Digital marketing in 2021: What to look out for

While everything feels unusual at the moment, one thing in life can be certain – the world of digital marketing will continue to be fast moving. Given the pandemic has increased people’s focus on online tools and virtual interactions, ensuring digital marketing strategies are in check has arguably never been so important for brands. Digital can move so quickly that just an algorithm update from Google can upend a brand’s careful planning. With that in mind, here are our predictions and recommendations for elements marketers should keep a close eye on in 2021, to ensure their best laid plans not only stay relevant but stand out with rewarding results.

One of the big trends we will undoubtedly see in 2021 is an increased focus on privacy issues. As digital marketing evolves with a much more targeted approach, consumers are becoming more conscious and concerned about privacy. As a result, we are seeing top brands react very quickly. In March 2020, Safari blocked all third-party cookies. Apple is introducing intelligence tracking prevention across mobile apps, meanwhile, Google plans on also getting rid of third-party cookies by 2022. As many government bodies warm up to the idea of enacting legislation to protect personal data, there is no denying that the data privacy landscape will change immensely — and digital marketers will have to adapt. The impending loss of cookies is potentially a major issue, as so many businesses have become very used to using them as a primary source of insight on who their customers are, how they move, and how to find others like them. If your business is not yet seriously considering how to get hold of more first-hand data on your customers, preparations need to be made immediately. 

One recent study suggests contextual targeting might be one of the best ways to handle the transition. However, given the turbulent nature of the new landscape driven by privacy changes, the best next move for many will be sticking to the tried-and-true practices — PPC advertising and content marketing. A rush to these channels could make them less effective given so many others are adopting the same tactics, so again, careful planning is needed.