The research institute Gartner Inc. published yesterday the most important forecasts for marketing in the next few years. In the course of their Virtual Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo, Gartner analysts defined the most important trends regarding marketing, customer relations and marketing activities.

This year’s analyses focused on strategies to contribute to renewal after the pandemic and to redefine customer relationships. The so often quoted “new normal” brings with it completely new challenges and opportunities for marketing departments and agencies.

 

“The need for vision, innovation and transformation has never been more pronounced for marketers” – Jennifer Polk, Vice President Analyst in the Gartner Marketing Practice

 

Marketing and also marketers will have to reinvent themselves next year in order to cope with customers and their new consumer and communication demands. In the future, experts will have to create rich, creative and immersive experiences in online and offline channels to reflect the social change brought about by the pandemic.

The way in which customers find and consume products and services in particular has changed fundamentally, partly as a result of the upswing in online commerce.

Marketers need an understanding of what has changed, followed by a re-evaluation of how to respond to these changes. This requires not only creativity, but also a certain willingness to take risks to redesign and reposition the brands of 2021.

 

Communication with employees and customers will be the task of a new corporate structure

There will also be some changes on the platforms. Social media will bring some new challenges for the companies, as the commitment and also the criticism in the networks has increased continuously over the last months. More and more customers are now producing their own content and diluting the marketing activities of companies and agencies. Multipliers from their own companies are also becoming increasingly important.

According to the latest analysis by Gartner, by 2022 a third of the advertising budgets earmarked for crisis communication will be used in response to statements made by employees against their organization. During COVID-19 the hurdles to express oneself negatively over the own employer were lowered and particularly the criticism of lacking hygiene concepts and safety precautions rose enormously. This trend will continue even beyond the pandemic and requires a new way of thinking in internal and external marketing.

Companies must combat the negative perceptions and reputational risks associated with employees speaking out via social media. External and internal communication will therefore have to move closer together in the future to motivate employees and provide transparency in activities.

The merging of departments is also continuing. By 2023, 25% of organizations will merge marketing, sales and CX into a single function. This reinforces the current communicative fusion in most companies, where sales, marketing and service are moving closer together. In the future, marketing experts want to anticipate changes in customer needs even better and react to them more quickly.

 

A change in customer and employee events

If COVID-19 showed one thing, it was the change in the event sector. After the cancellation of most major conferences and events, more and more companies switched to online events. A trend that, according to Gartner, will remain in the coming years.
The research institute expects that by 2023, 60% of companies focusing on virtual events will also develop hybrid or mixed event formats in the long term. The success of the new formats and the global networking with customers has surprised many marketing departments very positively and motivates them to continue on this path.

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