2021 Global Marketing Trends  

Finding focus in uncertainty

Constant technological change and increasing reliance on digital can leave people wanting for human connection. These seven trends can help build connection to drive engagement and growth for brands in an unprecedented 2021.

Customers have made it clear they have high expectations for brands, and amid the current pandemic those expectations are heightened. Both consumers and companies are confronted with a global disruption that touches on every aspect of their day-to-day lives. Companies that are succeeding are typically those acting with transparency and clear intention, rooted in trust and the human experience, while also reacting in real time with the agility to meet the rapidly-evolving needs of their core consumer. With that in mind, this report was developed using feedback gathered during the pandemic to provide executives across the C-suite with real-time tools that can help guide brands through uncertainty and respond to customer needs as they unfold. This requires pivoting business models to align with evolving needs and fostering the human connection their consumers are craving.

Purpose | Built to flourish

A purpose-driven company puts the “why” at the center of all it does.

Customers know what their values are, do you? As customers align with businesses that share their values, companies that act with purpose are more positioned for success. They are able to respond more quickly in times of uncertainty. They can turn tough decisions into simple choices because they know how to invest, how to engage their employees and how to meet the needs of stakeholders.  

Agility | Changing the playbook

To be an agile marketer is to meet customers in the digital space

The current environment has tested business models in unprecedent ways and made clear that agility is a crucial, cultural mindset for organizations. Digital technologies can empower organisations to respond more nimbly when rapid changes in customer expectations and market needs collide. It is now more important than ever to accelerate—rather than throttle—investments in those technologies.

Human Experience | Know thyself

Human connection lies at the heart of any organization’s success

As our world becomes more enabled by technology, people are easily reduced to an email address, a social media interaction or an order shipped in a box. By deepening their understanding of their customers, employees, and stakeholders, companies can create tools, solutions and devices that make peoples’ lives better, not just always on.  

Human Experience

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Trust | The promises we keep – or don’t

Nothing builds customer trust like a brand that keeps its promises

Trust is built on a brand’s promise and the delivery of their product or service. Even in the most turbulent of times, when delivery meets expectations, brands build trust. When the gap between messaging and delivery widens, trust breaks down and reputation suffers. While trust takes years to build, it only takes seconds to destroy.  

Participation | A two-way street

Inviting customer participation can bring a brand to life

Customers are interacting with brands more than ever before, from a simple product review to co-creating content. While customer participation is on the rise, it is not equal across all consumer segments. In this in-depth study, we explore the participation trend—who is interacting with brands online, how they are doing it and what their motivations are.  


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Fusion | The new ecosystem

Fusion is about finding human-centric solutions beyond company walls

Organisations can better help the people they serve by creating innovative experiences through cross-industry partnerships. Fusion represents the art of bringing together new business partnerships, customer insights, and digital platforms to create ecosystems that more holistically address human needs.  

Talent | Marketing disrupted

The employee experience is evolving, making way for new talent models

As the pandemic shifted ways of working and impacted budgets and even headcount, marketing organisations have focused on ways to make their most valuable asset, their talent, a strategic force. Technologies like AI liberate marketers from more mundane, tactical execution freeing them to innovate and generate the big, creative ideas.  

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