Duo’s 2020 End-of-the-Year Review & Forecast for 2021 - Handshake Digital -An E-Commerce Marketing & Advertising Agency

Duo’s 2020 End-of-the-Year Review & Forecast for 2021


What a whirlwind of a year! 2020 has been one that has certainly changed business. It’s changed marketing. It’s changed a lot of things. Hopefully you see the light at the end of the tunnel and are starting to look forward to 2021. Chris and Pat recently chatted on the Sip, Create, Repeat podcast all about the year that was and the year to come… 

The Duo’s 2020 End-of-the-Year Review

The Move to Digital

2020 forced everyone to consider their digital commerce plan. Even traditional brick-and-mortar stores began to utilize whatever they could to have a digital way to reach out to consumers and sell goods and services digitally. We saw small businesses that were unfortunately really struggling right at the peak of the shutdowns finding new ways to support themselves in the digital space as well. 


Increased Social Media Channel Marketing Efforts

Marketers saw Facebook’s ban hammer get more aggressive in the past twelve months. Some of this was because of the sudden volume of businesses advertising in the digital space, many for the first time in 2020. Throw in the United States’ presidential election cycle, and Facebook had a lot to keep up with. 

The problem was that, in some instances, they were being too aggressive with their bans.  For example, a client had their Facebook page unpublished for a very small issue that popped up. This is a page that has 60,000 followers and runs a preset, consistent and significant amount of Facebook advertising. Despite that, it still happened. The lesson? A page ban can happen to anyone, so take note especially if you have all your eggs in one basket.


That Big Flex(iblity)

From figuring out where to put marketing efforts to adapting working environments, 2020 taught us to be as flexible as possible. Maybe the biggest example of this was the shift to working from home. We heard the term “work-life balance” more than ever, and for some, working from home wasn’t a huge deal. For others, it took a lot of adjustment. 


A Blend of E-Commerce & In-Person

2020 brought along an increase in buy-online-pickup-in-store shopping, which you will continue to see as an upward trend in e-commerce. Small businesses, especially local restaurants, may have been forced towards this model in some capacity this year, but they also learned it didn’t take as much effort as they thought. We anticipate that feature continuing since consumers value time more than ever. The ability to save time by ordering ahead and swinging by to pick up an order is a huge benefit. 


Duo’s Forecast for 2021


An Upward Trend in E-Commerce for Small Business

Many small businesses pivoted to an online store in 2020, which allowed them to see the benefits of not fully depending on their brick and mortar location. They were able to have some form of revenue still come in without having to physically watch over – many for the first time. We anticipate more businesses to shift to this model in the new year or dive deeper into e-commerce efforts.


The Importance of Being Proactive

2020 was all about being reactive to what was happening. As businesses trend back to normal, business owners should plan to be proactive moving forward.  They should consider how they will handle new revenue streams and which marketing tactics to implement in the future. This past year highlighted various issues that had to be dealt during a challenging time. When you’re ahead of the game versus having to react whatever’s there, it’s just easier.


Continuing to Interact with Customers in New Ways 

We saw massive increases in the amount of live streams on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikToK, Twitch and YouTube. Those will continue to be an important touchpoint moving forward. That human connection will help build that personal touch to your brand while making it stand out from the crowd.


Working From Home… Still

We don’t think the #WFH lifestyle is going away any time soon, if at all for many businesses. Our team feels it is inevitable as many companies see the shift in generations making up their workforce. Millennials wanted the option to work from home. Gen Z will expect it. Flexibility is incredibly important to the younger generation of workers, and working from home provides that to them.

From the company side, you will see organizations downsizing their physical office footprints. Business owners and CEOs realize they do not have to take on the financial burden of an office space. It is more cost effective to give employees computers to use at their home and stable internet connections.


Social Good and Advocacy Efforts

More than ever, consumers want to know who they are like purchasing from or even interacting with in business. Before consumers would buy something because they needed it. Now, because of the ways that we can interact with companies, consumers are able to get a bigger picture of what a company stands for and what values they support. 

These efforts will continue to grow and become focal points for many organizations in 2021. Like the ability to work from home, Millennials and Gen Z will expect more altruistic awareness and social advocacy efforts from companies. Don’t be surprised to see more “feel-good” programs like those already implemented by Tom’s and Warby Parker


What the Duo Team Will Be Focusing on 2021 


That Personal Touch 

Organic, user-generated content has resonated with people and we will continue to see an uptick in that. As we saw in 2020, consumers are reacting more to genuine, authentic content created by someone already using a product versus overproduced, over-edited content. 

In fact, we’re encouraging our clients to create videos right on their mobile devices and to look to their customer base for amazing photos. For example: in 2020, we tested out video ads that were clearly shot on a phone. We ran those as video ads and the results were three to four times better than produced video clips we used in the past. It proves that that organic approach is key in obtaining that social proof which will be especially important in 2021.


The Push Towards Social Media Marketing and Advertising & Email Marketing Efforts

These are key touch points where businesses can interact with current clients while reaching potential customers. These efforts paint a picture to consumers as to who you are and what you are all about, which will continue to be very impactful moving forward. The brands that are currently not doing these things are already losing out and will continue to in 2021.


We hope you enjoyed our review of what was 2020 and what we’re seeing in or marketing crystal ball for 2021. We would love to hear from you, so share your thoughts with us on social media at @duocleveland. Good luck in 2021 and congrats on surviving 2020!


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