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Top 5 Marketing Trends for 2021

Oh, 2020. We are so over you. You've turned masks into the new must-have marketing swag, exploded Zoom's user demographics to include pretty much everyone, and given "long tail" a whole new meaning. Despite the awful fallout from COVID-19, it's been inspirational to see the businesses that have been able to reinvent themselves, pivot opportunistically, and find ways to grow during such a crazy year. We're hoping the resilience we've all earned in 2020 is something that stays with for years to come.

Image of Happy New Year Sign

In addition to happily kicking 2020 to the curb and ringing in a new year, it's that time when everyone reflects on what to do better the next go-around. These are by no means new ideas for us at Wheels Up, but they are guiding principles that we plan to double down on in 2021.

1. Infrastructure is time well spent.

Before we write the first word, tweet the first pic, or design the first webpage, we make sure we have alignment on the competitive landscape, buyer's journey, personas, messaging and positioning, the marketing strategy roadmap, and the KPIs we're driving to. It's the only way to ensure the kind of consistent messaging that advances sales and ensures efficiency of spend.

The big "but" here is that infrastructure investment needs to be right-sized to align with each company's own stage, resource level, and runway. You could easily consume your entire team working on these foundational projects, and we do need to make sure you're producing and executing on all that intel.

2. Just say NO to single-use assets.

Every piece of content you create can be repackaged, redistributed, and reused, and it's worth considering this during the design phase of your process. Check out our 20-point reuse checklist for ideas on how to get as much mileage as possible out of your content investment. You'll not only deliver more impressions and build frequency, but you'll guarantee consistency of messaging. Bonus points - this approach saves tons of money; building new content from scratch is hella expensive.

3. Discoverability is the most important thing.

We're so sad for all the great marketing created in 2020 that no one ever saw because discoverability wasn't considered during the strategy phase. Your beautiful new website is lonely without SEO to drive visitors. Your clever email campaign is stuck in spam folders since the database wasn't vetted first. And that thought leadership piece isn't actually turning you into a thought leader without thousands of influential eyeballs. You're doing the hard work, creating amazing content. Make sure you have a plan for how people are going to see it.

4. There's a time and place for scrappy.

Sometimes it's right to use bubble gum, duck tape, and plain old grit to get a project done. But sometimes it's worth taking twice as long to build it for longevity and scale. Unfortunately, there's no playbook for this – it comes with experience and a pragmatic mindset. Aligning yourself with the company pursestrings (your CFO) and cross functional leadership will make sure that you have enough insight into the high level vision to make the right marketing decisions.

5. Make sales easy.

The best way to make sure that marketing is considered a "must have" and not a cost center that's easy to cut is to tightly align yourself with your sales team. It's such a cliche to find deep divisions and contention between marketing and sales teams, and it's hurting everyone. Let's remember - selling more stuff is the reason we're all here. We'd argue that building strong alliances out of the gates with your sales team is maybe the most important thing an early stage marketing team can do. Not only does the partnership make measuring ROI significantly easier, but they are your secret weapon for gathering first-hand customer intel at scale. Partner with them to test new messaging, collect evidence, and source case studies. Use them to vet your work. No matter how connected you are with your prospects and customers, they know more because they are talking to them all day, every day. And lastly, your marketing efforts need to be aligned with revenue anyway. If you can't show how what you're doing is helping the sales team, you probably shouldn't be doing it.

We certainly hope 2020 had more ups than downs for you. If you have projects you need help tackling, or just need more on-demand marketing bandwidth in 2021, we'd love to chat. Schedule 30 minutes with us today to see if there's anything Wheels Up can do to help.


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