Marketing Trends – 2021

Things gonna be al right , If love is around you, We have seen the devastating 2020 , So no further talk on damage has been done , I want start 2021 with an optimistic approach , positivity and wish everyone this year brings love , peace and wealth . So here are few Marketing Approaches i anticipate

Branded content

So here we go with the first 2021 approach , Brand Content ,  Have you seen Apple WORK FROM HOME ADVERT? A best example to explain Branded Content is Apple , created ad Work From Home , Presenting how entire ranging helping their consumer meeting new challenges of work from home and unpredictable timelines . So the strategy is to involve brand to collaborate with a content to show functionality or Creating a Brand Centric Communication  to present its usage practicalities .and Another innovating one is Estee lauder replicating famous online games and making their product as centre piece of game and challenges to increase interactivity and result was highest level of engagement  


Where this be related to a cause or movement , Brand activism took the spot light in 2020 and set to continue in 2021 . Brands are signing petition , An Icecream brand of Australia created the  movement against pollution free Australia for the generation to come and managed to involve the influx . TOMS is the ever green example A Project done by me During #Likho Kashmir in collaboration with team Sandpaper is the movement of breaking the silence on internet and involving every individual who cares show their contribution 



Since the pandemic has changed preceptive , Consumer seeks authentic endorsement  & product  practicality more seriously. Brands has found the approach of Creating User experience as content has become a useful piece to bring relevance. UGC content smartly feeded to address user experience , customization and brand authenticity . 2021 we will see this trend getting more serious approaches in Pakistani Brands marketing mix 


Social Commerce refer to our social account shop front , shoppable post and many other eccomerce strategies where user dont have to switch the interfaces and defining the right meaning See now buy Now , This changes of staying in the same interface will grow further to a next level in 2021.

google core web vitals

We all going to witness the revolution in User Experience (UX) in design, In Mid 2020 google has announced a new algorithm to ranking up the website , as name reflects Core web vital this includes the following parameters 1) load time2 ) Interactivity  3) Visual stability 

Renovate, not just decorate.

Not to overlook some post pandemic Consumer Behavior in 2021

Loyalty Will Spike up

There is Surely a shift in the Consumer Behavior based , Consumer observed during pandamic how brands showed their concerns this leads to Spike up in the brand shows the true meaning of protecting their customer as customer centric approach and the sentiments goes both ways – B2C & C2B ,  Smart players has created the lasting impact enchasing how they care for the customers. I consider as good example of the cost effective media spend , with smart deals considering media business on down fall , Many fashion brands made CSR as a lead campaign . Unfortunately many kept quit due to constrains or some just watching the market to react. But for sure brands created impact in pandemic has made their pathway easier to stay on top in 2021.

Pro n Cons of Marketing Automation

Companies were hit hard during Covid and the impact has given us all the new normal , means brands are becoming Digital Savvy that leads to A considerable growth in induction of Marketing Automation Software , Companies like Hubspot , ZOHO , Marketo all big names and so many other has heated up the platform war , which directing companies are getting serious toward Marco /micro level of automation , The cost of every lead is important the analytical part will be done as a one stop solution 
Unfortunately this will reduce the human resource requirement in 2021 , but Great for those  who have the skills in optimization of contents as there will be time where multi dimension content will be seen on different social platform in Pakistan , 
2021 we will anticipate , Pakistani Market Majorly will Understand the Different of content consumption for  Instagram and Facebook 

First Step to Personalization is Localization

We been hearing Customer Centric approach and Personalize marketing , Brands Head Quarters are understanding this even better and giving access to local authorities to make decision this lead to better understanding of Customer Pain points , Better communication approach , smaller communities , In 2021 We are optimistic to see targeting  diversity of physiographic in geographic 
Few good ones are from Foodpanda ,  If this point is popping in mind while reading this has been done from ages by FMCG Giants. So i excuse and say these were are adaptation following by media hammering

"ways to embrace 2021 with digital strategies"

Instagram is the perfect platform to bring your brand’s story to life. Some of the most popular Insta-brands have become masters at visual storytelling and capturing the “perfect” shot.

These are the most engaging content types of images and videos fashion brands should include in their content mix:

Content strategies for 2021

1) Brand Mission .

As Simon Sinek rightly explained , People in the organization knows what to do , even know how to do , But rarely knows WHY to do , That WHY makes the brand shine out , A biggest example is Apple , challenging the status quo , Some other great brands like H&M talks about Sustainable fashion , Marine Layer introduced the Re Spun campaign as core brand mission ,  Remember we are now mainly targeting Millennials and Gen z with our content , the generation who preferred brand with the values 

2) Product Feature.

