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Marketing, the US Election and the promise of a much less ‘horribilis’ 2021.

Updated: Apr 28, 2021

It was not without a collective sigh of relief that 30 million television viewers watched Donald Trump leave Air Force One for the very last time this week. And as Inauguration Day proceeded (quite unlike any other) we couldn’t help thinking about the impact that this new administration will have on our marketing industry as a positive ripple effect is felt around the globe.

After four years of marketers having to deal with a media industry hobbled by accusations of fake news, there is a very real shift in the way that brand marketing strategies are being devised. In the wake of Trump’s maniacal oligarchy, being authentic and authoritative and transparent is suddenly a great deal more important now than ever before. Marketers are taking a more considered approach to how and where they promote their brands, as businesses start to think about media responsibility in the same way they do corporate social responsibility: no longer just a box-ticking exercise, but an increasingly ubiquitous ‘hygiene factor’. What we say, how we say it and where we say it has a huge impact on the success (or otherwise) of our marketing efforts. 2020 was undoubtedly a memorable ‘annus horribilis’, but 2021 marks (we hope) a pivotal moment in history where we can use our collective marketing expertise to innovate, to demonstrate authentic brand leadership and to promote genuine social responsibility. 2021 - ‘Annus Mirabilis’? • A wave of marketing innovation will come as a result of pandemic lockdowns, as businesses and entire industries are forced to pivot or face obsolescence • There will be greater emphasis on more attributable media channels and marketing technology – increased investment in cookie-less technologies, stronger programmatic solutions and more accurate and informative analytics • As lockdowns and travel bans are lifted, greater mobility and increasing overseas talent will drive more innovation in the marketing services and technology industries • Biden’s rejoining of the Paris Agreement to combat the threat of climate change will see more companies worldwide pledging a path to net zero-emission goals. Brands will appeal to younger climate-conscious consumers by developing innovative climate-friendly initiatives that satisfy both investors need and societal need • Marketers will gain inspiration from Biden’s impressively and deliberately diverse Cabinet. Research suggests that an environment ripe for innovation is one containing people who are able to think differently, and come at the same problem from different points of view. Whatever happens, we will see more marketing innovation as a result of the pandemic, and the upswing provided by the outcome of the US Election. Tighter budgets will lead to a greater need for innovation, and a more urgent need to capture attention using more tactical initiatives. Companies will take political stances cautiously and will differentiate by creating sustainable innovation models to combat climate change and engage new audiences. The changes will not happen overnight, but after a year of relative inertia, we cannot help but move forward all the same.

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