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5 Ways Digital Marketing Is Going to Change in 2021

5 Ways Digital Marketing Is Going to Change in 2021

2020 may have been a whirlwind, but there are good things on the horizon.

So today, I’m taking you through the 10 most important digital marketing shifts we’ll see in the coming year, including startup, content, and email marketing.

Let’s take a look!

1. Lessons from startups: Do things that don’t scale

AirBnB founders went door-to-door, offering to take professional photos of the listed apartments.

All of these are examples of doing things that don’t scale.

You can’t do them for thousands of customers. But you can offer your first customers a premium experience to get the ball rolling and spread the word.

Examples of doing things that don’t scale:

  • Send personalized onboarding emails: Analyze data, but talk to your actual customers, too
  • Form close relationships with influencers: Find brand ambassadors who believe in your product
  • Create in-depth content: Research and reference your own data, and create awesome content (if you need help, we’ve got you)

2. Retention marketing: Lifetime value over quick wins

New customers are a major dopamine hit, but repeat customers spend 33% more than new customers.

And if you treat them right, they stay longer. The trust builds up, and your revenue scales. They refer their friends (and referrals are phenomenal for lowering your CAC).

So in 2021, make your existing customers’ experiences even better.

How to increase customer lifetime value:

First, get to know your customers through your onboarding process.

You know what problems you’re solving for them, but do you know what their overarching goals are? Customers buy products because they’re emotionally attached to the goals they’re trying to achieve.

As LincolnMurphy says:

“Prospects become customers because they emotionally buy into what this product or service is going to do for them.”

When you reference their goals during the customer journey, you’re reinforcing that emotional connection, and positioning your brand in a way that’s intrinsically linked to their goals.

Then, share or create the resources they need to get to the finish line. Often, this ties into doing things that don’t scale – at least for your most loyal customers.

Don’t forget about social media, which was made to socialize. Build relationships with your frequent customers, check up on them, feature their experiences, and…

First, we communicated with our customers through press releases and media statements. Then came the internet, and we got back to conversations. Somehow, in the last few years, we’ve reverted to soapboxing.

In 2021, it’s time to return to community.

How to build a community around your brand:

  • Involve and feature your team, your personal stories, struggles, and wins
  • Invite customers to join the conversation with UGC (user-generated content) and their stories
  • Use your customers’ experiences in your content
  • Identify your audience’s values and your company’s values
  • Share testimonials and start discussions
  • Ask questions

3. Content marketing in 2021: Authenticity and collaboration

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The problem is: everyone and their customers want authentic content, but no one knows how to get there. When you create authentic content, you’re immediately differentiating your business.

Instead of being another service or product provider, you’ll become a recognizable brand.

Tell stories only you can tell:


  • What are your priorities?
  • What are your team’s priorities?

4. Conversational marketing (and marketing conversations)

conversational-marketing/”>the pioneers of conversational marketing, Drift, said:

“We need to make business actually feel personal again.”

They responded to the need by creating seamless chat bots, and coining a new term for leading instant conversations with your customers. In addition to delighting customers, conversational marketing shortens sales cycles, which is especially important if you’re in B2B.

How to implement conversational marketing:

  • Scrap lead gen forms, use chat bots to qualify your leads instead. Your sales team can jump in at the right moment, instead of wasting time on low-quality leads.
  • Provide personalized on-page requirements by integrating your CRM with your chat bot software. If an existing customer is looking at the pricing page, your chat bot can funnel them to the best upgrade option for their unique needs.
  • Use chat bots (and knowledge bases) to handle customer support. Your support team can focus on customer success and complex requirements.

5. Rationalize your marketing budget: Cost-effective marketing methods

2019 may have been the year to go all out with your ad spend, but 2021 is going to be different.

You can’t do business without a marketing budget, so make sure you use it wisely.

Yes, you’ll need paid advertising when you first launch. But you should create a sustainable sales funnel with plenty of organic methods in the meantime.

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