A rational approach has its value , Digital platform are the approach to present the product in the stylized way , When it comes to brand value , its equally imperative to add product value

3) Life Style Content

When its come to effective approach to connect well with your audience LS content are the key , showing authenticity if you are mass market brand , give your story telling some inspirations and let the rest  be hit to the audience subconscious 

4) UGC

 Ever wonder why Most Top notch brands of Pakistan has different grid in instagram then International brands , I believe we missed out the core existence of Instagram and satisfied making similar content for all social channels , Where its not most successfully international brands create the mix of content strategy and the their prefered one is UGC content its Content from User for User  


Brand having hi social bond with audience its a treat for them to anticipate what master piece is coming , or other way around of what fun , hard work a brand has put in making a piece of content for you.

Marketing Strategies During Pandemic

While one might think that marketing in the time of COIVD-19 seems like a bad idea, one might want to consider the quote, “In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.”
its doesnt look like Selling it should be more like Solving

Your customer want to hear from you , Dont do a Blackout

get started with innovation

Customer Centric Marketing will play a key role as a collaboration between your marketing strategies and customer pain points
The first step you start the innovation is understanding the  to do process of your customers , getting idea how customers are searching , The Job to be done theory states customers are never looking for a product , they are looking for the solution
For example you are an event planner and continued to felt down in the coming month , you probably need to have a word with your most close associated customer and you may find the the company is not skilled in virtual communication , may leads you to an idea of collaborating with tech savvies and skilled your team with virtual events
2021 looks promising in the aspect of opportunities , keep an eye on market expansion or diversfied ways of expansions

Offer Reasons to Purchase

Give your customers reasons to buy things from you , make the deals , convert the value into plastic money offer them gift card .Remember you in such time dont try sell try offer a solution


your communication strategy needs an overhaul

As people’s priorities and schedules change, the previous communication strategy you had in action may not be right. it would be wise to make a survey on what your customers react or try to be reactive in your communication approach
 It would be wise to rethink the newsletters  or get the feedbacks from the forums you are sending out, the content you are creating, and the general approach you have towards your customers.


This could mean redoing your content calendar altogether or maybe putting some blog posts on the backburner while you focus more on articles that cater to doubts, fears, and questions related to the current situation.
One way to do this is to send out an email survey with questions about their current priorities, pain points, and desires. Make them easy to answer (multiple choice or choose a point on a scale), but keep some questions open-ended because this way you might discover a few golden nuggets of information about your customers.

Look for a long run

You are here to create your mark and make a lasting impression, Its a good time to blend your social responsibilities with approaching new customer , what is the big idea , if  i am not playing sports i am probably watching Esports. Likewise if i am not getting enough education involve me with brand like a perfect example of Converse internship plan.

your content is the answer to all the customer questions

Just as you assessed your marketing campaigns, do a quick audit of your content. Make sure that what’s out there is appropriate for the times — especially what’s featured on your blog homepage or website.
Then, think about what kinds of content would be useful to your customers now, and if you have anything relevant you can update and re-release. There are some common threads running through the reactions to the COVID-19

Collaborations can be a Smart idea

Mostly every brand is facing the budget constrains , find your win win situation with brand relevant to your brand profile and audience , you have seen such great example of brands collaboration with Banks ” Buy now pay later”
Like collaborate with Cross function brands if you are sophisticated and offer clothing then collaborate with Gillette “The Best your consumer can get”
Share your customer you care , give them something tangible to  you are doing . Weather its a functional deal or its a low heart emotional communication dont do the blackout .
Like The case of Nike encouraging audience or like Hawaii tourist telling people we miss you and we will be back soon


The Strategies makes everyone talking about the brand 

NIKE . H&M . TOMS . CONVERSE . UNDER ARMOUR . Victoria secret


Case Study of Nike using Story telling and building campaign based on Polarized issue

Using colin kapernick (Athlete)  a controversial NFL celebrity in the ad campaign “Believe in something , even it mean sacrificing everything” Kneeling down to the anthem spiked and spited the opinion , Triggers Emotional Marketing Nike did their homework before employing such a controversial individual. They discovered that the majority of their consumers were liberal millennials who would likely be on the same page as Colin Kaepernick.

Since Colin Kaepernick is an athlete and therefore eligible to be a spokesperson for their brand, they took asked Colin Kaepernick to be a spokesperson for their brand. his campaign stayed on the core value of Nike brand Just Do it and further ignited the content toward supports or protester but in both cases Nike win the millage . Followed by Donald trump uses the same campaign of creating polarization and spend low against Hillary Clinton and got maximum mileage.
This campaign created an strong emotional bound and higher Social media engagement , followed by 9% of sales growth.

