2020 was a bad year for business, and everyone knows it. The COVID-19 pandemic that broke out in the early spring has disrupted the operations of millions of companies, and as a result, we’ve witnessed the highest unemployment rate in recent years.
For most businesses, the pandemic made what used to be optional, mandatory, and everyone expects the trends to move further in the digital direction in 2021. Everyone thinks 2021 will bring significant changes to the business sector because it marks the post-pandemic era. In 2020, one in five businesses experienced five years’ worth of digital change in less than six months due to the worldwide lockdown. In 2021, companies will search for ways to strengthen their online presence. Brands are continuously testing and trying strategies to power their growth because a strategy that worked in 2019 – it’s no longer valid in the present context.
Here is how specialists expect business growth strategies to change in 2021.
20% of companies will create digital divisions
Digital marketing will become the main trigger of customer value in the following months, and 20% of global brands will join companies like Siemens, John Deere, and BP in adopting and integrating software-driven solutions, artificial intelligence, and data in their operations. By the end of the following year, more than 30% of global businesses should have at least a digital product in their portfolio to meet the market’s requirements.
Research shows that the majority of buyers read online user reviews before making a purchase. The pandemic has restricted the amount of money they could spend on unnecessary purchases, and they need to make sure they get the best value for their money. 92% of purchasers hesitate to buy a product when they cannot find reviews available about the brand. This is because people feel more comfortable to buy products or services when they know other people had a positive experience with the same brand.
In 2021, organizations will continue to use social media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to ask for feedback on their services. Staying in touch with their public helps them build a significant online presence that grows their reputation.
Cloud-first strategies dominate the marketing world in 2021
The current context has forced organizations to embrace innovation through business ecosystems, and it’s predicted that in 2021, 50% of companies will make cloud-centric transformation their first concern, by moving all critical data, operations, and apps to the cloud.
For companies that didn’t use cloud technology before it’s challenging to align their external and internal strategies while keeping the cloud-first strategies in mind. This year, the cloud has become the foundation that enables brands to gain a competitive advantage. A Gartner study revealed that the global market for cloud services will grow 80% by 2022 and reach $331 billion in revenue. Gartner predicts that by the end of the spring, 30% of technology providers will shift from a cloud-first to cloud-only strategy. Cloud storage is cost-effective, efficient, scalable, and secure. No business can know the future, but with cloud-based strategies, they can prepare for the unexpected.
Internet users will easily find buy buttons
2021 is the year when organizations experiment with various sales solutions to identify the one that provides the best result. They’ll toss all channels to find the one that sticks. It won’t be a decision between their official online store and Facebook shop, but they’ll try to sell through all channels available to reach as many buyers as possible.
2020 has cut down the number of jobs, and therefore the number of buyers. The same brands fight for the attention of a smaller target group, and therefore they need to stand out among competitors to convert leads. The need to catch the eye drives the integration of virtual reality, augmented reality, deep personalization, and other business growth strategies.
Digital content provides value
Digital marketing does more than selling products and services, it also builds trust with clients, and creates a positive brand reputation. Organizations’ primary goal has always been to build a long-term relationship with their clients, where buyers listen to what they say. When the target audience trusts the company and recommends it to other people, sales follow. But how can brands build a positive connection with their clients in the present scenario?
The most effective way to draw their attention is to create value for them. And they can create value by educating their buyers on their services’ advantages and benefits, and offering them tips on how they can solve their issues. In 2021, companies will use their blogs and social media profiles more than ever, to compare products, provide valuable information about the industry’s latest advancements, and ask for feedback. The more credible information they offer, the more clients they’ll attract.
The brands that will continue to promote their products and push sales will turn their clients off. No buyer likes a company that shows-off its products without offering real value.
DOP replaces ERP and triggers platform innovation
Suppose I were to ask you what trend was hot in 2020. In that case, you’ll probably name digital operational platforms, also known as DOP because they combine multiple back-office business tools into a single solution. Their popularity continues in 2021 when we expect to see a greater DOP adoption among organizations that want to stand out on the market.
With the latest tech advancements available, DOP will rely on artificial intelligence technology and become ecosystem-oriented, designed according to industry requirements. This year, artificial intelligence has become dominant in the digital market world. AI-based marketing tools existed on the market even before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the lockdown has forced enterprises to explore its benefits. AI can analyze customer behavior and identify patterns that allow brands to create personalized marketing strategies. At present, humans analyze most data regarding customer patterns, but the volume has become so immense, it’s almost impossible for a business to check it efficiently. However, for artificial intelligence, no data volume is too big to inspect and make predictions and reports.
There is no receipt for a successful business growth strategy, but in 2021, businesses will experiment with tactics they have never integrated in their processes before.