While we can’t be certain exactly what the future holds (remember back in December of 2019?), we can make informed guesses at what is likely to trend in the near future.
Here is a mix of several digital marketing related trends we predict for 2021.
Widespread Chat Tools on Websites
Website chat tools aren’t new by any means. However, they have recently picked up more steam and are getting more widespread adoption. Why? Because website visitors can get quick answers without having to commit a lot of time or provide all their contact information.
We expect more and more companies will integrate some form of a chat feature on their website, whether it’s a chat tool with AI to enable automation, or if it’s a live chat feature that is manned for a sales or customer service team.
Accessibility for web design refers to making it easier to navigate for all types of visitors, regardless of variations in physical or cognitive abilities. While following accessibility guidelines is the ideal, a truly ADA-compliant website is often not possible for many companies. In addition to the sheer cost of implementing complete accessibility, the website’s look and feel is often greatly changed as well.
The good news for companies looking to build in accessibility features, there are tools for that. Several platforms out there integrate with existing websites to provide visitors with the ability to change certain parts of the website to suit their needs.
PrivacyIs a Big Deal
The implementation of GDPR in Europe in mid-2018 was only the beginning. Since then, we’ve seen different industries and regions role out more and more privacy-related legislation and requirements. This is a huge impact on websites because even regional companies may get website visitors from protected areas (like Europe and California). Compliance and respect for the privacy of users will only grow, especially in digital marketing. Again, there are tools out there that companies can turn to for help with achieving compliance.
Inbound Marketing Focus
If there is one thing companies learned in 2020, it’s that inbound marketing is valuable. When you can’t attend a tradeshow or visit a prospect’s place of business, how do you connect with prospects? Companies that were already doing inbound marketing were able to keep a steady flow of leads coming in despite events and face to face meetingbeing cancelled. We predict based on the increase interest in the past few months, that in 2021 companies will be integrating more inbound marketing into their overall lead generation strategies.
Shine a Light on Client Retention
Every company will tell you that they value their clients. However, during the past year, customer service and client retention have grown in importance and gotten company wide buy-in. Sales teams have long been considered the heros of a company, but it’s account managers and service delivery teams that maintain these long-term relationships. In the coming year, we expect to see more effort and resources allocated to nurturing existing client relationships. In many cases, this may mean a reduced effort on sales and an increased effort on other client management resources.
2021: Innovate, Adapt, Be Nimble
Companies that thrived in 2020 had several common attributes. They continued to innovate across the company (not just in products or services offered, but in processes and strategies), were able to adapt and change to meet new market needs, and were nimble enough to get these changes going quickly. We expect that in 2021, companies will need to continue to innovate, adapt and be nimble to succeed.