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Digital Marketing Predictions for 2021

It’s hard to believe that we’ve already moved into the 4th and last quarter of 2020 never-mind concerning ourselves with digital marketing predictions for 2021! For a year that many have (probably only half-heartedly) joked should be cancelled, it sure has left an impact on us all. Cast your mind back to January and it possibly feels an entire world away. Although it’s been a tough time in many respects, 2020 certainly has been a year of innovation. The way that small businesses and suddenly unemployed individuals have thrown themselves into new ways of working and making things happen has been inspiring to see and definitely holds lessons for the future. But now that the first glimmer of 2021 is on the horizon, many businesses are wondering what’s in store, and so too are we!

Digital Marketing as an industry never stands still and there is always some new trend vying for attention. What do we feel is going to be important in 2021, particularly for small business?

2021 show in numbers

There are a great many ways of attempting to answer this and quite possibly no right or wrong answer. For us the question may be a little in different in that we want to know what tools and trends 2021 has in store to better the investments our clients make in digital marketing- what are the most important points to focus on to enhance reach, brand awareness, lead generation and ultimately sales? For us it’s the target audience that comes up first and foremost in every instance and we need to know what it is that they desire in 2021! We’ve come up with a few keywords we feel will hold increasing importance in the near future:

  • Desire
  • Humour
  • Call-out culture
  • Connection & community
  • Personalisation.


The word desire might seem a little indulgent after such a relentless year, but consumers are now at the point where they feel they deserve some respite and are actively seeking out reward for surviving 2020 thus far. Appear Tom Ellis’ character “Lucifer” with his piercing gaze, asking, “what is it you truly desire?” and therein lies the key! As Katherine Kim from Sprout Social points out, “If you aren’t listening to consumers, how can you be sure your newest product, campaign or brand messaging is going to resonate with your audience?”

Knowing your audience and customer base is essential. Ask them what they want, what they desire and then make sure you meet those needs. If you are targeting the right people and giving them what they want, 2021 will be nothing but rosy.


Humour is our second keyword. Again, consumers are looking for some kind of relief and we’re seeing viral content of a humorous nature doing the rounds regularly. This is a little trickier than desire since not everyone has the same idea as to what constitutes humour but again, knowing your target audience is vital. Keeping some of your content a little lighter and more playful could be just what’s needed to get people engaging with your brand.


Smack bang in the middle of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is love and belonging. Whether real world or online this is a key element in human nature and still highly relevant. Your digital marketing efforts should focus on building connections and communities where people can connect to each other. Cultivate a feeling of belonging and community and you will in return receive brand loyalty.

Call-out Culture

Call-out culture! We can hear the sighs already after the latest Clicks saga and no, we’re not done with call-out culture yet. Whether you see this in a positive or negative light, it’s still going to be a factor going in to 2021. Ensuring that you scrutinise every aspect of your marketing is a necessity, as is having a plan should things go wrong. Online reputation management is a necessity going forward and something which needs to be managed proactively.


Lastly, personalization is not new when it comes to digital marketing, but it is still important. People want to feel unique and are increasingly expecting businesses to make an effort in this area. Marketing strategies need respond accordingly and reflect this. Tailored messaging and individual engagement are of growing importance, even more so when it comes to those supporting small business. Don’t be afraid to reach out. An online presence shouldn’t mean a step back from the people who spend money with you but rather be seen as presenting additional opportunities to engage with and learn from your customers.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from 2020 it’s that the future is anything but predictable but hopefully these keywords highlight some areas of potential importance going into the next year. Check back this time next year to see how our Digital Marketing Predictions for 2021 fared 😉

Digital marketing prediction keywords for 2021

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