become even more important.

For example, consumers expect to hear from diverse voices, so we should consider identity, culture, and representation. Brands like Axe6 and Gillette7 have already contributed to a global shift in mindset.


Never give up. Keep researching and find the best digital marketing that works for your organization. Should you have any questions or need assistance with your marketing plan, please call today.

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