A couple of years ago, artificial intelligence (AI), data-driven marketing and voice search engine optimisation were ambitious concepts in the digital marketing landscape. Today, they are a necessity. For a strong and robust online presence, it has become crucially important for enterprises across verticals are to leverage new-age digital and online marketing tools.

Digital marketing trends 2021

A report by RedSeer Consulting estimates that social commerce in India will touch up to USD 7 billion in GMV by 2025. Online shoppers from tier-II and tier-III cities will push the number ahead. If businesses have any intention of remaining competitive today, they must adapt and make use of the newest trends dominating the online marketing ecosystem.

The time is ripe for marketers to closely scrutinize their goals, performance metrics and KPIs and align it with innovative digital marketing trends in order to thrive in 2021 and beyond. Here’s deep dive into the top trends that will transform the digital marketing strategies for small and big companies alike.

Artificial Intelligence

For AI, 2020 was the year when the technology really came to the forefront with various companies putting it at the heart of their business continuity plans. Take Microsoft and Uber’s Knightscope K5 robots. The conglomerates are offering these robots to consumers on rent for enhanced security of their vehicles.

AI has the potential to become an indispensable part of future digital products. With the ability to collect data, analyze it and apply them on-the-go, marketers are at a better position to address specific needs of their customers, thereby boosting their sales. With AI, you can visualize the customer journey and provide the right kind of solutions, enhancing your brand recall and increasing customer retention.

Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising is when you use AI to automate ad buying. How does it help? You can target specific audiences, leading to higher conversions and lower customer acquisition cost. Essentially, targeting tactics are used to segment audiences based on the accumulated data so that advertisers only pay for the ads delivered to the right people.

A report by eMarketer shows how programmatic advertising contributed to USD 25.48 billion to the digital advertising landscape in 2016.[1] The number has continued to go up in successive years. It’s safe to say that the same will be the case in 2021 as well.

Semantic Search

Semantic search is the ability of search engines to know and consider the intent and contextual meaning f the search phrases being put in on the web by users. In 2021, semantic search will alter the face of how SEO is carried out. Search engines will collate the gigantic amount of data being fed into it to determine the context and intent to bring out the results that is the most relevant.

A semantic approach to crafting digital marketing messages spares the readers from redundant words. Additionally, you can score higher on Google search if you prepare your site document semantically.


A new report by Marketo highlights that 63% of consumers are highly annoyed with generic advertising blasts.[2] How can you ensure that is not the case for your customers? Through personalisation. Personalised marketing, or one-to-one marketing, is the practice of leveraging data to deliver brand messages that is specific to what the consumer is looking for. While personalisation is changing marketing from bottom up, many enterprises fail at its implementation.

Take the example of Netflix and Amazon with their tailored recommended products or movie titles. You can make use of CRM, data management platform and analytics platform to ensure your intended customers get the ads that they want to see.

Influencer Marketing

Edelman’s Trust Barometer Special Report highlights how more and more users are attuned to listen to influencers about a specific brand’s products and are more likely to go for it. It’s no longer just a trend. A mediakix study shows that the ad spends on influencer marketing could reach $10 billion by the end of 2021.[3]

Influencer marketing a type of word-of-mouth marketing where businesses bring in key leaders to amplify their brand messages to the larger audience. People tend to listen to influencers for the niche they hold in their field.

Pay-per-Click (PPC) Advertising

One of the biggest trends in PPC advertising will be the use of AI and machine learning (ML) to automate labour-intensive areas associated with Google ads. PPC advertising can help your business achieve a vast number of business goals. How? Through ensuring high brand exposure and thought leadership.

Navigating the Digital Landscape

The businesses that had a strong digital marketing strategy and employed the relevant tools to enhance their brand value were the ones that emerged through the wide-ranging economic disruptions cause by the COVID-19 pandemic. 2021 will be a continuation of this where organisations across sectors will look for more avenues that enables them to be resilient in the digital-first world.