30-second summary:

  • 63% of marketing leaders said COVID-19 has negatively impacted their marketing team’s productivity.
  • Community building, personalization, and effective marketing technology remain essentials for marketing success.
  • Senior marketers’ investment priorities for 2021.
  • The role of visual content and AI in marketing and advertising success will be key.
  • Top six challenges for the current advertising ecosystem and marketers.
  • Ecommerce trends for 2021 and beyond.
  • Dive in to know what are industry leaders like BigCommerce, Amazon, and other market leaders are excited about!

As we quickly approach the epic finale of our 2020 saga, senior marketers and basically everyone is looking ahead to 2021 with a 20/20 vision. The pandemic has dramatically shifted the needle for market leaders and has forced them to re-evaluate a lot of their strategies, market functions, and how their marketing technology stack is used. This week, we’re giving you a panoramic view at senior marketers’ strategy, investment priorities, AI’s role in the grand scheme of events, and what experts from Amazon, FILA, Shopify, eBay, Capgemini, BigCommerce, and Burrow forecast about ecommerce 2021 and beyond.

Market leaders’ strategic focus for 2021

Canva and Hubspot recently released their ‘Executive Marketing Leadership Survey’, these were some key findings that highlight senior marketers’ strategic focus for 2021 in terms of technology, marketing strategy, content, team productivity, and more.

  • 63% of marketing leaders said COVID-19 has negatively impacted their marketing team’s productivity
  • 43% observed increased team workload
  • 44% of the leaders also identified their team’s creative processes were more difficult in 2020 (which is also an aligned observation that our advisory board recently shared in the quarterly meet)

Zach Kitschke, Head of Marketing at Canva said,

“Marketing teams are the masters of pivoting to maintain relevance for their brands in a dynamic and crowded market. With COVID-19 and the political climate throwing consistency out the window, marketers have had to adjust quickly and plan ahead for all types of scenarios.”

Market leaders’ investment priorities for 2021

In addition to these, the Canva and Hubspot report also showed that C-suite found a brighter side to 2020 as they observed increased website traffic and increased online activity. 

Our expert panel at our recent Ecommerce Transformation event shared that the pandemic has made community building and nurturing a top priority for marketing success. That being said, these stand as their investment priorities for 2021:

  1. Growth marketing for higher lead generation and customer engagement
  2. Content marketing to successfully personalize and target content to target audiences (Our Pulse Survey too has seen this remain a top demand technology almost throughout 2020)
  3. Design to create high quality, aesthetic, and valuable visual content as it increasingly becomes an essential

Top technology segments market leaders prioritize for investment in 2021

Prioritized channels for digital marketing in 2021:

  1. Email marketing
  2. Facebook
  3. Instagram
  4. Blogs
  5. YouTube

Quick facts on visual content

  1. Articles with images or other visual elements get 90% more total views
  2. Tweets with images get 150% retweets 
  3. Facebook posts with images get 2X engagement
  4. Articles featuring an image every 75 to 100 words got 2X shares
  5. Press releases with images get 45% more views

AI in advertising and marketers’ top challenges in 2020

IBM Watson Advertising in their ‘AI Advertising Almanac’ identified that top challenges for the current advertising ecosystem are: 

  • Lack of transparency
  • Ineffectiveness
  • Poor trust

As per their latest infographic, these remain the top challenges for marketers in 2020:

  • Marketers can’t track over 85% of their media spend
  • Publishers are settling for a fraction of the value of their inventory.
  • Consumers get the short end of the stick with over-targeting, low content

IBM Watson Advertising also points at the need for AI to be accurately and ethically applied to understand consumer intent and overcome one of marketers’ biggest nightmares in 2020 – the redundancy of third-party cookies.

ClickZ Ecommerce Transformation event highlights

On Dec 10, we hosted experts from Amazon, FILA, Shopify, eBay, Capgemini, BigCommerce, and Burrow for our Ecommerce Transformation Virtual Event where they dove deep into:

  • The marketing technology industry
  • Current state of the ecommerce industry
  • Highlights of some great innovations in light of the pandemic
  • Strategies that are transforming ecommerce
  • Predictions for the oncoming ecommerce boom and what will separate the winners from the rest

Golden nuggets on Ecommerce and strategy

Personalization remains table stakes for ecommerce and marketing success in 2020 and beyond. Here are some rapid Q&A highlights from the event.


ClickZ readers’ choice for the week

This past week, our readers have found value from our ClickZ advisory board’s foresight and industry observations, automation tools for personalization, tips to improve user experience (UX) for ecommerce as CX continues to remain in the spotlight.

  1. Nine important marketing takeaways from 2020
  2. Why aren’t marketers using automation tools to personalize websites?
  3. Seven UX ideas to improve your ecommerce sales

The post Key Insights: Market leaders on 2021, AI in advertising, and ecommerce highlights appeared first on ClickZ.

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