Now that December is here, 2021 is officially wrapping up. This year was much different compared to last for not only us and our clients but the many other businesses that were originally affected by the pandemic in 2020. Although not everything in the world is back to “normal,” we were able to experience a lot of things slowly coming back to that state. A lot of bans and restrictions were lifted, stores and restaurants allowed for larger capacities, companies gained back some of their normal business, and we’re now free to return to some public events and gatherings that we missed before.
With the effects of the pandemic in mind, 2021 predictions in business and marketing were a little different than a typical year. We wanted to take the time to dive into 2021 marketing predictions made in January and compare them to the actual results now that we’ve reached the end of the year.
Prediction #1: The Rise of Webinars and Virtual Events
In the past year and a half, we saw a major spike in webinars and virtual events. It was no surprise that these would continue in 2021. So many businesses have hopped on the trend of hosting or co-hosting webinars (even Brand3). It not only reaches more people, but it’s also more convenient, cost-effective, allows for collaboration between businesses, and gives attendees the opportunity to re-watch the recording in case they missed something. And although some large events remained virtual, we also saw a few major ones turn back to their in-person state with the option of attending virtually. This past September Brand3 had the opportunity to attend Digital Summit in Washington DC where they offered in-person and virtual options for attendance.
Prediction #2: Going Back to the Basics
“We are going to get back to basics. Many companies turned off their marketing in March when the pandemic hit our shores. They’ve been treading water ever since. I think we are going to see these companies emerge with a desire to start telling their story again, but it’s going to take some time.” says Brad Marley of Yelram Media. While this prediction could have been true for some marketing companies, we experienced the opposite. We’ve seen many businesses ready to bounce back and continue with their strategy while expanding on new opportunities.
Prediction #3: A Decrease in Marketing Budgets
Melissa Sargeant, who is the CMO of Litmus, says, "In the coming year, marketers will experience budget cuts and even smaller teams. But, by doing this, companies are setting themselves up for failure. During an economic downturn, companies that pull back and starve marketing efforts, do not perform well. And, when our consumerism-driven environment re-engages, those brands will be further behind than they were when they made those budget-conscious decisions." While it is true that pulling back marketing efforts is not a great idea, we did not experience as many businesses following through with this prediction. Budget-conscious decisions may look like a good idea short term, but in the long run, they typically cause more harm than good.
Prediction #4: Remote Work is Here to Stay
In the year ahead, companies will recognize the myth that you have to physically be in an office to be successful, and this time of flexible remote work will further prove that employees can be trusted and find a way to make it work and achieve results from any location.” Says CEO Henry DeVries. We definitely believe this prediction came true. Now more than ever, remote work is becoming more common than working from the office. As businesses see that they are still able to thrive in the remote environment, we believe this trend will follow well into 2022 and the coming years.
Moving Into 2022
With that being said, some predictions did actually come to light this year. Now entering 2022, we’re eager to hear the new trends and what marketers are predicting.
On a separate note, as we wrap up 2021 we want to remind you to take time for yourself this holiday season. It’s important to relax, recharge, and simply enjoy time with family and friends. As a reminder, Brand3 will be closed from December 24th until January 3rd. We look forward to seeing you in the new year!
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