2021 Digital Marketing Trends

The Changing Face of E-Commerce

Most businesses agree that e-commerce is important but lack the commitment towards developing the right infrastructure. As part of transformation, traditional brick and mortar businesses should be allocating at least 10% to 15% of their store expansion budget into developing a strong e-commerce footprint. These channels not only enable sales but provide a wealth of data that will enrich marketing and sales strategies long into the future. While third party e-commerce platforms are important sales channels, emphasis needs to be given to the brand’s website as the hub. This ongoing endeavour requires immense commitment in the areas of security, logistics, marketing, advertising, and data applications.

Automated Journeys and Data Consciousness

Data has been placed into a spotlight. We know that every transaction and action online can be tracked and these data sets provide brands with a wealth of information for better understanding of consumer behaviour and habits. These information is crucial in planning for campaigns and next actions. B2B businesses who have predominantly used online to gather leads were not as affected as they already understood the basics of using data to optimise results. Whereas B2C businesses hold an immense pool of data that has yet to be tapped. We believe this could be due to “Overchoice” Syndrome - too many options of solutions, leading to indecisions in their transformation journey. If done right, the potential of these data points can produce multiple folds of returns.

Data and KPIs

First Party Data
Consumer companies are relying too heavily on platforms to reach customers without considering ownership of first-party data. As a result, these companies will ultimately pay a “toll fee” for each sale because they are essentially “renting” customers from these platforms. While many talk about big data, it all starts with developing a good infrastructure for data management.

Be very clear with your own customer funnel and what you expect from each stage of the funnel. Once that is done, develop key indicators to track results and ROI from each stage. Otherwise, brands will not be able to successfully attribute success and will continue to pour millions of dollars through a shotgun strategy.

Determine SMART Indicators with Agencies
Plan, execute and review short term and long term goals with your agency. Results in a dynamic environment require continuous improvements as the basis of client-agency relationships, not absolutes. It is impossible achieve certainty but an aligned way of work will increase the probability of success.

Illustration: B2B framework for marketing to sales funnel. Most B2C brands focus on top funnel due to lack of strong customer data management framework.

Applications for Marketing

Emails have always been considered as “old tech”, however the resurgence and importance of it today is greatly misunderstood as they are key to reaching the doorsteps of the end-users and still serve as a trusted medium of communication.


Applications with automations and journey builders enable content and message personalisation at scale while gathering behavioral insights for enhanced ad retargeting.


Social media specialists need to orchestrate content, community and response across myriad of social channels. Here are some notable options that are currently leading in this space:


As more marketers start building their technology stack, the ability to connect each application within the stack will drive further utility of APIs for data integration and 2-way interactions between these applications.

This article is part of a series in our REX Trend Report 2021. Watch out for upcoming articles in the following weeks.

Thank you for your interest.



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