Is 2020 over yet? It’s been a tumultuous and exhausting year across the board. For B2C marketers, 2021 brings new opportunities and a changed customer landscape. While the ultimate fate (and story arc) of COVID-19 remains to be seen, some of the shifts in consumer behavior will likely outlast the virus. For B2C marketers, that means adjusting marketing strategies and tech investments to align with a post-pandemic world. Forrester predicts that 2021 will bring:

  • A significant uptick in loyalty and retention marketing. Consumers have already seen an uptick in messages meant to reassure them on how brands are protecting customers and employees amid a pandemic. In 2021, these reassuring messages will continue as brands vie to remain top of mind (and top of wallet) for customers, many of whom will be more selective in their spending as economies slowly recover from COVID-19 impacts.
  • A shift to local-first marketing strategies. While brands have historically taken marketing instructions from corporate headquarters, next year they’ll shift to localized strategies and tactics. Many urban-dwelling consumers have dispersed because of COVID-19 and may be slow to return, redefining neighborhoods and shifting some power away from urban hubs. Brands will take more neighborhood-based marketing approaches and use tactics like local search to target smaller communities, rather than broad, urban-based marketing.
  • A renewed focus on campaign optimization capabilities. Marketing departments were hard hit by COVID-19, and as they’re slow to rebound to their full headcounts, companies will double down on investments in campaign optimization. This suite of capabilities reduces the amount of manpower needed to analyze campaign results and determine what to do next to improve performance; by automating these analyses, B2C marketers can get better campaign performance even while operating with reduced staff.

Read the full report to catch all five of our predictions for B2C marketing. To understand the major dynamics that will impact firms across industries next year, download Forrester’s Predictions 2021 guide.