It’s that time of year again – with 12 full months ahead of us and countless new trends to tap into and tech to leverage, Google has pulled together its annual marketing trends report, outlining what we can expect to be focusing on and doing more of in the near future.

Last year’s report cited the growing importance of video, transparency, a mobile-first mindset, data-driven marketing and personalisation. This year’s predictions are not entirely dissimilar, but reflect the vast changes consumers and businesses have gone through over the last 12 months.

Embracing stay-at-home shoppers

Unsurprisingly perhaps, one of the things that we can expect to see dominating marketing this year is the need to connect with stay-at-home consumers. With lockdowns in force for much of the last 9 months to one extent or another, consumers are increasingly interacting with brands in a digital format; a shift which isn’t expected to revert back to physical experiences in the near future.

As a result, marketers will likely focus on exploring opportunities to entertain and engage with prospects at a distance. Google reports that online video has already been a winner as a result of this trend, saying “Overall watchtime of online video has increased, with YouTube on TV growing by 80% year-on-year (YoY) in March 2020.” It adds that being successful over the coming 12 months will invariably require brands to deploy online video for reach and engagement.

Being mindful of data privacy

Another trend to have emerged in the last year as a result of COVID is an increase in cyber attacks. The increase in time spent online and the widespread shift to remote working is said to have rendered data more vulnerable, leaving some companies wide open to data theft and unauthorised access. Consumers too are increasingly keen to know how their data is stored and used, something which could have accelerated the focus on data privacy for marketers.

According to Matt Brittin, President EMEA Business and Operations at Google, “As more people go online, protecting their privacy and data is even more critical. People expect brands to safeguard their data and be clear about how they are using it, and what they are offering in return.” In response to this expectation, Google expects marketers to have more conversations about data and data security with many establishing teams dedicated to data safety.

This is especially pertinent in the UK following Brexit, as legislation changes could impact on how data is collected, stored and used.

A shift away from cookies

The days of using cookies to track user behaviour and measure performance are over, with brands instead moving into 2021 with a new emphasis on privacy-first tactics.

Google expects new approaches, such as the use of conversion modelling, to become more widespread. The director of platforms, partnerships and privacy, EMEA, Paul Coffey says, “To future-proof your performance measurement in a world without third-party cookies, you should have durable tagging and analytics in place, respect users’ choices by collecting the right consents and storing them safely, and invest in first-party data. By building a strong and robust infrastructure you’ll be able to measure more with less data.”

For support implementing these trends and expert guidance to stay at the cutting edge of digital best practise, contact the Adrac team now.

Author Rebecca

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