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A Final Goodbye to 2020 & What to Expect in 2021

January 19, 2021  /  by  Carter Gaddis

The year 2020 is behind us. It’s probably best to just forget it ever happened.

Let’s move on to bigger and better things in 2021, shall we?

But before we do, let’s take a quick peek at a few things we actually loved about 2020.

At Roger West Creative & Code, we were all about perseverance as we marked our 13th anniversary. We, like so many companies, adapted to life in the age of COVID-19 by embracing video meetings and digital happy hours.

We worked through it and made one another laugh and – incredibly – came out of 2020 feeling pretty good about life. Some highlights:

  • We hired new president Jennie Treby, promoted Jared Cordes to vice president of client services, promoted Eugene Newcomb to creative director, promoted Maggie Stankiewicz to communications strategist, and promoted Daniel Dierksen to front end developer.
  • We hired front end developer Dillon Bonk, director of key accounts Nicole Marroquin, senior art director Julia McFarland, director of communications strategy Carter Gaddis (that’s me) and director of digital strategy Tim Peyton.
  • We were named to the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Best Places to Work list for the second year in a row.
  • We were included on the Business Journal’s Tampa Bay Fast 50 list again, jumping to No. 7 from No. 48 in 2019.
  • We made our debut on the Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fast-growing private companies, checking in at No. 1,480.

Not too bad, all things considered. The most important thing about the year was we were able to maintain our focus on the things we do well and are primed to do even greater things for our clients in 2021.

OK. Now we can move on from 2020. So, what’s next?

2021 Digital Marketing Trends

Here are five predictions for digital marketing in 2021, based on a combination of our best guesses and an analysis of reputable predictions published recently by Deloitte, HubSpot, Sprout Social, LinkedIn and other marketing analysts.

  1. Innovative digital connection will be more important than ever. As the world edges toward whatever the “new normal” will look like in 2021 and beyond, it’s clear that digital communication is going to continue to play a major role in human lives. According to consumer research conducted by Deloitte, 70% of consumers valued digital solutions that enabled easier communications with others, and 63% believed they would be more reliant on digital technology after the pandemic than they were before COVID-19 changed the world.
  2. Consumers will continue to look for brand information on social media. According to Sprout Social, 57% of consumers stay in the know about products and services through social media. It’s not just about TikTok dances and Instagram photo shoots. It’s about information that could mean the difference between creating a customer for life and ending the relationship on the spot.
  3. Digital communication will expand for restaurants. Restaurant marketing before COVID-19 and restaurant marketing now are two completely different exercises. Restaurants that made it easier for patrons to connect online in 2020 will have a head start. The next step is to improve digital communication capabilities and remain flexible as local regulations shift between restrictive and open. It will become more important than ever to let loyal customers know what to expect when they’re hungry.
  4. Healthcare providers will be expected to meet greater demand for telehealth. The biggest differentiator for healthcare providers in 2021 will be the ability to provide a digital platform that gives patients complete confidence and trust in the care they receive. Patient experience and communication will remain drivers of retention, and organizations with a robust digital infrastructure will have an advantage.
  5. Brands will need to nurture compassion and emotional intelligence to better serve clients. LinkedIn analyzed in-demand skills in 2020 and concluded that alongside a deep knowledge of the digital ecosystem, hiring agents are in the market for “fundamentally human capabilities” such as empathy. It’s a reminder that even with technological advances rocketing along, not every touchpoint should be automated.

Ready to give your brand a boost in 2021? Give us a shout, and we’ll help you sharpen your digital marketing plan, improve your website’s user experience and cosmetic appeal, or just trade burrito recipes.