2021 in Review: Digital Marketing Highlights
If we end up posting our 2021-year-in-review blog in 2022, then we’ll blame it on supply chain issues. *wink.
Let’s recap though because sometimes it gives us a little perspective into what. just. happened. From election unrest, to vaccines, to the Suez Canal, to the real MVP Suez Canal memes, to learning more about the Greek alphabet via COVID-variants than we learned in undergrad on Greek Row, to Britney actually being free (!), to so many “old normal” firsts like in-person school, to Adele and T Swift inspiring us to pull the blinds, break out the kleenex, and ring in Sad Girl Autumn (the ten minute version), it’s been a year. And, we know, it’s not over yet.
Along with all those changes, there have been many digital advertising changes to keep up with as well. Let’s dive in, because we know more about those than we do about pop culture. #nerds.
2021’s Digital Advertising Greatest Hits
#1. It’s Cha-Cha-Changing
We feel like a broken record, but we’ll keep shouting this from the rooftop, digital expectations have changed. There is no going “back to how things were.” We’re moving forward, and the digital buying journey is here to stay. Customers can buy a car in four clicks, and while we don’t minimize how weighty choosing a home for yourself, your belongings, or your loved one is, we also know that consumer expectations are set by billion-dollar companies like Amazon, Netflix, and other companies with serve-up-what-you-want-right-now-style-algorithms.
Three takeaways from this.
- First, you can join them. When your digital advertising is backed by AI and machine learning, you won’t get left behind.
- Second, this applies to how you structure your website, and your SEO strategy, because Google changed their algorithm.
- Third, Google updates, G5 aligns. How did we respond to this? Glad you asked. G5 updated all client websites to improve page performance by:
- Improving image lazy-loading (the top of the page loads first, lower elements load as you scroll down).
- Optimizing images (no large billboard-sized JPGs on your website).
- Compiling assets, and streamlining code (cleaner code = simpler for search engines to crawl).
Not the kind you eat! Google is discontinuing third-party cookies. While they’ve pushed the sunset date for this out a bit, it’ll happen eventually. Consumers demand a more privacy-centric approach to digital marketing, and Google is answering.
Top takeaway from this:
- Even before Google made their cookie-apocalypse announcement, our Smart Digital Advertising relied on first party data. Meaning, Google’s change doesn’t impact your G5 digital marketing. We’ve got you.
Repetitive, admin-esque tasks aren’t how you want your team spending their time. We believe ever so firmly that AI, and machine learning, are capable of taking your digital advertising to places you’ve never even dreamed of.
Our top takeaway:
- This isn’t something that you can DIY, so work with a MarTech provider who can back your digital advertising with smart technology that optimizes your advertising spend, and connects you with decision-ready prospects.
Remember how review websites put your businesses’ reputation in the hands of internet-megaphone-wielding-consumers? In much the same way, creating a more privacy-centric digital experience puts not only consumer data, but a sense of ownership or independence, back in customers’ hands. We alluded to this before, but we’ll be blunt: consumers want a more privacy-centric digital experience. As a result, Apple’s iOS 14.5 update now includes App Tracking Transparency (ATT), which lets users opt-out of being tracked when using an app like Facebook.
What does this mean for marketers? Well first, we know that changes to digital advertising can feel scary. But, consider that companies, like Facebook and Google, have vast amounts of rich, first party data, to use in their digital advertising…meaning, yes it’s a change, but is it a change that ruins digital advertising forever? No.
Our top takeaway:
- You can be proactive with this change. How? Simple. Your digital advertising campaign tracking tactics need to be aligned with Facebook’s new Aggregated Event Measurement (FB’s response to ATT). G5 does this (and your marketing provider should, too) in order to ensure client’ campaigns continue to be optimized for the highest performance.
#5. Asking Google “Why?”
Along with more digital advertising transparency, digital consumers also want to know “why” certain results are showing up on their search engine results page. What does this mean? Well, searchers gain a bit more transparency around why certain results showed up in their search queries.
Our top takeaway:
- These additional insights may contribute to an evolution of what terms searchers use moving forward to get the results they’re looking for.
Do the Locomotion Perfect the Motion
Okay, so now that we’re up to speed on digital marketing in general, we want to take a minute to look back on all of the product updates and refinements G5 has made over the past year. As you may know, our mantra this year was “Perfect the Motion” and if you read that to the tune of “Do the Locomotion,” then you’d fit right in at our staff meetings. So go take a dance break and then re-group to read the rest of this. It’ll be good for your circulation, go!
Ya back? Good. So, what do we mean by Perfect the Motion? Glad you asked. At G5, we believe our customers win not if we have the biggest box full of the shiniest marketing toys, because we’ve got those. BUT, if we also make the “toys” (aka marketing technology) just that much better. These little good-to-great nudges make sure that our technology, digital advertising, design, and customer experience, are five star review worthy. We don’t say this to brag, or to boast, but to let you know that we care deeply. Bottom line: our customers’ success is what defines our success.
The other part of perfecting our motion as a part of this year and beyond? Teaming up with RealPage and LeaseLabs. We’re currently gelling as one team, and frankly, we are better and bolder together. We can’t wait to share more about this in 2022 (infinity) and beyond!
Watch this video to learn more about all of the changes we brought to the market, and to our customers in 2021. Thanks for being a bright part of our year, we couldn’t do it without you.