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2021 priorities for digital marketing teams

2021 digital marketing priorities

2020 threw all marketing expectations out the window. The goals we had, the trends we were monitoring, and the strategies we were executing all experienced shifts. What catapulted to the front of most organizations’ agendas was a focus on all things digital.

Recent research conducted by technology trends leader Altimeter reveals what digital marketing executives want to improve upon in the year ahead. As it turns out, many of the key findings are efforts and tactics our clients are asking for, and we’re helping to implement. We have a pulse on the digital marketing priorities of executives, and they’re our priorities as well.

Focus on revenue-driving efforts

According to the chart below, acquiring new customers, increasing share-of-spend and revenues from key customers/accounts, and successfully launching new products or services are the top three priorities for digital marketing efforts in the next year.

digital marketing priorities -top three impacts on business

We see this in the 2021 marketing plans we’re developing with clients. The acquisition of target audiences and key opinion leaders is top of mind. We’re developing digital marketing strategies that target potential customers with precise messaging. We’re holding ourselves accountable to client acquisition goals and monitoring data and analytics daily to ensure success.

We’re also partnering with client sales teams to provide them with the data they need to pitch new products and services to key customers. Through custom apps and augmented reality tools, sales teams have the information they need in the field to drive increased revenue.

Additionally, we have extensive experience with product and service launches. Go-to-market strategies must incorporate digital marketing to be successful. Our experienced and data driven media team executes targeted, omni-channel campaigns. Our interactive team develops websites optimized for user experience and ecommerce. Our creative team produces launch materials that are on-brand and highlight key product features through compelling content.

Improve ability to segment and personalize content

Segmentation, personalization, and owned channel performance lead the way as top improvement priorities for digital media executives.

digital marketing priorities -top three capabilities

Personalization is one of those trends that was expected to be important in 2020 and became even more so after the pandemic hit. Personalization is closely tied to another top priority, “mapping the digital customer journey”—which we’ll get to later. Fifty-two percent of executives say they want to improve the ability to personalize content, messaging, and experiences based on different customer segments, personas, or unique identity.

We see this play out for our clients in their email marketing automation (another priority listed below). With email marketing specifically, it’s critical that your audience sees that you understand who they are and what their needs are. Simply applying a copy/paste method across your email automation journey won’t get you results—at least not the kind you’re looking for.

Our email marketing team has extensive experience in mapping out segmented journeys for different personas. It’s something we have done and continue do with our client Priority Health. We help them ensure, on a very large scale, that each member receives the emails they want in way that is personalized to them. We do that through copy, image, and call-to-action variations that are segmented to each persona.

Hire data analysis and marketing automation experts

While we’re on the topic of marketing automation, let’s skip right down to this next survey result. The Altimeter study revealed that the top two desired skills for digital marketing hires are data analysis and marketing automation/software experience.

digital marketing priorities -desired skills

At ddm, we have an entire department dedicated to marketing automation. And you’d be hard-pressed to find people who geek out more over data analytics than some of our team members. If data analysis and marketing automation are two skills you’re eager to add to your team—but hiring isn’t an option—let ddm be that extension of your team.

Our team of marketing automation experts are ready to use their intelligence and experience to plan, coordinate, manage, develop, and measure efforts for timely and responsive digital communications and automated publications.

Map the digital customer journey

It’s exciting for us to hear that a majority of digital marketing executives have mapped a unified digital customer journey. Building digital customer journeys is a key element of a successful digital marketing strategy. But the research also shows that while 79% have mapped that journey, 30% haven’t yet implemented it.

That tells us that digital marketing teams may not fully understand what to do with their digital customer journey. It’s a great thing to have the information, but knowing what to do with it, and having the bandwidth and team members to execute it, can be more challenging.

Let us take a look. We can analyze your customer journey, figure out where the gaps are, and help you strategize how to address those gaps. Or, if you’re one of those organizations that hasn’t yet mapped out your digital customer journey, we can help you with that too.

What makes ddm so unique is that we’re not only a group of talented strategists, we’re doers too. Whether you need the high-level guidance or smart execution—or both—we’re here for you.

Increase digital channel expenditure

This next chart is quite telling. Digital execs say they plan to increase expenditures across all digital channels in the year ahead.

digital marketing priorities -digital channel expenditure

The research shows budgets are increasing for everything from social media to paid search, and from display ads to video. Interestingly, executives say they plan to increase spend most on Facebook.

Our social media experts, along with our media team, are seeing this within our clients as well. Remember earlier when we told you companies are focusing on efforts that drive revenue? Facebook is one of those channels that does that.

Research shows, with the launch of Facebook Shops earlier this year and the ecommerce boom, more consumers will be shopping on Facebook in 2021. Many of our clients are doubling down on social media advertising to attract customers and drive them to their websites.

Build a roadmap to success

Now that you know executives’ digital marketing priorities for 2021, what’s the best way to move forward? If these are priorities for your organization as well, it’s time to craft a strategic plan for execution. ddm can help you with that plan. We’ll help you reach your goals and implement the tactics and strategies that will drive your organization forward in this next year and beyond. 

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