Conscious targeting and Inclusive advertising

H&M is all about great quality cloths at the affordable price , they target the geographic culture effectively and adding inclusive advertisement for disability marketing
H&M every year collaborate with the Known designs to create affordable luxury
With the presence of 3900 stores their focus is to choose and create the content with research on the culture and geographic demands.
H&M Conscious : the fast fashion products made from recycled materials
From the Big Idea came from Stockholm Headquarter to Smartly done by regional marketing team ,  Is great examples of inclusive approach of advertising and smart ways to gain emotional association and connection with the audience 
Close the Loop : the most effective campaign mentioning
 their main star was Mariah Idrissi, a 23-year-old Londoner, who donned a hijab for the video – the first for H&M.
A series of campaigns runs based psychographic  , culture values , disabilities, age , gender norms A bold statement “There are no rules in fashion except one” Recycle your cloths
this gives a new preceptive sustainability, Winning respect , stayed fashionable

A brilliant case of creating social marketing strategy

If you can make the genuine  effort to make the people life good , The brand awareness will react its peak
A 300+ Million dollar company , in Just 9 Years give away 45 million of Pair and equally won the heart of the rest  with his authentic charity shown how a brand can change life
TOM made themselves more than a shoes , fashion or coffee company , They converted them as a movement and Millions to follow their steps by Care and Concern .  Some great campaigns made the brand stand a part from other and created Huge Word of Mouth
A TOM they did the encourage people to stand for a case on the following campaigns
  • A day without shoe (Followed by event where 250k plus people participated with a shoe , Also slacktivism of take a picture a day without shoes
  • I did something for Someone (The campaign trigger buy a pair and a pair will be donated)
  • In our backyard : The campaign with donating shoes in American for buying and donating
  • Ticket to Give : the influencer giving away the tickets to its community

RENT A RUNWAY" Love , Wear and Return"

The concept of not buying the luxury good but renting it

The idea for the company came from a conversation that co-founder Jennifer Hyman had with her sister, Becky. Becky had spent a bomb on a dress for a wedding she was only attending and buying only they dont want to be photographed
With this insight, Hyman and Fleiss approached bigger luxury brands to seek a collaboration. Crazily enough, they managed to gain an audience with Diane von Furstenberg who gave them valuable insights and contacts.

Rent the Runway leverages on word-of-mouth by encouraging customers to share photos of their outfits.

Take away : Understanding your customer Need and solving their problem , leveraging things by incentivize other with the referral program , Building Social currency by creating User generated Content

it takes conviction to clarify what your brand is not

Mashable’s 2011 interview with Converse’s Chief Marketing Officer Geoff Cottrill is an incredible source of wisdom. Here are some of his best points: “Our philosophy in social media has been to bring our voice to the medium, which includes acting like a good party guest — we bring something to the table, and we listen more than we talk.”

“We think that the fans of any brand want to know about product and like offers too, but they also want to have an emotional connection -– we’re trying to be a good host for that connection.”

  • “The bottom line is that in social media you have to “let go.” Forget about the old methods of one-way communication. Social media isn’t even a two-way conversation –- it’s more complicated than that.”
  • “The key is to know yourself as a brand, be confident in your POV and act that way wherever you are.”
A great example of building a brand Persona , Making a bold statement gets your adoring audience but resonate with their personalities is equally valuable . Brand Converted its Bold statement into a promised and framed its audience , By Standing by your statement and delievering them created a strong bond in your audience

It takes conviction to clarify what your brand is not.

The brand stands for what it means , created a sound recording studio for the people who are converse audience without any perks in return.
“If somebody doesn’t like us saying ‘shoes are boring’, we don’t want their business.” That’s when you move from a frame of neediness to a frame of confidence. And people love well-placed confidence. It feels authentic.

