From FOMO to JOMO, podcasting or augmented reality, the marketing and advertising industry loves nothing more than an annual set of predictions: what will be trending over the course of coming year. But after a year that we’d never seen coming, where does that leave us for 2021?

This blog takes a look at trends and predictions for the year ahead of us, helping you to plan your course of action marketing and advertising your business in 2021. Which ones should we be conscious of, how can we put together a strategy for moving forward, and can we really predict true trends during the peak of a global pandemic?

Having listened to a few businesses talk about trends over the recent weeks, and reflecting on thoughts internally, these are the key elements which have been raised.

eCommerce - Get On It

eCommerce is a big deal. 2020 saw this sky-rocket, and its on trend to continue.

Brands need to be on top of their eCommerce game, people’s expectations have been set by market leaders and all brands need to live up to these. It’s clear that in the past Retail Media has been much unloved, along with businesses not having access to or effectively utilising data.

Future Shock & FOMO

In 2020, life as we know it changed. We were in a state of ‘future shock’ – when life changes really quickly, individuals can feel shock and disoriented. This FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) still existed as we upped our screen time on social platforms in an effort to stay connected. But, some people clearly didn’t abide by rules & felt the need to post about that on social media. Naturally, people feel like they’re missing out.

Come into this new year, with record rates of COVID infections and the death count still rising, this FOMO, has shifted to a more heightened FOGO (Fear Of Going Out).

It’s been suggested that 2021 will see the rise of JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out) instead. Throwing it back to 2020 (how dare we..!) a study found that 54% of 18-34 year olds, admitted to looking forward to not having to attend a Christmas party due to the lockdown (Zenith Global). Will 2021 see absence move from being judged to being celebrated?

Augmented Reality

AR (Augmented Reality) over the past 12 months has really come into its own. Businesses have turned to AR, in order to connect with customers. As society is in lockdown, brands moving forward will look towards AR and jump on this trend to help their consumers convert through 2021.

Why should they? Here’s a little statistic from Shopify…

“Interactions with products with AR had a 94% higher conversion rate, than products without AR feature”

The Psychology of Behaviour & Tech

The ever-developing tech industry will drive change in 2021. It’s true that Tech excelled last year, although we can’t forget that Covid-19 has changed peoples behaviours and at a largely accelerated rate. So moving through 2021 we need to use newer tools and tech to understand consumers even more. Let’s be honest, what we thought we knew about audiences last year, will not be the same this year. Brands putting a priority on understanding behaviour – will really push brand success for 2021.

Podcasts & Brand Trust

Despite the number of lockdowns, WFH, and the loss of commuter audience, the popularity of podcasts and industry growth hasn’t slowed. Into 2021, it’s predicted that the opportunities for podcasting are strong. Why should you have a podcast? To build trust and affinity with listeners, work on building and developing a library of content for your listeners to keep them engaged and connected.

Digital Education 

2020 threw the whole nation in at the deep-end with being more ‘digitally savvy’, consumers have had to adapt, learning new skills and habits, alongside new tech they have purchased. 

So, will these Trends stick?

As we stated at the beginning of this blog, can we truly predict what will happen during such an uncertain time for the world? We shall see. If you have any trends you’d add – we’d love to hear them! Leave a comment or get in touch with us using our contact page.



Sannah Rogers, Zenith Global

Dan Calladine, Carat

Liz Duff, Total Media

Steve Coteman, Havas Media

Sophie Harding, Mindshare