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8 Digital Marketing Trends to Expect in 2021

December 11, 2020 Allison Gibbs

woman taking video with phone

The pandemic has changed a lot about how we do business. In 2021, things will continue to evolve, and even certain trends are expected on the marketing side. Here are some top trends we expect to see in the coming year — and we’re looking forward to making the most out of them.

1. Leveraging Video Content in the Sales Process

One thing’s for sure: video is the ultimate content format of the future not only for marketing, but sales. While it isn’t a new thing to leverage video content in the sales process, we will start seeing this pick up more in 2021 as a way to make closer connections and impressions. Given the personalized nature of account-based marketing (ABM), video just makes sense in the sales context.

2. Creating Retention Marketing Programs

Typically, companies prioritize customer acquisition more than customer retention (Invesp), but in 2021, it’s going to be all about retention marketing programs. Loyal customers spend 67% more with a business than new ones (Thanx), and many businesses are starting to see this and veer away from the traditional new-customer-only mentality. Looking ahead, there's a huge opportunity to reach revenue goals through retention marketing programs.

3. More B2B Referral Programs

According to B2B marketers, the average conversion rate for referrals is 11%. For comparison, the average conversion rate across all industries is 2.35% — and referred leads have a 30% higher conversion rate than contacts acquired by other marketing means. With that, we'll see more B2B referral programs that are driven by retention programs.

4. Tech Stack Investments

During such a shift in how humans communicate and connect socially and in the workforce, technology has swooped in to help us maintain connection. In 2021, this trend will continue to evolve in business, and companies will see the value in tech stack investments, as B2B marketing requires a strong tech stack behind it (CRM, MAS, ABM Advertising, etc.)

5. Making Marketing More Human

For B2B marketers, the pandemic led the way to a heightened focus on buyer engagement, the buyer’s journey, and the customer lifecycle. There will be continued efforts around making marketing more relatable and less flashy to appeal to the human, not just the customer. Even measuring the customer experience in a socially distanced world is taking a new turn.

6. Strategies to Elevate Subscription Models

From now on, there will be an increased focus around strategies to elevate subscription models and services. It's the hot topic for businesses right now and for good reason. Businesses need to reposition their marketing efforts to support this growing niche.

7. Marketing and Sales Alignment

More than ever, everyone needs to be on the same page in an organization. We’ve always done this, but more companies will start putting a premium on the connection between sales and marketing alignment (or marketing and development in the nonprofit arena). Having a disconnect here can lead to missed opportunities and customer churn.

8. Continue Adapting

Lastly, businesses will continue adapting and transforming to meet the modern, post-pandemic consumer where they’re at: online. Virtual events, conferences, and networking will be just as important, though we expect even more innovations on this new virtually-focused frontier.


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