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Data and marketing trends in 2021

Mobile Marketing - Member Content

Vihan Sharma, Managing Director Europe at LiveRamp, looks at some promising trends for marketers to tap into in 2021.


This year is set to be an exciting one in the world of marketing. Last year, the COVID health pandemic had a huge effect on the advertising industry with an overall hit on marketing revenue. The silver lining to that cloud, though, has been increased digital transformation and far better opportunities for data collaboration across brands.

In this article, I’m going to explore some of the biggest trends dominating in 2021, and why this year looks bright for marketing. 

Data collaboration will lead to better customer insights and customer experience
Data collaboration will continue to be a major driver of meaningful change across the marketing industry in 2021. Last year precipitated a big shift in digital collaboration but it is set to really scale in 2021.

Data collaboration is only set to increase in 2021, especially within vertical industries that have been hit hard by COVID, like those in travel or hospitality. By joining forces, brands will deliver better products and services to recover from the challenges of last year.

Companies that do well this year will be those that properly develop and invest in their data strategy and customer experience. CPG brands, publishers and retailers are already maximising the value of their customer data and they’re seeing incredibly meaningful returns. Expect other sectors to follow suit.

Platforms will converge
Cross-platform planning, activation and measurement will become table stakes across digital, TV and video, and this is only set to accelerate once the pandemic is over.

Further, thanks to the evolution and innovation of technology, buy- and sell-side companies will be able to obtain more accurate, cross-platform measurement, gaining insights in real time across TV, digital media and programmatic in 2021. This will allow brands to set benchmarks, make adjustments, make outcome-based measurement and maximise their ROI.

This will be the year that digital and TV media buying teams can finally join together to navigate campaigns and budgets, as CTV really takes off in the UK. Brands will finally be able to include TV as a part of their wider digital metrics.

Identity-based campaigns will become the new gold standard
The end of third-party cookies gives us a great opportunity to make our industry better and stronger than it was before. The success of a fair, competitive and open internet, focused on a value exchange between content providers and consumers, should be what we are all striving for.

This year marketers will shift more of their budgets to identity-based campaigns, as they realise the improved return on ad spend that this will enable.

There is likely to be increased focus on mobile and in-app identity strategies, especially since manufacturers, like Apple, further restrict ad targeting across their apps, which could completely change how campaign success is measured, especially across key metrics.

Clear consumer value exchange will drive authentication
Authentication will be crucial for publishers and marketers to develop strategies that get more engagement from consumers, and ultimately more ROI for brands. Publishers will be examining how to encourage users to register, log-in or take part in a meaningful value exchange. 

In essence, the winners in marketing in 2021 will be those that prioritise data-driven customer experiences, including the consumer value exchange, even as technology headwinds – like the deprecation of the third-party cookie – persist.

We now have an opportunity to reimagine a digital advertising ecosystem that prioritises consumer trust, transparency and choice – let’s all make sure we jump on this opportunity in 2021.

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