What to expect in marketing in 2021

Staying on top of marketing trends means aligning workflows and practices with the wants and needs of your customers.

While education professionals are a unique market and edtech companies offer highly specialized products and services, certain trends will impact this field just as much as the broader economy. Keep these emerging concepts in mind as your business develops, refines, and updates its marketing strategy going into and throughout 2021.

2021 trends

Systems, not places, will increasingly drive connections

“The overarching trend of 2021 may be a greater marketing focus on the digital world at large.”

Shifts in the way industries — including education — use technology, automation, and telework will continue to impact the economy overall. The value of in-person, collaborative work is still high, but employers are increasingly realizing that many tasks can be capably completed remotely. The working world will continue to leverage these digital systems and tools to seek out greater efficiency, improve employee sentiment and engagement, and address similarly important issues.

It’s almost certain that a large majority of education professionals will return to a full-time, in-person learning environment once the COVID-19 pandemic passes. However, the experience gained through a mandatory shift to remote and hybrid learning models will have an ongoing impact. Increased exposure to edtech solutions and digital infrastructure in general means more acceptance of these valuable tools. For edtech businesses, that means identifying opportunities where their products and services can support critical considerations like learning, sharing information, and encouraging student success while promoting these solutions as valuable, location-agnostic assets.

E-commerce continues to grow

E-commerce was already a giant before the pandemic, and it’s only become more powerful since. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said 2020 was a year for widespread growth in e-commerce, thanks in part to increasing acceptance of both traditional and emerging product and service categories.

A significant increase in the use of e-commerce likely means educators and administrators will turn to digital methods for researching options and making purchases in their personal and professional lives. Reaching your customers where they spend the majority of their time in a purchasing mindset makes good sense. To effectively achieve this goal, accurate, current and actionable data is vital. As part of a highly specialized market, your company needs to ensure it can reach highly targeted and relevant prospects through digital channels.

What do celebrity endorsements have to do with edtech?

Adweek pointed to a focus on celebrity endorsements, at least for businesses with the resources to compensate those notable individuals, as a developing trend in 2021. While an endorsement from an actor, musician, or athlete probably won’t make much of an impact on your target audience, at least in their professional capacities, the use of testimonials from satisfied customers can. Backing up your product or service’s value proposition with endorsements from education professionals, and ideally, notable or experienced ones can have a positive influence on marketing.

Social issues and meaningful positions

Marketers have seen increased pressure from customers to take stands on certain social issues. Making a meaningful statement on social media can help demonstrate a commitment to values that are shared with prospects and current customers, as well as signal that an edtech company is concerned with more than just business.

Exactly what issues your company should take a stand on is an individual consideration, although concerns related to safe working environments for professionals and generally supporting student achievement are potential areas to explore. To reduce the possibility for controversy, this emerging trend requires a soft touch, thorough review, and careful phrasing.

A partner to support targeted digital marketing efforts

With so many marketing trends to review and potentially incorporate into your company’s planning, a reliable source of accurate and current data for education professionals, schools and districts are invaluable for tailoring campaigns and conducting effective outreach. To learn how Agile can help, get in touch with us today.

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