Guest column: Communication trends in 2021 that will shape the industry

Modern consumers now seek a humane approach from brands.

MUMBAI: The eventful 2020 has finally come to a close. The last year has been unlike any other where the entire human race has endured great hardships and has come out stronger and more resilient. As we enter 2021, the media fraternity finds itself at a notable turning point – politically, economically, technologically and socially, with a steep rise in the reliance on digital media. In the coming year, there is going to be an increased shift in how media functions and is consumed. Analysing media performance is also going to be a major factor where the efficiency of the media is going to be measured and analysed.

Brands are going to further scrutinise their marketing spends so it is important that communication service providers follow the trends and stay up to date to provide the best value addition to their clients.

Here are a few highlights that brands and marketers need to keep in mind while drafting communication strategy for 2021:

1.  Creative context will remain the prime focus

In a quest for discrepancy in increasingly cluttered media environments, advertisers and agencies will accelerate their adoption of the latest media channels and formats. Content creators will need to focus their efforts on the platforms that provide best value for them, rather than trying to tailor content to every platform. Videos are going to be the next big thing and there is going to be an increased engagement and reach in Digital Video sharing platforms like YouTube. Brands will seek to enliven their online video campaigns by integrating relevant influencers and the interactivity and engagement of hashtag challenges.

2.  Imbued Analytics

As media and marketing experts adapt cost effective strategies so as to deliver impactful results, it is predicted to have a significant rise in use of analytics among the media industry. Ensuring your brand gets top-of-mind recall in the short-term, while consolidating core brand equity, will become a key to a balanced strategy. Sponsorship, events and CSR activities that generate earned media to reach consumers will play a major role. Better creative will break through, engage and persuade consumers and drive greater ROI. Analytics that help in optimising the quality of the content going live will thus be of utmost importance.

3.  Data customization

The role of big data in consumer behaviour and corresponding response to brand engagement, will play a major role in helping media professionals to customise messaging and drive impactful engagement. In today’s time, clients want to understand their investments in all kinds of statistical formats. It is to improve data access and analytics to enhance functioning.

4.  Understanding consumer behaviour

Though viewing trends of the audiences have slowly started returning to pre-Covid levels, there remains an overlap between different content platforms, with the digital platforms making the most of the market share. To ensure optimum utilisation of media planning and buying, content providers and platforms need to work together in response to the changing consumer behaviour.

Modern consumers, who are not only more receptive to engagement but also more aware and conscious of their choices, now seek a humane approach from brands. Apart from social, ethical and environmentally responsible brand perception, connecting with the emotional harmony of the consumer has become vital than ever, to drive strong marketing campaigns. One needs to remember that relatable and tailored content is often the most effective in grabbing attention and making an impact. In order to avoid being overlooked by the public, brands and marketers need to make a personal connection with your audience. Connecting emotionally with your audiences will have them hooked. Hence, these are some of the key trends which will help shape the 2021 for the PR industry.
(The author is co-founder, Scenic Communication. may not subscribe to her views.)

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