Pay attention to what's trending in 2021. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE

IT’S YOUR BUSINESS: Pay attention to what’s trending in 2021

By Joe Smith

Special to The Record

With the current instability facing all of us, marketers will need to pay special attention to how this will affect trends throughout 2021.

The most obvious is the reliance on social media platforms as one of the key elements in developing online marketing strategies. Coupled with e-commerce opportunities, they will become one of the most important trends for many businesses.

With all this attention placed on various methods of communication, consumers are being bombarded with hundreds if not thousands of ads per day. In order to rise above this unprecedented clutter, advertisers will have to make their message content more relevant and timely for their targeted customers. Not necessarily a new trend but one that is taking on more importance each year.

With the impact of the global pandemic, there has been a trend by consumers to source out local products and services. The same holds true for businesses whose supply chains have been or could be disrupted by delivery turmoil on an international basis. Personalization and localization of messaging will become more important than ever.

Building better relationships and high-quality customer service will become a lifeline for many companies. Because of the pandemic more than ever consumers are looking for a sense of belonging. They want to feel that they are buying into something that makes them part of a greater cause. In many cases, they are looking to businesses to help fill that void.

Another trend that will have an impact on business is the renewed focus on the environment by consumers. According to a study by IBM and the National Retail Federation, nearly 70 per cent of consumers in Canada and the U.S. think it is important that a brand is sustainable or eco-friendly. This ties in with the previous trend of building better relationships.

When it comes to messaging there are a couple of trends that are worth noting. With rising consumer interest in social issues there has been a huge increase in brand activism which highlights a company’s social responsibility. This is a trend that will continue into 2021 and beyond.

On another strategy level, nostalgia marketing has become more prominent in carrying a message. With all the uncertainty of the past year, people are yearning for simpler times. This kind of tactic is like providing a diet of comfort food. Research studies have shown that looking back on the past can have a huge impact on making purchasing decisions.

While there are other trends on the horizon it is perhaps the move to revisit strategic planning that rises to the top of the list. There have been significant changes in the way we do business, and the companies that take stock in why they exist and who they serve will be in a better position to navigate going forward.

Joe Smith is a communications consultant and an accomplished fine artist. He can be reached via email

BusinessColumnComox Valley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Courtenay council
City of Courtenay receives $4 million Safe Restart Grant

In the fall, the City of Courtenay received a $4.149 million ‘COVID-19… Continue reading

A single-vehicle motor vehicle incident slowed traffic on Highway 19A Wednesday afternoon.
Single-vehicle motor vehicle incident causes delays in Courtenay

Roads were wet with a mixture of snow and rain falling throughout the day

Flowers poke through the snow in Courtenay as the area got a taste of winter weather this week. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Valley not out of the winter woods quite yet: meteorologist

“It’s winter; we’ve got to get through it together.”

The Village of Cumberland is moving ahead on bringing in possible speed limit reductions. Record file photo
Cumberland council moves on slower speed zones

Mayor says goal is to have ‘blanket zone’ in place by summer

Wind turbines are seen on a dike near Urk, Netherlands, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. A group of scientists, including five Nobel laureates, called Friday for more action to adapt the world to the effects of climate change, drawing comparisons with the faltering response to the coronavirus crisis, ahead of a major online conference on climate adaptation starting Monday and hosted by the Netherlands. (AP Photo / Peter Dejong)
Comox Valley groups host course on actively implementing solutions to climate change

The Sustainable Action group for the Environment (SAGE) and the Comox Valley… Continue reading

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.

Most Read