The marketing industry keeps growing as the years go by. According to us, new trends in marketing analytics for 2021 shall be watched closely as they represent great opportunities. We prepared a list of five significant marketing analytics trends you should pay attention to.

To carry through the years and challenges to come, marketers must adapt to their quick evolving environment with new strategies. However, a lot of these marketing strategies and trends aren’t necessarily new. Still, these marketing analytics trends are evolving in unique ways that will impact your actions in the future. And there are great opportunities from analytics and AI to data quality, privacy, and security.

Structure of the article:

  1. Data Mania
  2. Agile Marketing
  3. Realistic AI Application
  4. Channel Explosions & Bubbles
  5. Martech’s Complexity

Data Mania

When we look ahead to 2021, there are outstanding questions for marketers and consumers about the “data madness”. The evolution of these two groups will separate from one another, creating new opportunities for marketers.

On the one hand, we will increase data significance, enabling marketers to address and tailor it to people. On the other hand, we foresee that the ongoing discussions about privacy will become an entirely new issue with the upcoming regulatory changes (ePrivacy et al.) and the technical limitations of third-party cookie rules.

Data Mania

3 key reasons to collect data for marketing purposes

1. People-based Marketing

Nearly 90 % of online advertisers are expected to implement personalized marketing in some form or another, as predicts Gartner. Such personalization can only be achieved with condensed data from the people themselves. 

2. Customer Data Platforms (CDP)

“The CDP explosion”, as Forbes calls it. Massive software vendors such as Adobe, SAP, or Oracle have entered this field where their solutions will be promoted quickly. These solutions will allow marketers to collect personalized data more efficiently.

3. User Experience

User experience is the key, and it will remain a fundamental aspect of any marketing strategy implemented. Thanks to the push of Google into Core Web Vitals we can see its significance again. Personalization and relevancy are online advertising trends to watch out for; bringing them to a higher level will be a big push forward in the marketing industry.

should you collect data?

3 Reasons not to Collect Data 

1. Consent and Preference Management

Marketers have to put continuous efforts into consent management, especially in topics such as customer data ethics. The GDPR has become more and more active as data privacy has become a real issue in today’s digital world, altogether with the emergence of ePrivacy law. Companies have to make that extra step to respect their customers’ data privacy and keep their practices ethical.

2. Promotion of Data Ethics

We can expect many brands to promote an altogether “ethical/non-anonymized” data processing, which might become a trend. SmartHQ revealed that “86% of consumers say they are concerned about their data privacy”. (note: when you are a customer of nexoya, all our AI models run without your end-customers’ personalized data. This was an important decision for us from the start).

3. Adblocking

Adblocking is and will remain an issue for marketers worldwide. And this trend is believed to grow from now 25% to 27% in 2021, according to emarketeer.

We have been through the positive aspects of data collection and how it could also become an obstacle for companies. Whether you follow these trends or not, we believe it will still be imperative that you think about your “Marketing Data Strategy.” But when appropriately integrated, data can accelerate many business strategies by improving the processes and empowering the people needed to execute them. 

These are some questions you should consider when entering this new year:

  • How do you want to position your company considering data ethics and privacy?
  • What do you want to collect, and where?
  • What data do you need, and when?
  • How do you collect the data?

Agile Marketing

The days of fixed yearly marketing budgets and plans are over – with the fast-changing channel variations and heavy competition, we can’t just aim for one shot in the year and then execute. 

Marketers need to start becoming iterative, agile, and more dynamic to answer the market conditions and especially confront their competition. 

Agile Marketing Approach within your team

Continuous optimization with an agile marketing management approach will be something to look into in 2021. Here are three things you need to know to succeed in implementing agile marketing:

1. Plan, manage, and optimize channels will become more and more “agile”. Marketers need to start working in an agile mode, where KPIs get challenged continuously, updated, and aligned.

2. Continuous optimization is critical – or how Neil Patel says, “There will be no more silver bullets, we will all have to optimize for marginal gains”. 

