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The 2021 Digital Landscape

2021-01-13

The 2021 Digital Landscape

Donna Stuart
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It’s no secret that the pandemic slowed advertising in many obvious sectors,

(travel, automotive, media and entertainment), but the optimism for 2021 is...well, optimistic. With the world’s population spending more time in the digital landscape than ever, we can expect the advertising industry’s overall spend from 2020 to be above 2019 and rebound to exponential growth in 2021.

That being said, here’s what to keep in mind as you begin to plan the next fiscal year.

Say goodbye to cookies.

The most important news for digital advertisers was Google’s announcement that by 2022 their browser will stop supporting third-party cookies. Because Google is the largest host for digital advertisements, representing 64.1% of the market, tech experts suggest this will significantly alter how digital ads are targeted and tracked–and other browsers are sure to follow. New information on what this will mean for advertisers comes out nearly every day, so hold onto your butts, we have a feeling we’re not done talking about this.

Just do it.

Between 2017 and 2019, digital advertising spend grew between 19% and 25% per year. It’s safe to say, especially with digital advertising’s ever-increasing capabilities to better target specific audiences, it would have continued to grow in 2020 as well.

So if you've held back from advertising digitally, there’s no better time to get started. You can go toe-in with a simple search campaign or boosting a Facebook post, or do a full cannonball with an integrated, multi-platform effort. No matter which way you choose, digital advertising is a standard part of an average marketing budget and should be a part of your advertising arsenal.

Be strategic.

Advertising platforms–and their features–come and go as users seek out new and engaging ways to connect virtually, being everywhere at once isn’t strategic. Who you're trying to reach should dictate where you go to reach them. Not sure where to allocate those digital dollars? Some of the best digital promotions are free. Your Google Business listing. Your social media pages. Your in-house email list. Work ‘em.

The unpredictability of 2021.

Between the announcement regarding cookies and the political ramifications on social media (and social media marketing in effect), our armchair prediction is that the digital landscape of 2021 is going to be changing rapidly. Things could look very different in the next month. So stay up-to-date with the news (we’ll be writing about this all year, yay) and be ready to be nimble and improvise. But ultimately, don’t get lost in the weeds and let your objectives guide the way.

Because for 2021, this is the way.