As this year (thankfully) comes to a close, we thought it prudent to take some time to think about what’s to come in 2021. The digital media landscape is shifting in dramatic ways we never expected. How does one plan for 2021—a year that will undoubtedly be steered by the spread and perhaps (hopefully) the end of the COVID-19 pandemic? We talked with Elicia Greenberg, VP Membership & Programs, The Advertising Club of New York to get her thoughts on planning for the upcoming year.
Q: What lessons learned from 2020 will affect how brands and media partners work more effectively with consumers?
A: We’ve watched in awe as our members – brands, agencies, media buyers and sellers – tackled 2020 with purpose, creativity, and resilience. The lesson seems to be an old one though as chance seems to have favored the prepared. Those who were poised for agility by consistently having their pulse on consumer sentiment, cross-silo communications within their organizations, diverse mindsets and the marketing tools and partners in place to create, deliver and track new programs are the ones that delivered for customers. Brands with strong, symbiotic relationships with their agencies, tech and media partners were able to act quickly. Media companies who responded as “uber consultants” to their clients even while many had to pause their spending and re-think strategies, will likely benefit from this loyalty time, and ultimately foster environments to create the best solutions for consumers in the long term. The latest Dentsu CMO survey 2020 has just been released, check it out for more lessons learned.
Q: What predictions do you have for 1Q’21 for our media/advertising industry?
A: Consumer spending may rise as we approach 2021 and companies and their messaging will and must be more diverse, purpose-driven and eco-friendly. With the holiday season around the corner and many online retailers offering early and deep incentives, consumers will hopefully indulge in holiday spending with marketers adding money back into their budget for Q4. While it still might be too early to tell as things have been less but predictable during the pandemic, according to a study done by OpenX with leading market research company, The Harris Poll – 44 percent of consumers have increased their online shopping, and 8 percent of consumers are now making daily online purchases since the onset of COVID-19. Will all of this, consumers will align with and be loyal to brands that speak to them and their ideals.
Q: What innovations do you think our media/advertising industry needs the most and are these attainable in 2021?
A: The pandemic has transformed everything from the way we communicate and juggle work and home lives to how we learn and shop for and use products. The ability to connect and show up in these new, predominantly virtual circumstances will be critical to business and personal growth, health, and well-being. Technologies that can enhance and humanize digital engagement and foster community will trend. Additionally, smart, sustainable, and safe modes of communicating to and physically interacting consumers as re-enter society (think smart cities, transportation, banking) will be essential. I like to think in an industry as creative as ours, anything is attainable.
Q: How is the Ad Club gearing up for 2021, and how can our readers learn more about the benefits of membership?
A: The AD Club of New York is the leading trade association serving the marketing, media, and advertising industries in one of the world’s most diverse cities. We are dedicated to educating, celebrating, and empowering our members by providing platforms for thought leadership, creativity, and unwavering support and development of a diverse talent pipeline. We are helping members navigate COVID in new and interesting ways through our “Virtual Clubhouse” for all the community to participate – from students and Young Pros to mid-level management and the C-Suite.