After the year we’ve had, it’s finally time to look to the next one. If we’ve learned anything, it is that it’s impossible to predict the future. But we can look at what’s happening now and how it’s setting the stage for 2021.

Here are three marketing trends that have their origins in the present, but are likely to grow in importance in the coming months.

Rise of the newsletter

Have you felt like you’ve signed up to more email newsletters recently? You’re not the only one. According to Google Trends , the last few months have seen a surge in interest in newsletters.

There are a few contributing factors. High-profile writers have taken them up, people who have lost work have turned to them to bring in extra revenue, and the general appetite for them seems to have grown too.

But what does this have to do with marketers?

Well, where the internet goes, marketers usually follow, so you can expect an increase in companies putting out their own newsletters, too. Some will be good, some will be bad, but it means a lot more newsletters and therefore busier inboxes.

For companies who do a lot of email marketing already, there’s going to be far more competition for your customers’ attention. Straight-forward product updates may not get the open rates they once did. This means it’s a good time to look at your email approach and decide if it needs sprucing up.

Social media fragmentation

With Twitter releasing Fleets, and LinkedIn adding Stories, the major social media platforms are looking more and more alike. It’s fair to assume that if all of your platforms do the same thing, you might be looking for something a little different to keep you interested.

We’ve also seen the fallout from Facebook and Twitter’s attempts to battle disinformation on their platforms, with users abandoning them for places like Parler that are more aligned with their politics and worldview. With these two things in mind, there are signs that users want a more curated and personalised approach to their social media.

While Reddit is not new, its popularity is growing quickly, and its big selling point is you choose the subreddits you’re interested in, rather than a generalised, algorithm-led feed.

Elsewhere, more private options are springing up. Platforms like Discord, Slack and Telegram are increasingly being used by groups and communities to build mini-social networks kept away from prying eyes (for good, bad, and ugly reasons).

For marketers who rely on public conversations to better understand their customers, private platforms obviously present a problem. It will be key in 2021 for businesses to know where their customers chat, how to interact with them, and whether they should build their own communities themselves.

Safety and process as selling points

We all know 2020 has changed the way we shop, from wearing masks to one-way systems around the shelves. And with big changes in consumer behaviour comes new areas consumers see as important.

First, people are far more concerned about their safety in physical stores than before. We want to know a business is ensuring mask-wearing, keeping the place sanitised, and avoiding overcrowding before we go there.

That means businesses need to shout about getting this right. If a customer knows you’re safe, they’ll be far more likely to visit, especially compared to a place they’ve heard is lax with the rules.

Coupled with this is the massive increase in online shopping this year. That means a business must have a smooth process for buying their products online. We all know how infuriating it is to try and enter your bank details on your phone, only for the whole thing to refresh, forcing you to start from scratch.

Again, once a business has this down, it’s a good way to attract business. If a customer knows they can purchase something in three simple taps without having to look away from Netflix, they’ll keep coming back.

With a simple change of focus in your messaging around these points, you’re likely to reap some sizeable benefits. If you would like some help and advice to grow your business through marketing, contact us today!