How Marketing Trends Are Shifting In 2021

Marketing trends shift rapidly as new technologies and platforms arise and become common user products, and as digital experience tastes evolve and adapt to new formats. Particular brands can also have a big impact on design and creativity across the whole sector, re-introducing trends like minimalism or brutalism to digital branding, or a heavy drive into short videos and content ‘challenges’ as part of wider content sharing movements.

Many brands have started to heavily prioritise design and creativity in their marketing and other user interactions, particularly during periods of lockdown where users are limited in their interactions with traditional storefronts and other points of physical design and creative outlet. However, whenever one aspect of your digital presence is prioritised over others, there can be a knock-on in user engagement – in prioritising creative design, are you compromising user experience, or SEO capabilities? Alternatively, in designing entirely around UX, are you compromising creativity?

A 2021 survey conducted by Opinium shows that Covid-19 has brought a renewed focus on creativity and bravery amongst senior tech marketers in the US and UK. 60% of respondents identified design and creativity as a key priority for their marketing efforts as they emerge from the pandemic, while three-quarters say that the pandemic has already enabled them to become more imaginative in their work – with less focus on physical experiences giving design teams breathing room to conceptualise and develop ideas.

98% of respondents to the survey said they have begun experimenting with and expanding the capability of their marketing channel activities since the onset of the coronavirus. Two-thirds of those surveyed even support risk-taking in their go-to market approach, taking this opportunity to experiment and diversify their portfolio of creative work.

The number of channels for creative outlets is also ever increasing, and adapting to new forms of content and ways of presenting your brand can require an in depth strategy by itself. However, even traditionally serious brands and businesses are starting to pick up new channels and technologies; The Bank of England partnered with Snapchat to promote the new design of the £50 note using in-app AR lens experiences – The lens requires users to scan the newly circulated banknote which will activate the experience. Turing’s features and quote, both visible on the note itself, become highlighted before the dials of his famed WW2 Bombe machine begin to appear. The finished result is an animated image of the entire machine in the colours of the Pride flag.

With a greater range of channels comes greater opportunities for creativity and design, allowing marketers as well as businesses greater flexibility in how they stay in front of their users in the digital media arena.