Top MarTech Predictions 2021 For Retail, E-commerce and AdTech

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In today’s Predictions Series, we sat down with industry leaders with a combined experience of over 80 years in retail, e-commerce and adtech solutions.

These include insights from the following leaders:

  1. Episerver CMO Kirsten Allegri Williams
  2. Greg Wasson, Co-Founder & Chairman, Cooler Screens, Co-Founder, Wasson Enterprise  & Former Chief Executive Officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance.
  3. David Wharram, CEO of Coast Digital
  4. Luke Taylor, founder and COO at TrafficGuard,
  5. Leena Iyar, chief brand officer at Moxtra,
  6. Suzi Tripp, VP, Insights at Brooks Bell,
  7. Todd Morris, CEO of Label Insight

Here is what they have to say about the year 2021.

The Rise of Servant marketing in Retail

Episerver CMO Kirsten Allegri Williams on the retail buzz phrases of 2021

In difficult times, those who seek to serve all their stakeholders strengthen the foundation for the long-term success of their brand. Establishing an authentic connection with stakeholders is the key, and that’s where marketers can be of service, because they are the ones who know how to take stock of what’s trending in the larger culture, what matters to employees, and what fits with their brand, and then craft messages that are in the best interests of those they reach. Many of the challenges that made 2020 so tough will carry over into 2021, so those marketers with a “service mindset” will see their work have the biggest impact.

Don’t Forget the  Local Grocer: Brand Marketers Need to Leverage ‘Last Mile’ Impressions Delivered in-Store

Greg Wasson, Co-Founder & Chairman, Cooler Screens, Co-Founder, Wasson Enterprise  & Former Chief Executive Officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance.

“Smart brand marketers looking to get ahead in 2021 must deliver the right offerings and messages to consumers in places they are already engaging with brands. Take in-store grocery shopping for example. Consumers make decisions about the products they buy and the brands they support every time they step inside a grocery store. And in 2021, this is one place consumers will frequent. Brand marketers need to leverage ‘last mile’ impressions delivered in-store, at the moment of greatest potential impact to sway a purchase. The brands that do this are going to stay relevant in the new year.”

Invalid Traffic Will Take More and More Ad Spend

Luke Taylor, founder and COO at TrafficGuard

A report by HP put Ad Fraud as one of the most lucrative and easiest-to-commit forms of cybercrime. COVID-19 had been a dream for ad fraud perpetrators – with lots of businesses new to digital advertising pumping their money into campaigns to keep business coming in, unaware that up to 30% of their spend is wasted on invalid traffic. Additionally, the extreme changes in consumer behavior have made it even more difficult for even the most sophisticated digital marketers to tell if, and to what extent, invalid traffic is impacting their performance. The amount of money fraud drains from digital advertising rises every year – and these elements have exacerbated that. It’s been the perfect storm, really.

Universal ID in Adtech to Standardize Audience Tracking Methods

David Wharram, CEO of Coast Digital

Google has said that Chrome will be phasing out third party cookies before 2022.

Over the next year, we may see some new tracking/targeting technologies emerge, but we’ll also start to see what Google’s end game is with Chrome. They’ve recently talked about the ‘privacy sandbox’ which will allow Google to keep all their own data on user’s devices.

This is potentially going to give Google exclusive access to all chrome users data (chrome has about a 70% market share) from a marketing perspective this could have an exceptionally large impact.

To combat this, it’s likely that we’ll see a significant increase in the use of ‘Universal IDs’ – the new improved solution to tracking and targeting users.

A Universal ID is an identifier that will allow ad tech to pinpoint individual users across multiple platforms. Form an AdTech perspective, this could help to bring some consistency and standardization to the market.

For users, the idea is that this is a tidier and more privacy-friendly way for user’s preferences/data to be managed – one ID for a user, rather than cookies sharing data with each adtech platform individually. In the future, this could allow users to take ownership of their own data. Centralized preferences for every website/publisher/advertising platform and more – all stored against a Universal ID.

Time to Understand Uberization versus Humanization of B2C Services

Leena Iyar, Chief Brand Officer at Moxtra, developers of one-stop digital portals for high-touch businesses to serve their customers:

We talk a lot about the “Uberization” of business models – and I believe that more and more industries will shift toward on-demand digital platforms, beyond just transportation, showing the power of a digital platform to host every aspect of the transaction and interaction, all in one place. The pandemic caused many digital-adoption laggards to shift, and in 2021, more industries will be looking to find out how to correlate the customer experience to a digital platform that can be more convenient and provide its customers greater access to get their needs addressed from anywhere at any time.

Catch-22 if you Missed Out on Critical Testing Opportunities

Suzi Tripp, VP, Insights at Brooks Bell

“This year, too many retailers missed out on critical testing opportunities during peak season 2020 and will be playing catch up in 2021 to stay ahead of ever-changing customer expectations. The consequences of dialing back testing right now are reduced incremental gains produced by testing in 2020 and into 2021, as well as a longer term knowledge deficit from not gleaning test-driven insights that will persist into 2022.”

Brooks Bell is an AB-testing web consultancy firm that helps brands like Under Armour, Mattel and to optimize their site conversions.

Role Data Management in CPG and Health / Wellness Brands

Todd Morris, CEO of Label Insight

“Heading into 2021, more and more consumers will stray away from specific brands and focus instead on how the products they put into and onto their bodies align with their values and meet their health and wellness needs.

Given accelerated e-commerce growth, this trend will ignite a change in how brands, especially in the CPG space, allocate their digital ad spend. Businesses need better data on what consumers are actually searching for based on their health and lifestyle needs, whether it’s a demand for sustainable or plant-based products, or products free from certain allergens. Once business leaders invest in the right data and tools to understand these needs, more efficient, micro-targeted ad spend will lead to fiercely loyal customers and increased sales.”

Label Insight is a leader in powering attribute-driven growth for over 5,500 CPG brands, 300 grocery retailers and organizations including the FDA, USDA, American Heart Association, Unilever, Conagra and Target.

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