In January, I made three bold predictions about how digital marketing strategies would change in 2021. So how did I do? 


Well, let’s take a look.


In my post, I said that Good content is not going to be enough to reach people.


Content is now ubiquitous, and great content is everywhere. There was a time when if you had helpful, practical content, you were ahead of the curve, and it was easy for people to discover your content and consume it.


That’s no longer true. Great content is everywhere: podcasts, blogs, e-books, videos, courses, and it’s easy and a lot of it free.


Now people are seeking curated content. 


“Don’t just give me good information. Help me to understand it and implement the information you produce.”


This trend continues to grow. Online courses, coaching, and guided experiences are more popular than ever. They not only give us information, but they can walk us through a transformation guided by experts who have achieved the success we want for ourselves. 


According to the Globe News Wire, online courses are projected to grow at an annual rate of 32.09% until 2025. 



I predicted that Online advertising is going to take a step backward. 


“As a marketer, the past decade of evolution in digital advertising allowing marketers to track people across multiple platforms with specificity and ease, has been a fantastic ride and everyone expected it to continue its fast-paced evolution. But online marketing took a considerable step back in 2021.


First, it was GDPR, then came the California Consumer Privacy Act who scrutinized how personal data was collected.”


On top of these restrictions, Apple released the IOS 14 and 15 upgrades, which give individuals a choice to opt out of being tracked online. These have become massive hurdles for digital marketers.


I predicted that it would cost more to find our targeted audiences online in 2021. By September, the cost of ads in most social platforms had jumped significantly while attribution and reporting, have, well, become a joke. Unfortunately, digital ads cost a lot more than a year ago and are less effective.



I said that One-to-one marketing will grow exponentially. 


“Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram direct messages, and text messages will rule the day shortly.


While you might not be able to retarget ads to someone who saw your IG story, you will, however, be able to contact them if they sent you a direct message or reached out via Messenger or WhatsApp. 


While that’s a lot more work, it is also a more personal and effective way to communicate with a potential volunteer, member, buyer, or donor.”


I had no idea how important this prediction would be for those who want to communicate and engage with potential members, donors, volunteers, and buyers. 


Direct communication with our audience has become the only sure way to engage them. 


Growing your list is the BEST way to move forward for any organization, profit, or nonprofit.


While that is still true, operating systems, IOS, and Android now control all users even before logging in to their social accounts. We have just added another layer of potential shutdowns to our list. 


What do all these changes mean to you?


The bottom line is that great content + guided help + personal engagement are your best bet for growth. That is true if you have a product, an event, or a cause to promote. These fundamentals don’t change, regardless of the changes in the platforms we don’t control. 


Let’s keep moving forward because what we do matters!




P.S. I’m putting together a free masterclass on growing your audience through all the changes. If you would like to be on the waiting list, sign up HERE.