A lot went down in 2020, but things are on the up. We’ve gathered our thoughts on what 2021 will have in store for marketing, brand and digital. Grab a cuppa and have a read. Then it’s time to get planning.

Sustained and continued e-commerce growth

We blogged recently about the growth of social commerce, in part influenced by the events of 2020. Well, that’s not going anywhere. Many social media channels have made it easier for small businesses to sell online with improved user experience of their ad managers and small minimum spends. Facebook is becoming a small business champion, making it easier for local businesses to adopt the platform as part of their digital efforts.

Smaller businesses will take their first foray into the world of social commerce if they haven’t already. Bigger businesses will scale up. Meanwhile for consumers, browsing on social media will take a back seat and buying from these channels will soon become the new normal.

The year of the small business and local promotion

Our entire Christmas campaign, Delineo Loves Mcr, focused on the local Manchester businesses that make our city and its surrounding areas so great. Of course, we miss our city centre office, venturing into the busy streets, gazing into the shop windows and grabbing some lunch. But as a society, we’re all enjoying supporting small, local businesses that need our help more – now more than ever.

And, with Google’s Maps updates for small businesses, a push for Google reviews and the growth in social-commerce, many businesses will introduce a local-first marketing strategy.

2021 is the year of the local business.

The adoption of new shopping behaviours and experiencing new brands

There’s no denying that 2020 changed all of our shopping habits. From the scarcity of essential items that forced many consumers to buy brands they wouldn’t have normally considered, to being unable to browse in-store and visit multiple shops without worry, McKinsey reported that this has caused a change in our behaviour in the short-term. And in the long-term too.

These new behaviours and brands we’ve discovered are here to stay, post-pandemic. We think consumers will be more open to new, unknown brands, and well-established brands will need to try harder to maintain loyalty.


Brand values will be essential for brand success in a world of uncertainty

Hand-in-hand with the above, brands will have to do more to grab the attention of their target audiences and retain customers. In the age of the conscious consumer, who we buy from and where we shop says a lot about who we are. Brand values will become the most important part of what your business stands for.  Whether that’s sustainability, exceptional customer service, or an amazing product.

2020 certainty gave us some winners and losers when it came to brand behaviour. Brand values are the starting point.

A bigger emphasis on engagement-first content strategies

With many industries still disrupted and some experiencing decline in response to 2020 events, we’re predicting an increase in brands adopting an engagement-first content strategy that will see them maintaining relevancy during an uncertain world.

The value exchange between brand and audience will be ever more important, as privacy issues continue to hit the consciousness. If you want to engage your target audience in 2021, you’ll have to think outside the box and offer something worth subscribing/signing up/clicking through for. We’re thinking more webinars, podcasts and general knowledge sharing.


New, innovative ways to reach your target audience (influenced by the Facebook and Apple spat)

If you haven’t heard of the beef going down between Apple and Facebook, well, where have you been living? Apple’s upcoming iOS14 AppTrackingTransparency policy, with its cookie pop-up permissions, is expecting to wreak havoc in the digital ad world. Revenue from personalised ads is expected to fall, and even the Facebook Audience Network could be no more.

With less users allowing cookies, we’re predicting brands will go to bigger lengths to improve their reach and drive cut-through, carrying out more audience research, adopting new channels and focusing heavily on data capture (beyond cookie tracking). Messaging and creative  will be even more important. Although Facebook has said the update won’t mean no personalised ads entirely, it has said it will be harder to reach your target audience. Time to get innovative.


Whatever 2021 has in store for you and your brand, well, we hope it’s great things.

If you’d like to find out about how Delineo can help you implement some of the above predictions or find other ways to reach your marketing goals in 2021, we’d love to chat. At a safe distance, of course.