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Lead Generation Predictions For 2021

January 4, 2021 Sarah Cavill

Shutterstock_1831823293 Loading new year 2020 to 2021 with hand putting wood cube in progress bar.

In early 2020, when Digital Media Solutions (DMS) COO Fernando Borghese and DMS CRO Joey Liner discussed their lead generation predictions for 2020, few could have known what an unusual year it would be. Ecommerce and digital solutions became critical tools for managing lock downs, industry shifts and new consumer behaviors. 

However, many of the predictions for 2020 remain true for 2021, particularly for those businesses that are agile, that listen and that take an all-in approach to meeting consumer needs, regardless of what is going on in the world. The quality of user experiences should always be top of mind for industries deploying best practices when it comes to lead generation. 

The Popularity Of Mobile Use By Consumers Will Increase The Value Of Mobile For Advertisers

January 2020 Prediction: Mobile use will continue to increase, because it’s convenient for consumers, especially with the growth of 5G and the expectation of seamless experiences. 

January 2021 Prediction: Although early on in 2020 there was an increase in desktop use, because people were out and about less, mobile retail commerce sales saw a 4.5% uptick in 2020 compared to the year prior. The jump in popularity this year of in-store purchase fulfillment, purchasing groceries online and relying on apps for promotions and ordering all positively impacted the growth of mobile and mobile solutions for advertisers.

What Does The Growth Of Mobile Mean For Lead Generation In 2021?

As mobile solutions become more relied on by consumers, the value of mobile strategies will continue to grow for advertisers. It’s anticipated that, by 2022, more than $240 billion will be spent on mobile advertising worldwide.

Streaming Services Will Continue To Offer Targeting Opportunities For Advertisers

January 2020 Prediction: Cable cord cutters will open up new monetization opportunities for brands and advertisers, particularly with brands like Spotify that offer tiered-services to the music buying audience. 

January 2021 Prediction: Streaming was huge in 2020. As people everywhere hunkered down, streaming apps like Disney+, AppleTV+ and Peacock successfully grew their subscriber bases across wide audiences. Connected TV also grew in 2020, with an ad spend of $8.11 billion, and predicted to increase to $11.36 billion in 2021. Spotify growth plateaued somewhat, particularly while people were at home, commuting less and not streaming podcasts at the same clip as before.

What Does The Evolution Of Streaming Services Mean For Lead Generation In 2021?

More touch points means more audience engagement. The growth of connected TV, in particular, offers opportunities for innovative advertising tactics that rely on personalization, a key component to resonating with today’s consumers.

Advertisers That Want To Reach Consumers Will Need To Prioritize A Multichannel Approach 

January 2020 Prediction: It’s harder than ever to connect with consumers by outbound dialing and the “spray and pray model for dialing and hammering the consumer’s phone.”  Allowing consumers to choose their preferred channel or method to engage when they’re ready has become a more reliable approach.

January 2021 Prediction: A multichannel approach continues to be the best way for advertisers to weather fluctuations in how consumers search and shop, and potential impact from the antitrust issues some of the big tech companies are dealing with.

What Does Multichannel Engagement Mean For Lead Generation In 2021?

As consumers spread their time across more channels, the opportunity to explore different lead generation options increases, as does the outreach potential, which can include email and SMS offering the kind of one-to-one engagement that consumers are craving in 2021.

All Sectors Of Business Will Maximize Personalized Engagement In 2021, Especially When It Comes To Ecommerce

January 2020 Prediction: It’s increasingly important that messaging is reaching consumers in a way that resonates with them and leads to successful engagement. Personalization should be early and often to build brand awareness and loyalty among consumers, which can lead to conversions.

January 2021 Prediction: The rise of ecommerce and online shopping in 2020 was the advertising story of the year. Brands and retailers that wanted to meet consumers' needs had to quickly adopt strategies that made it easier to shop, buy and pick up products. The unique circumstances of 2020 required advertisers to adapt their communications and customer engagement in ways that were authentic and personal, and those techniques will continue throughout 2021.

What Does Personalized And Dynamic Engagement Mean For Lead Generation In 2021?  

Personalized engagement isn’t only for customer acquisition or authentic communications; personalized messaging also represents an opportunity to provide consumers seamless, easy transactions, promotions and access to products and services that build loyalty and brand value, showing consumers they are appreciated.

With Less Foot Traffic, Brands Will Continue To Rely On Tech To Build Engagement

January 2020 Prediction: Today’s tech allows marketers to extract more value from datasets and build optimized, targeted campaigns that offer more effective engagement and returns.

January 2021 Prediction: Last year’s circumstances led to increased reliance on virtual experiences, including augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) activations and more sophisticated machine learning (ML) that leveraged data for targeting. Sophisticated virtual engagement strategies are likely to continue evolving into 2021 and beyond.

What Does Increased Adoption Of Sophisticated Tech Mean For Lead Generation In 2021?

Although many advertisers had to turn to virtual experiences during the pandemic in order to reach consumers, many intend to stick with the technology because of the additional outreach and creative opportunities virtual experiences offer. Additionally, intelligence gleaned from sophisticated technologies and the value mined from data sets that machine learning tools are able to access will help digital advertisers better understand and segment audiences, experiment and test more regularly to reach the right audiences with the right messages.

Data Transparency And Privacy Will Be Top Priorities For Tech Companies & Advertisers

January 2020 Prediction: Transparency allows consumers to understand what brands are doing with their information. Data transparency also helps brands better understand their audiences and create more value for consumers.

January 2021 Prediction: Apple, among other tech brands, made privacy a priority in 2020, and it’s expected big tech companies will continue to prioritize privacy as government agencies and consumers demand transparency about the collection, use and sharing of personal data.

What Does Increased Transparency Mean For Lead Generation In 2021?

Not everyone will understand the need for data transparency, offering advertisers that are tuned in the chance to make better long-term connections with their customers by showing they are prioritizing their audiences’ online safety. Consumers are also likely to want more in return for their data, whether via loyalty programs or promotional give backs, offering another opportunity for brands and retailers to differentiate themselves by meeting consumer expectations.

 Looking For New Opportunities To Engage With Your Consumers?

Digital Media Solutions® (DMS) helps brands flourish by capitalizing on consumer intent and engagement, deploying sophisticated martech with big data intelligence to connect brands with consumers at the moments they’re most ready to take action, using messages proven to resonate.

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Senior Marketing Communications Writer, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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