We’re starting a year unlike any other. With the majority of the world having now stayed home for the better part of a year, those who had previously resisted ‘going digital’ have been forced to move online to reach the isolated consumer. This mass shift in behavior has caused new levels of digital acceleration and transformation from both a consumer and business perspective.
As consumer behavior and economic impact remain uncertain, this is a challenging time for brands to plan for the future. We’ve asked our leadership team what they think you should be looking out for in the year ahead and what opportunities there may be.
James Hilton, Founder & Chairman
“The pandemic has vastly changed the digital landscape and created far more digital-first consumers globally. Consumers have now discovered that they can rely on the digital ecosystem for every part of their lives which offers brands new infinite new opportunities to engage and enrich consumers’ lives.”
Kabeer Chaudhary, Managing Director – APAC
“2020 has been a year of great learning and introspection. As the pandemic viciously raged across the globe, people have spent more time on screens than ever before. Technology has been a true hero and a deserving beneficiary of 2020. While sectors such as travel, transport, and retail struggled, it was a disruptive year for eCommerce, education tech, health tech, food delivery, social media, and communication tools. As more people adopted online platforms for their daily needs, targeted and contextual digital advertising became increasingly necessary. For 2021, as the world gradually heals and goes back to a new normal, digital platforms will surely continue to remain a very important part of our daily lives.”
Christian Gladwell, Global CEO
“2020 has been one of the most challenging years in recent history and the shockwaves will be felt across the globe for the next few years. However, there are reasons to feel positive about 2021. The adoption of technology across all sectors of society and the fundamental change in human behavior can now no longer be contested and companies who focus their creativity on that will not just survive but thrive.”
James Shepherd, Managing Director – EMEA
“You can’t overstate what a significant year 2020 has been. The human, societal and financial impact will be felt for years, and when you add Brexit uncertainly to the mix, the UK has a particular set of challenges to deal with in 2021. Focusing more narrowly on our digital world; even when things return to normal, consumer behaviour may well have changed irreversibly. To meet this rapid shift in consumer behaviour, traditional businesses must change. Evolving digitally, something many organisations were labouring, is now something they need to accelerate by necessity.”
Guillaume Lelait, Managing Director – Americas
“2020 has been a year like no other. A time for advertisers to really scrutinize their goals, performance metrics, and budgets. Many people are staying home, by choice or requirement, and this abrupt change is reflected in the rise of eCommerce, Connected TV, and Social Media.
2021 will bring a fresh set of challenges starting with new user privacy protections that will impact dramatically ad targeting. In a cookieless and post-pandemic world, we will have to build new probabilistic models, innovate by bringing back a human element to campaigns and increase our actions on social issues.”