2020 was a year we certainly won’t forget any time soon… a year that has brought a marked acceleration in terms of digital transformation. Energized about the future of digital marketing, we at Universem offer 6 trends for the coming year. Having their roots in previous years, these insights will undoubtedly continue to evolve in 2021.

1. The protection of user’s privacy under investigation

Data collected online is often used to deliver personalized experiences. These unique interactions align closely with the interests and needs of your users based on their past preferences or behaviors.

While the privacy debate may seem simple at first glance, the technologies that ensure online privacy are anything but. They are also increasingly scrutinized by legislative bodies. After the new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) standards entered into force as from 2018, the European Commission has recently introduced new regulations including the “Digital Services Act” and the “Digital Market Act”, which will come into force in the coming years.

Increasingly aware of the importance of “digital” privacy, internet users are expressing concern. Although they generally have a rather positive opinion of the internet, they are increasingly keen to decide how their data is used. In addition, the value of data sharing seems to primarily benefit businesses and is less to the benefit of users. As a result, companies will have to take responsibility and proactively communicate in a transparent manner about what they use this data for.

2. Google becomes an “answer machine”

Google is rapidly turning into an “answer machine”, instead of just a search engine. Google wants to categorize and organize information scattered across the web to quickly answer the question of any user. The advent of mobile devices and voice search require instant responses. Users no longer have the patience to view many search results. They want the best answer, right now.

Soon your website will be just one part of a formula that Google will use to directly provide the best response to a user’s request. In this new dynamic, it is in your best interest to have your information presented before your competitors’ information on Google.

Creating a content strategy is becoming a marketing priority. More than ever, producing a large amount of diverse and quality content will be the key to a successful SEO strategy. In addition, it will be essential for your website to adopt structured data types in order to deliver attractive content directly and visually. In the form of a “rich snippet”, for example.

3. User behavior at the heart of data

In order to increase conversions, engagement and loyalty, it is essential to understand your customers. Behavioral data is based on an action in a given moment and provides a very brief overview of the online behavior of your prospects or customers. The observation of customer behavior has changed dramatically as the Internet has transformed the way we consume goods and services.

Because of these major changes in consumer behavior and privacy standards, current analytics approaches needed to evolve. This is one of the reasons why Google introduced a new version of its Analytics tool in October 2020: Google Analytics 4 Property. Machine learning will be at the center of this new approach, which will automatically highlight useful and comprehensive information, regardless of the devices and platforms used.

Using behavioral data, you can completely transform your marketing campaigns by delivering personalized experiences for your visitors and customers. Combined with modern analytical approaches, behavioral data can be used to influence key performance indicators at every stage of the customer journey.

4. Predictive analytics & Automation advertising

Thanks to machine learning and artificial intelligence, it is possible today to use new data combined with historical data to predict user behavior. You can use these predictions to deliver content tailored to your users’ behaviors and adjust your strategy in advance to align with your marketing goals.

The customer’s journey is becoming more complex than ever, as it spans multiple sites, apps and devices. As you probably already know, the key to a successful marketing strategy is to reach your audience using the right message, the right prospect and at the right moment. However, it has become virtually impossible to anticipate the customer journey manually. Hence the need to use automated solutions. In the last ten years, we have seen major changes in advertising: the emergence of PPC, social media, AI and machine learning. Very soon these automation and prediction technologies will be the new standards in terms of advertising.

5. Reassessment of attribution models

Attribution is part of the process of assessing the return on investment of channels that reach potential customers. It is a method to calculate the value of the channel through which the customer discovered and purchased your product or service. At first glance, you would be tempted to associate the value of a sale with the customer’s last interaction. But in reality, it is quite rare for a customer to go to a website, led by an ad, and immediately make a purchase. Most of the time, several messages via different channels helped motivate the final decision. With so many points of contact to consider, the analysis becomes more and more complex. Fortunately, marketing attribution models are evolving to account for multi-channel sales.

Attribution modeling is a framework for analyzing which contact points, or channels, receive credit for a conversion. Each of the existing attribution models distributes the value of a conversion in a different way between each point of contact. With several points of contact in the online or offline customer’s journey, each channel plays its part. Answering these marketing attribution questions should be at the heart of your digital marketing strategy to understand the real impact of your various traffic acquisition levers.

6. The importance of “Customer Lifetime Value”

The Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is the average amount your customers will spend on your products or services for the duration of your relationship. This means that the value of your customers cannot be summed up by as much as they spend today. They have future value if you can keep them as customers. This is probably the most important metric for your business.

Calculating your CLV will help you set the maximum cost limit for acquiring a new customer in a more realistic and competitive way. The method varies depending on your business model. Calculating the value of a client’s life cycle can therefore be a complex exercise. However, the complexity should not be a reason to delay the integration of this value in your marketing strategy. You could lose visibility against competitors who have adopted this method. Indeed, considering the value of a client based on his CLV allows for investments of larger amounts in terms of acquisition while remaining profitable.

In addition, since it is more expensive to acquire new leads than to retain existing ones, it is of course essential to work to retain your current customers through marketing (e-mail, social media, remarketing, etc.). Due to a model that takes into account the CLV you will also be able to better conduct these retention marketing operations.

Ready for your 2021 marketing strategy?

Do you want to know more after reading this article? Do you want to implement these trends within your digital strategy?
Do not hesitate to contact our experts! We would love to discuss it with you!

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