It is hard to predict what will happen in 2021 when it comes to media, consumer behaviour, and pretty much anything else. Although much is uncertain, there is some useful data around that gives insight into how 2020 has impacted Australian consumers, and what this will likely mean for 2021.

So, with the best of our knowledge and from what the experts are saying, here is what businesses can expect in 2021, and what this means for your marketing and advertising strategy.

What can we expect in 2021?

As we discussed in our last post, though much is still unknown, there are positive signs that the economy is in recovery. RBA figures for the September quarter are expected to show that we are officially out of recession, and consumer spending and retail trade are both looking up. Consumer confidence rose in November by 2.5 per cent, the third positive month, with experts predicting we’re on track for a “normal” Christmas, at least in terms of spending.

With news that COVID-19 vaccines could roll out in Australia in early 2021, we can be reasonably confident that these indicators will hold steady in the new year. However, higher levels of unemployment are expected to continue to the end of this year, at the very least.

The pandemic, restrictions, and economic fallout have impacted how Australians live, shop, and consume media. We’ve seen shifts to mobile purchases and e-commerce, with August representing Australia’s biggest month ever for online shopping. People are also spending more time on their mobile devices.

Whether these trends are here to stay, only time will tell. However, it is fairly safe to say that they will have at least some impact on 2021.

Recommendations: Putting Together your 2021 Marketing and Advertising Strategy

So what does all this mean for businesses? Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning your marketing and advertising for next year.

1. Tune into your target audience’s habits

Life has shifted greatly for Australians over the last year. If you haven’t done any market research for a while, now is the time. This will let you check into seeing how things have shifted for your target audience. For example, we know that talk radio audiences grew during 2020, which may mean it’s time to expand or introduce advertising in this medium.

When researching, look not only at your target audience’s lifestyle and media habits, and how these may have shifted, but also their needs, desires, and problems they’re facing in their daily lives. You probably have a clear picture of this, but this may have changed throughout the tumultuous year of 2020. Also, your audience may have new problems that you may/may not be ready to solve.

This will allow you to target your advertising so that it addresses your customer’s problems, needs, or wants, and clearly address how your product or service solves these problems. It may even give you new product development ideas.

2. Step up your mobile marketing game

One trend we’ve noticed that demographics like Gen Xers and baby boomers, which are not traditionally targeted through mobile marketing, are now spending significantly more time on their mobile devices. For many businesses, this means it is time to expand mobile marketing to groups they haven’t previously targeted.

Social media is a powerful tool in this context: it allows your business to be flexible, authentic, and connect to your audience through their mobile phone as well as other devices. Generally speaking, a mix of organic and paid social media advertising is the best approach.

3. Prioritise flexibility and diversity

Even as we seem to be on the road to economic recovery and the light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, the impacts of the pandemic will almost certainly dominate the first part of 2021, if not the whole year. If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that the world is unpredictable and things can change rapidly and drastically.

Although planning is important, it is critical to stay flexible and be prepared to adapt your strategy when things change. Watch developments closely, leave room in your strategy for flexibility, and take a diverse approach.

Diversity in your marketing and advertising strategy will mean you are more agile and able to adapt quickly as conditions change. A diverse strategy is one that includes offline media such as outdoor, print, TV, radio, paired with cutting edge digital marketing and social media advertising. This puts you in the best position to step up or step back in specific areas in order to prepare a recipe for success in 2021.

Angie Smith

About Angie Smith

Angela started the company in 2007 after working in various media including radio, Yellow Pages as well as on the advertising agency side. She has a passion for media planning across channels, strategy, development and negotiation and really loves working with clients in growing their businesses and brands. She has worked with many brands large and small including local, national and multi-nationals. Angie’s pastimes include travel, food, entertaining.