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Top digital marketing trends and predictions for 2021

… Mobile apps will be key to business growth



digital marketing

The big media consumption story in 2020 was time spent on mobile. Globally, consumers spent over 1.6 trillion hours on our phones in the first half of the year.

And in the third quarter, apps usage surged by 25% YoY, with 180 billion hours each month spent on apps.

The same research highlights that categories expected to particularly benefit from this rise in app popularity include food delivery, games, online learning, entertainment, and shopping.


As we look towards economic recovery post-COVID, 30% of consumers believe shopping experiences will never go back to the way they were, says the Head of SMB Direct Marketing & B2B Content, Ads Marketing, Google, U.K., Eli Lassman.  

This makes it increasingly important for retailers to capture this new growth opportunity on apps.

Downloading an app is in itself an indication of affinity for a brand. After all, app users tend to be more loyal customers.

For retailers, app users spend three times more than other mobile customers.

As this trend continues into 2021, businesses should prioritise their app strategy and ensure it’s a value-add channel for their customers.

… Focus on consumer trust when using automation

It’s no secret that consumer behaviour has changed dramatically in the past year. Brands can look to automate some of their services to stay agile and meet these emerging needs and expectations.

Marketing automation can help brands be more efficient, whether it’s through an autofill functionality, managing recurring orders, or by utilising a customer service chatbot, says Director, Sales, Search and Automation, Google Northern Europe, Onno Benninga.

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However, brands must be mindful of the social rules. Treating consumers’ personal data with respect is paramount. When a relationship between a brand and their customers is built on trust, people are more open to sharing their personal information, which in turn can aid automated services.

In 2021, be transparent with your customers about how and why you will be using their personal information.

This will build trust. Automation will allow you to optimise the experience you provide, but this will only be successful when there is a transparent two-way value exchange in place.

With the retail industry having been reshaped significantly due to the pandemic, we will be publishing retail-specific trends at the start of the new year. For more insights into the future of marketing in the meantime, you can read our mid-year digital marketing predictions where we looked at the long-term effects of COVID-19 across industries.


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