13 January 2021
Two people working on a laptop on a desk next to a pot plant and some papers

Today’s blog post focuses on digital marketing trends predicted for 2021 that media publication, CMO Australia recently shared. We look at 5 trends in particular, including:

  1. First-party data
  2. The reinvention of email
  3. Content’s reign isn’t over
  4. Predictive marketing; and
  5. The value of authenticity and culture.

1. First-party data

The opening prediction from CMO is that first-party data will be prioritised, as ways in which data is collected evolve and third party cookies are eventually phased out. Senior Marketing Director at .au registrar GoDaddy Australia, Suzanne Mitchell shares her thoughts with CMO on how insights-driven changes will play out this year, particularly as CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems and data collection abilities continue to improve. “Deeper insights into customers increases targeting abilities to provide greater accuracy and more personalised customer engagement. This can help to drive smarter marketing, increased growth and better overall user experiences.”

So whether it’s upgrading your CRM system or enhancing your communications, by making first-party data a priority your offer will become more relevant to customers who are likely to take action.

2. The reinvention of email

CMO suggests that “Email is a foundational aspect of marketing and a primary channel for communicating new offerings, promotions and perspectives designed to entice potential customers into engaging.” There has been an increase in businesses moving online in the past year reported by .au Domain Administration, which has meant that email has become a more prominent communications channel. After establishing a baseline for email interaction during COVID-19 in 2020 and investing in the right tools, many brands are likely to continue with this form of messaging. It is an efficient way for businesses to reach their target audience by sending automated communications at key stages of the customer journey. As explained by marketers at Hubspot, a simple example of an automated campaign would be when customers first sign up to a brand’s newsletter they receive an email telling them about the company and the benefits of joining. This positive brand experience is likely to leave customers feeling valued and informed, making for a positive experience.

3. Content’s reign isn’t over

Content is expected to remain a priority in 2021, and as CMO explains, the best way to create compelling content is to have a detailed understanding of your customer, which helps you personalise content through tailored storytelling in various forms. As referenced by Eileen Tan, Nintex APAC Head of Marketing, “Customers are looking for a personal and emotional connection when making their purchasing decisions, and a story that resonates strongly with them will help organisations establish that initial connection.”

Arguably one of the hardest parts of creating content is getting people to take notice of it, which is where SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and keyword research comes in. This post from SEO expert Neil Patel looks into keyword research, including how you can find the specific topics and phrases your website’s visitors are searching for, tapping into both their emotional and practical needs. Patel explains that keywords can be grouped into categories that include:

  • Brand terms (e.g. ".au")
  • Product terms (e.g. "domain names")
  • Competitor terms (e.g. "domain extensions")
  • Substitute product terms (e.g. "online security")
  • Complementary product terms (e.g. "web hosting"); and 
  • Audience terms (e.g. "internet users").

With so many great resources available, there is no excuse for you not to make a start on your keyword research as soon as you can.

4. Predictive marketing

CMO envisages that predictive marketing strategies including digital marketing, Artificial Intelligence and biometrics will become more prominent in 2021. These technologies allow brands to make predictions about customer movements and use this to forecast certain business outcomes, and can be extremely useful when sharing information. As referenced in CMO’s article by Truescope CTO, Michael Bade, “Predictive technologies provide professionals with the essential data insights and the confidence to make and back their strategies.” 

The article goes on to explain that predictive technology works by tracking social activity that is relevant to a particular brand. In this case, your brand will set up alerts so that someone is notified as soon as any crucial information is available, “giving you time to craft the right message”. Additional examples of predictive marketing from Hubspot for you to read up on include predictive product suggestions, lead scoring, social media suggestions, customer churn prevention tools and predictive SEO. 

5. The value of authenticity and culture

CMO predicts that 2021 will be the year that brands start taking their culture and brand presence more seriously, stating “It plays a hugely important role in shaping consumers’ purchase decisions and is almost as important as having a positive brand reputation.”

The article looks at the importance of authenticity and consistency in brand voice because when users have so much content to consume they can easily choose to ignore anything that doesn’t resonate. Social media management solutions providers at Sprout Social agree that brand voice/presence, quality content and a strong narrative are important, especially as the digital landscape becomes more crowded. This is supported by responses recorded in the Sprout Social Index, which revealed that 40% of respondents said memorable content made a brand stand out, while 33% said a distinct personality and 32% said it was compelling storytelling. 

Another way for Australian businesses to ensure they are showing customers that they are local and authentic is by choosing a domain name that ends in .au, such as “example.com.au”. Getting started is easier than you may think, and there are plenty of .au registrars to help you out along the way.

After being put to the test in 2020, brands have come to realise the power of technology in enabling positive results for both their internal processes and in delivering customer outcomes. By leveraging predictions relating to first-party data, email marketing, content marketing, predictive marketing and by ensuring authenticity with a trusted online presence, you will be well on the way to a productive 2021. 

Have a question, comment or idea for a future blog post? Email us at blog@afilias.com.au today.