2021 Crystal Ball

Latest marketing headlines & resources

Let’s keep things light today. Here are a few things that make this spook-tacular time at SRH special.

Our current thinking: 2021 Crystal Ball

Today’s dispatch comes to us from Betsy Rowbottom, Director of Business Development at SRH.

If I had had a crystal ball in January 2020, I would have stocked up on TP, hand sanitizer, and… oh yeah, and I would have emptied my savings account and bought as much stock as I could afford in Etsy, Paypal, and Amazon (up 70% – $175% since the beginning of this year). But since none of us knew how 2020 was going to go, we’re all doing our best to pivot our business strategies where it makes sense and staying the course for everything else. We’ve all learned how to serve our customers in this era. Millions of people are still out of work and a full recovery will take a while.

Since we still don’t have any surefire way to know what will happen next, let’s talk about a few trends that are not going away in 2021. Budget season is upon us and we all need to plan for next year, after a very shaky 2020. There’s still a lot of uncertainty… but here are a few places to focus where the experts keep telling us are rock solid:

  • The Growing Power of the B2B E-com Sale

In addition to The Year of Covid-19, this year might well be known as The Year of Acceleration. There will be big winners and losers from the latest economic downturn. We want our agency to stay in the Win column so we are doubling down on our efforts in the digital media sphere. We know that just like your future customers, ours are doing their research just as they did in previous years, but 2020 has only accelerated the pace of the e-com shopper. Part of this is due to the overall shopping behaviors that have changed in B2C. When so many of our beloved remaining brick-and-mortar stores closed, shoppers turned to online options. Today, many e-com behaviors that were once thought to be only for B2C are now moving quickly into the B2B space and onto the worldwide web.

Homework: Look at your online presence and ask yourself: How easy is it for your B2B online shopper to learn about your products and services?

  • Tracking Every Dollar for ROI

In the early years, when digital marketing was still unknown, there was more of a willingness to try something unproven. Because so much of our budgets are being spent on digital platforms, there’s less appetite and tolerance to try new places without adherence to a previously successful campaign’s KPIs and success metrics.

Marketing will always be part science and part art. It’s important to defend ROI to leadership while still introducing new platforms to reach new audiences. As McKinsey writes in its analysis from earlier this year, “marketers will need to adopt an investor mindset to aggressively adjust marketing spend and continually track performance in order to reallocate it quickly.”

Homework: As you create your 2021 budgets, ask yourself: Which marketing activities drove the greatest revenue dollars? How do you know this for sure?

  • Fail Faster

I worked at a startup before I joined SRH and everyone said “fail faster”. I hated this term, but as 2020 has shown us, businesses need to change direction quickly and that requires taking big risks. And taking big risks requires tolerance to failure. Who wants to fail? Ugh! It’s the worst. And failure is either part of your culture, or it’s not. Because like so much of a company’s success, failure starts at the top. Leaders have to make it ok for us to fail by pointing out that sometimes they fail, too.

Homework: Think about what risk you’ve been wanting to take but the business climate has been too unstable. Is 2021 the right time to take a new risk?

We are bullish on 2021. Hell, whatever doesn’t kill you, right?

PS. Please vote.