3. Move from always-on and flight campaigns to “waves”: we see an increasing number of customers challenging their strict always-on or flight based setup. It is recommended to use a “wave” approach, where campaign waves are running one or two quarters. These campaigns contain a couple of flights but a general messaging throughout the storyline. (source: interview with hundred of marketers, nexoya)

Before starting your agile marketing in 2021, you might want to ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Can I manage my team in a more agile way, and how?
  • Am I able to bring my budgets into the new way of working format?
  • Is it possible to make my agencies’ management more flexible?
  • How can I add transparency into work processes?
realistic applications of AI in a company

Realistic AI applications – from prediction to prescription & automation

Businesses have changed a lot with time, and they will continue, especially with the new marketing analytics trends. Nowadays, companies rely a lot on reporting, accuracy, and processing large volumes of data to make decisions. With this efficiency, a business is now able to implement machine learning, for instance. Adaptive intelligence, chatbots, automation helps to facilitate processes.

Whereas in the last two or three years, there was a general buzz of “AI and Marketing will change everything,” – we believe that 2021 will be the year of full application of AI in the broader sense. We already have AI applied in many aspects of marketing, from content generation to search and others – but we believe that in 2021 we will see a push away from prediction & prescription into automation.

AI from prediction to prescription – Applications for Marketing 

AI has already been implemented by 37% of organizations already – a 270% increase over the last four years. We foresee that marketers will not just get “predictions” of specific topics, but clear advice then can execute. Automation is the keyword in this, combined with AI, which will give a massive push in productivity for marketers! Combining automation and AI results in an intelligence process automation tool (IPA). This tool is incredibly powerful because it has the speed, efficiency, time-savings, scaling ability of automation, and the insights, flexibility, and processing power of artificial intelligence.

If you want to implement AI and automation in your marketing efforts, here are questions you need to ask yourself for 2021:

  • What can I automate with AI?
  • How can AI increase my ROAS in a short time?
AI applications in Marketing

Channel explosions & bubbles

Over this last year, we have witnessed a big crisis around Tik Tok, which was banned from several countries, which will undoubtedly continue over 2021. But it is not the only channel which rose rapidly, and that goes its footstep into our marketers’ doors. For instance, the chatbot is now a constant companion on the web, especially in customer relationship management (CRM).

We expect to see four channel trends emerge:

1. Live marketing

Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, and now also Linkedin are pushing live marketing “stories”. We can’t help but notice that these platforms keep on adapting their strategy to their competitors’. The market share of these platforms, especially in younger populations, can’t be ignored – we foresee that this will remain very relevant channels. But the question is, will something new come up in 2021? 

2. The “Zuckerberg Cluster”

The “Zuckerberg Cluster” refers to Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, and Bubble. The total amount of monthly active users (MAU) of all these platforms is 6.9 Billion (without counting the duplicates), making it the most connected cluster overall. What will happen when the US court pushes a split? It will become quite interesting; we believe there is a massive potential for change there for 2021.

3. Chatbots

After a hype and the first “consolidation” Chatbot push, we foresee that finally, chatbots will be used more regularly. Gartner projects that chatbots will power 85% of customer service interactions already by the end of 2020 in some sort. 

4. Visual Search

Visual search uses images such as screenshots, internet images, or photographs for online searches. It usually uses AI to understand these images’ content and context and provide the end-user with a related result.

Pinterest, Google, and Amazon are the main visual search engines today. Microsoft has also developed impressive computer vision capabilities for its Bing search engine. Especially for e-commerce, we see visual search and VR activities as a potential new trend evolving!

Here are questions you need to ask yourself for 2021:

  • Are there channels I want to try out in 2021?
  • How can we stay “fast-reactive” if these channels & platforms change so fast?
what digital channels do you want to try out with your brand ?

Technology adds more complexity, not less

With the growing amount of channels comes the ever-increasing Martech stack. Especially in the ad management region, we foresee that marketers will need more tools to manage complexity.

1. MarTech complexity

The martech complexity grows almost as exponentially as COVID-19 – we foresee that this will continue, and due to the complexity of the field, it will remain for a while. 

2. Structured internet

With elements like Schema 8 and the new JSON-LD activities which google is driving, we see the potential future in a more structured internet. All websites, content, or elements on the web should be structured to be picked up by other sources – is it SEO or also press related. Necessary change for all content marketers.


The new marketing analytics trends for 2021 will make an exciting year with data, agility, and AI applications combined with channels’ changes. The COVID-19 pandemic will make the year even more challenging but full of new opportunities, as digital marketing will be in demand, and people will search and purchase more online.

Learn more about ethics in AI or download our free ebook and learn the fundamentals of data-drivenness with 17 marketing KPIs!