Merkle last week released a 2021 Q1 Media Trends report where it identifies the consumer trends, and media statistics for marketers. Merkle is a dentsu company.
“The pandemic has drastically shifted consumer behavior, and we expect that many of these behaviors will stick in the recovery period and beyond. Marketers need to be aware of these changes to resonate with the hearts and minds of consumers,” said Erin Spice, senior director of media strategy at Merkle. “Our mission with this report is to review the shifts we have seen and identify areas of opportunity.”
Merkle highlights five trends for Q1 2021:
- Social Commerce
- Gaming & Sports
- Over-The-Top (OTT)/connected television (CTV)
- Cookieless Future
According to Merkle, virtual Experiences are expected to remain the norm and are thus essential to maintain customer engagement. Brands can continue to innovate through their approach to experiences, as well as look to utilize ad formats geared toward live engagement and apply augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR) formats within social media to keep consumers actively participating virtually.
Consumers will continue to shop via Social Media platforms with Facebook and Instagram among the top social commerce destinations. To stay ahead, brands can add calls to action to their social posts and expand to other platforms like Snapchat and TikTok to build audiences.
Merkle says consumers will continue to watch fewer sports and devote more time to Gaming. To meet consumers where they are, marketers should consider in-game advertising and creating exclusive content for fans.
CTV viewing trends will only increase. Merkle says marketers should leverage their first-party data to target audiences in this medium. Demographic viewing trends are also important to consider.
The Cookieless Future is here and Merkle is advising advertisers to understand how their platforms will be affected by the phaseout of third-party cookies.