4 Digital Marketing Tips from CMOs for the Coming Year

John Beaton
August 19, 2021
Lasted Updated On

The marketing landscape has changed considerably in recent years, and there are no signs of it slowing down. Chief marketing and brand officers are most accustomed to how these changes are affecting their brands, and their insights give a valuable glimpse into how brands are navigating this period of volatility. These digital marketing tips from CMOs and CBOs are a preview of the future of marketing in the coming year. When examined together, these quotes tell a story about consumers increasingly searching for wellness, convenience, inclusivity, and diverse experiences through the entertainment they consume and products they buy.

1. A Greater Focus on Wellness and Community

“Supporting our guests’ desire to feel their best in any moment, through the products we create and community connections we help build, is a shift that we believe consumers and the category will benefit from.” Nikki Neuburger, Chief Brand Officer at Lululemon

Lululemon has always been an innovator in wellness and healthy living, and the brand’s latest campaign, “Feel,” takes it a step further by exploring the impact isolation has on people, using Oscar Wilde’s short story The Selfish Giant, as a metaphor for the modern sense of loneliness that has emerged in recent times.

Brands understand that they have the power to change the conversation surrounding cultural challenges that have arisen as a result of the turbulence of the past few years. Content that explores wellness, renewal, and feeling your best has the potential for long-lasting social impact. These digital marketing tips are important, as Gen Z consumers are on the lookout for value-driven brands, so expect this theme to be prominent going forward.

2. Heightened Awareness of Convenience

When people could no longer go in-store, even customers that were reticent to change tried new ways to have their needs met. And what they discovered with curbside pickup specifically, is that it often met their needs for ease and convenience even faster than traditional e-commerce. Frank Crowson, Chief Marketing Officer at Best Buy

Frank Crowson spoke with the Association of National Advertisers about the changing retail landscape. Best Buy experimented with curbside pickup as a safer alternative to in-store shopping, and what they found was that customers ultimately want the buying experience to be as easy and convenient as possible. They even found that, in some cases, customers preferred the speed and convenience of curbside pickup over e-commerce.

Now that the range of buying options has grown, customers have the ability to choose the path to purchase that is right for them. In the coming year it will be important for brands to understand the full range of commerce, whether it’s online or in person, and make purchasing as easy and straightforward as possible no matter which option the customer prefers.

3. A New Focus on Inclusivity

“There’s a proliferation of more activities that are now defined as sport. There are more people who want to participate, so we’ve got to empower their voices. That, in turn, requires more innovation and connection with youth and the next generation.” Kalen Thornton, Chief Marketing Officer at Gatorade

The status quo is always being upended, and one of the biggest mistakes a brand can make is to assume that their industry will always remain the same. The changes of the past few years have impacted the CPG industry as well, and Gatorade is an example of a brand that has taken the stance of breaking down barriers and becoming more inclusive to continue expanding its reach.

Kalen Thornton spoke with The Drum about how Gatorade is responding to the changing sports industry and needs of Gen Z consumers. More activities are considered to be sport, and more people are looking to feel included in the athletic landscape. Gatorade is rising to the challenge by expanding its marketing presence into channels it was not present, including Discord, in order to meet their consumers where they are most active. These digital marketing tips are relevant outside of the CPG industry as well, as there are many emerging channels where Gen Z consumers can be found, and identifying the best opportunities for your brand will be key to continued growth in the coming year.

4. Content That Is More International than Ever

“Because of the pandemic, people consumed content from other places at an almost 200% increase. Meaning that if you were in Brazil you were watching content from France, or from the U.S. you were watching content from Turkey. Or if you were in Nigeria you were watching content from Colombia … I think it’s such a beautiful thing to be able to expand your world or understanding or knowledge of places based on content.” Bozoma Saint John, Global Chief Marketing Officer at Netflix

Consumer preferences are changing. People are spending more time watching video, and the variety of content being watched is more international than ever. Bozoma Saint John spoke with Stanford GSB’s podcast, View From The Top, about how people are viewing more Netflix content from countries other than their own. Consumers are finding content from other cultures that resonates with them, and geography is no longer a barrier when it comes to entertainment becoming cultural cornerstones. This is very apparent in the media industry with the increased popularity of international television, however, this is also applicable to other forms of content as well. Anything that goes on the Internet can find a global audience.

It will be important for marketers to consider the international impact of their content. In doing so, there will be an opportunity to reach a substantially larger audience, as viewers from multiple markets are paying attention and looking to expand their worldview.

These four quotes about prioritizing comfort, convenience, inclusivity, and international community will continue to resonate with audiences in the years to come. For more expert insights into how global industries are growing, check out Dash Hudson’s global digital insights reports.

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