What Advertising Trends to Expect This Year 

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January 1, 2021

2020 was the longest rollercoaster we’ve been on since the Six Flags in New Orleans closed back in 2005. 

The pandemic has accelerated the demise of many struggling companies, including several big-box retailers. 

But at the same time, it has also accelerated the growth of many tech- and ecommerce-based companies, like our beloved Zoom and all of its glorious meetings…

COVID has gravely impacted the way the world works. Because of this, advertisers have been forced to write their plans in pencil, adjusting them moment-by-moment as consumer behavior shifts. 

The unpredictability of what’s coming next keeps business owners and consumers alike on their toes.

2020 was a major learning opportunity for advertisers, and has allowed us to somewhat prepare for 2021. As you develop your marketing strategy for the coming year, be on the lookout for the following trends:

1. eCommerce growth will continue, bound for exponential heights.

A lot of us were stuck at home for the majority of last year, forcing us to rely on online shopping for our basic needs. This reliance caused advertisers to notice a couple of interesting trends:

  • Those that regularly shopped online pre-pandemic bought more frequently and more in quantity. 

  • Online shopping in general increased due to people adapting after being pushed out of their brick-and-mortar shopping style.

With more stores than ever switching to or including an ecommerce option, it’s safe to expect these trends to carry into 2021. 

2. Other advertisers will double-down on their investments.

A lot of people have fallen in love with at least one newly discovered eCommerce store since last year. Because of the “I didn’t know I needed this until I saw it” mentality, we’ll continue to use these online stores even after the pandemic. 

This is why advertisers are expected to continue investing more into their online advertising, as well as increase spending across all digital marketing channels. This includes virtual events, paid display, content marketing, and more. 

3. Connected TV marketing will become more prominent.

The pandemic has accelerated our use of connected TV, like the smart TV you probably have hanging up in your living room. With more customers migrating to CTV and OTT, advertisers need to find a way to meet them there. 

The increase in more people using these devices means an increase in the hours spent consuming content on these platforms. This year, expect to see a trend in advertisers taking over these spaces.

4. The in-store shopping experience will become even more consumer-focused.

Even with the exponential rise in online shoppers, in-store shopping is still a priority for some consumers. So, don’t count it out just yet. 

Sometimes you need something tangible and real, right then and there, instead of admiring it from behind a screen. Because of this, advertisers will still be focusing on the in-store customer experience. 

People are feeling more comfortable going out in the world again; their fear slowly dwindling as more and more precautions are being taken.

Stores are going to maintain their enhanced sanitation procedures and will continue to optimize for consumers to spend less time actually inside. Like using “buy online, pick up in store” and self- checkouts.

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that life is unpredictable. The key to advertising in 2021 is to stay nimble and remember that priorities may shift at any moment. Always be prepared to adapt and adapt quickly. 

Adjusting to these changes has not been easy. At Bizzuka, we’re learning as we go just like everyone else. To keep up with the latest information on marketing during COVID-19, check out our blog.