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The events of 2020 have impacted industries across the board, including (but not limited to) marketing and advertising, technology and data, retail and eCommerce, CX, mobile and social media, and gaming. How will these spaces continue to change as we approach the holiday season and the new year?

Our clients shed light on what these next few months will bring us, discussing the expansion of mobile and OOH, the effects of privacy regulations and more. You can find their perspectives on holiday trends, as well as their predictions for 2021, below.

Marketing + Advertising

In 2021, I believe we will see large brands thinking more granularly about how media is purchased. As a result, there will likely be a shift from national campaigns towards more hyperlocal campaigns as more consumers leave major metropolitan areas where the population is denser and not as conducive to the work-from-home environment. There will be a big push for transit and out-of-home advertising next year if a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, but the challenge will be if the traditional media business will be able to handle the uptick in demand.” James Heller, CEO and Co-Founder, Wrapify

The biggest sea-change is the shift to mobile devices becoming the primary method of interaction consumers will have with brands, period. The necessity of curbside pickup and grocery/restaurant delivery has shown consumers just how convenient it can be and many simply won’t go back to in-store shopping or ordering. To take advantage of this, brands and advertisers of all stripes should look to reach consumers when they’re already on their mobile devices. It’s a quick jump to the app store (or even a mobile web storefront!) to create an order. Putting a QR code on the screen during an OTT delivered ad simply doesn’t lead to downloads and orders in the same way. Besides, what were consumers doing while they were binging TV this year? Most of them were playing games on their phones.“Even the car buying experience has transitioned to mobile purchases being more and more routine — Tesla led the way for new cars, Carvana is pushing the pre-owned model and dealerships across the country have been adopting frictionless, contactless buying models.” Gabriella Stano Aversa, Director of Strategy and Planning at AdColony

Technology + Data

For the first half of 2021, we’re going to see many of the COVID-19 questions we’re confronting now remain top-of-mind. Will cases continue to surge? When will a vaccine be broadly available? When will businesses truly be able to re-open safely and return to a more normal state? Consequently, brands will be managing highly volatile audience and regional dynamics on a monthly or even weekly basis. The back half of 2021 will see a pivot, with the industry forced to confront the impending cookie-pocalypse. Given the increasingly privacy-sensitive world we’re living in, progressive, forward-looking advertisers will be (and are already) embracing opt-in, panel-based solutions that reduce reliance on the third-party cookie and mobile IDFAs. Regardless of what replaces the cookie, it’s time that ad tech truly thinks differently about the direction of the industry with regard to identity and personalization — and embraces new technologies instead of relying on ones that are decades old and purpose-built for the browser-based world.” Philip Smolin, Chief Strategy Officer, Amobee

Retail + e-commerce

Customer Experience

The pandemic has only accelerated already rising consumer expectations for corporate authenticity, requiring brands to be more transparent about their data sources and to build data relationships with customers based on consent and trust. Brands will increasingly want to put ethics at the forefront of their data strategies to ensure they’re operating not only legally — but also within the bounds of what their customers believe is fair. To create optimal customer experiences and avoid potential reputation-damaging backlash, CX teams will need to work harder than ever to be clear and straightforward about data collection and use.” – Anne Hunter, Head of Product Marketing, DISQO

Mobile + Social Media

Mobile targeting alone is not enough. To be truly effective, it needs to be combined with other marketing strategies, such as social and Connected TV (CTV). Marketers must work to keep the brand fresh and top-of-mind, so when a person is ready to purchase they will have the connection. With Apple changing their new privacy measures, how brands target mobile devices will also need to change. Marketers have to make an effort to stay informed on how the targeting and measurement will change as these measures are implemented.” Geetha Neelakantiah, SVP of Business Development, Semcasting