Fast-Forward: Looking Ahead to 2021

In the episode, “Looking Ahead to 2021,” Nicole Penn, President of the EGC Group, presents an enlightening marketing strategy for businesses to plan for in 2021. This informative session outlines 10 key trends to put on your watch list for a successful year ahead.

How 2020 Will Shape 2021

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s been learning how to pivot to meet unprecedented and unforeseen challenges. The good news is that these challenges have opened doors for new opportunities. Before evaluating the trends, ask yourself these critical questions as they relate to your business. Your answers will be the guide as to how you put your plan for 2021 in play:

  • How has the year 2020 opened up new opportunities for my business – and me?
  • What is one trend I can leverage for by business?
  • What is a potential barrier I will need to overcome to accomplish my goal?
  • What is my one marketing goal as I go into 2021?

Top Ten Marketing Trends to Plan For

  1. Shifts in Business Models—The big takeaway here is about digital transformation and the macro-shift from B2B-to-B2C. Direct-to-consumer business is a key trend that is currently here and will continue into 2021 to match changed consumer behaviors and needs.
  2. Brand Purpose and Transparency—Being clear on your brand purpose and how you’re supporting your community is a true driver in looking ahead for 2021. Consumers care. And they are four times more likely to purchase from a company and four-and-a-half times more likely to champion and recommend a company they feel has a clear brand purpose their personal values align with.
  3. Social Commerce—The trend for 2021 is moving toward consumers who are adapting to purchasing goods directly through social media, and platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are making this easier for businesses to take advantage of this trend.
  4. Voice SEO and Voice Commerce—Businesses need to meet customers where they are. The use of long-tail conversational key words to answer questions is part of the strategy for voice SEO and voice commerce. The use of voice-enabled speakers is expected to grow by 130 percent in the next year. Optimizing SEO for voice search is therefore a critical component in today’s world.
  5. AI (Artificial Intelligence) and AR (Augmented Reality) Shape Shopping—One thing the pandemic has done is to force innovation within today’s industries. Today, we are seeing an increased use of AR in retail, among other industries. Read EGC’s Comeback episode dedicated to this topic here.
  6. All in on Local Digital—Location search and zero-click search is exploding. Recent data reveals some key steps to have in place to ensure your customers are receiving correct information about your business on listing sites. Once all pertinent data is organized, optimize your business on all platforms (not just your website), and post content that is relevant with consistent frequency. Did you know that 37 percent of businesses are listed with incorrect names and 43 percent of businesses have the wrong address listed? Go to and scan your business and check what you need to fix.
  7.  Paid Digital Innovations—We will see an increase and shift into paid digital innovations in 2021. One example of this is the implementation of AI in mobile displays to serve your brand to a qualified prospective client, using relevancy to target and maximize conversions.
  8. Publishers Changing How You Can Connect with Consumers—We will see new privacy regulations, if we haven’t already, as well as the demise of the “cookie.” Audience targeting – as we once knew it – will be more limited, and the weight of first-party data will be extremely important with these sweeping changes.
  9. Brands Owning Their Communities: Building First-Party Data—The key takeaway here is to collect and own your proprietary first-party data. Then invest in keeping your database organized. Create segmentations and ideal consumer profiles.
  10. Content Consumption: Brands Becoming Content Engines—Users are in front of their screens more than ever, and as we move into the year 2021, you will see the increased need for content strategy that engages and drives traffic, and ultimately helps your brand collect first-party data.

How to Choose What to Implement for Your Business: The EGC 2021 kickSTART Process

Now is the time to grow. As a leading marketing, content and public relations agency, the team at The EGC Group developed a marketing initiative ranking system that applies the 10 trends listed above in relation to key questions about your business to help prioritize next steps. This system is proving to be an invaluable tool in positioning businesses for success in 2021. Here is a snapshot of the system to further explain.

Looking Ahead to 2021.chart iThen, let’s START, by looking at the following criteria for your business:

  • Superpower—What makes us great and what can help my customers?
  • Threat—What competitive threats and internal challenges exist?
  • Aspiration—Write a news headline that illustrates that you have achieved your goal.
  • Results—Quantify your 30-day, 90-day and 1-year goals.
  • To-Do’s— List your to-do’s specifying the owner, action and deadline.

The takeaway: Planning for 2021 begins with reflecting on how the past year has influenced how we plan our marketing strategies for the new year. Analyzing the trends and applying sound marketing strategies based on your business needs is key to opening new doors of opportunity for 2021.

If you missed this episode, you can watch it on-demand now.