4 ways brand took the leap over addidas and gained second spot

1. Understanding the pain of the customer, created an anti sweat practical clothing
Founder and CEO Kevin Plank Driven by his frustration, he came up with a moisture-wicking compression shirt that remained dry no matter how much you sweat.
He spent $17,000 and ended up with 500 shirts, which he began sending to his former teammates who were currently playing in the NFL.
They loved it
 2. Giving away to the influencers
Kevin Plank smartly leverage his association with the NFL footballs and giving them free samples with the claim this will improve their performance , And yes its works when Brand statement is backed by strong product line. 
3. Demeaning the Shrink it , pink it strategy and communicated the woman the same way communicated the man in a patronized voice
Changing the build perception of Male centric brand image to empowering women ” I will what i want”
A thoughtful approach of creating product line similar to menswear yet tweaking to make them more appealing to them , supported with campaign of equality , freedom and breaking the norms like Shrink it Pink it.
4. The internship program to be a part of Underarmour
In 2011, Under Armour announced a Ultimate Intern Program – where students could apply, go through a series of challenges, and the winners would get to work with them during summer, helping the brand to communicate their values and messages through social media. 
The contest drew more than 10,000 inquiries and over 5,000 applications on Facebook and Twitter.
 But what’s also impressive was how the event helped the company to break through their one million follower-mark.

4 approaches how they capture the heart of the millions

1. VS Angle : The brand ambassador pick up the fledgling model, who are drop dead gorgeous , related and shaping up their career as VS ambassador
The brand is known for launching the careers of many household names in the modelling industry. From Giselle Bundchen to Miranda Kerr, these top models wouldn’t be where they are today without their careers as Victoria’s Secret angels.
Even Kendall Jenner, of Kardashian-Jenner fame, dreamt of becoming a Victoria’s Secret angel.
2. VS Fashion show: The year most anticipated fashion show that people look up to
Months and weeks before the fashion show each year, tons of hype is generated surrounding the event from both the models and fans expressing their eager anticipation for the event.
The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is not like any typical fashion show.
3. In store shopping experience : giving attention to details , comfort and well trained staff to compliment the shopping experience
Victoria’s Secret stores are furnished in a welcoming and plush Victorian style, with lots of pink and black.
4.VS Adaptive approach : smart approach toward the strategic location and planning a head of its time
International expansion is no easy task and intensive research is required to understand local culture and norms before the decision to expand is made. For products, such as lingerie, that could be deemed as too provocative in conservative countries, a tailored approach to easing the brand into the market must be adopted, in order to avoid negative publicity for the brand.

EQ - Emotional intelligence

                                                       Understanding Key points on EQ – MKP

When you change the way to at the things , The Things you look at change

In simple way ,EQ, refers to a person’s ability to understand and manage the emotions of themselves and others

it’s the ability to not just solve problems, but understand and connect with the reasons why those problems are occurring and how they impact other people. It’s the ability to care. Rather than getting stuff done, people (and therefore businesses) with high emotional intelligence get stuff done in a way that works best for those they are working for.
        Every Negative Incident has a positive intend 


Its more than tackling emotional response , Its a belief and Behaviour about the Brand Culture , And perks comes with this
Improves Social Listening of your customers : Ignoring customers Point of view is missing the effective way forward strategy , Even this goes further for listen your competitor reviews to learn and geared the strategy.
Learn from Mistakes :  Not necessarily every move pays off as expected , That why Analytics with EQ goes hand in hand to understand to creative effective ROI Strategies , 

In  Researched done by C level (CEO , CFO ,CMO'S) the got hired because of their skills and IQ but later got fired due to lacks in emotional intelligence

How Our Brain Works
Three layers of Brain
1)  Reptilian brain = Survival brain ( That triggers the sense of fear , alertness to danger )
2)  Limbic Brain = Emotional brain  the mid layer – relate to emotion like happiness sadness love being acknowledged 
3) Neocortex = thinking brain the top layer , related to all analytical activities where both EQ and IQ exist 
Note: if reptilian brain is triggers an action its shutdown the other two layer of brains , which is also known as amygdala hijack


     Brand Strategy for designers by MKP

Designers are not just the communicators , they are empathsizer who add value to the communication 

Empathy in communication

  • To make Empathy in communication:  Designer need to adapt modern demographics , which triggers emotion 3 steps 1) Research 2) Immersion (like mentally involving in something) 3) De attachment , removing yourself from immersion and giving your perspective to it.
  • Emotional & Rational : in this tag of war emotion win , so designer design for emotion and add rational as rational copy to give weight to it.

There are 4 things happen when someone sees your design

  1.   Input : does it matter to me  2 . Context : who i am where or not i should care about it  3. Emotional response : how i feel about this 4 . Physical response: what should i do about this
This all happens in split seconds , if you pass through process above , then there are 3 types of response 
  1. Visceral response ( an instant emotion , like happiness , humor etc), these are usually short term
  2. Behavioral :  this type of response last long , like contentment (state of happiness)
  3. reflective : inspiration , create optimism
  • Human emotions and culture system:  Human emotions are mix of things like joy , sad , fear etc , but these emotions are drive from culture system ( which includes , upbringing , perception , geographic )
  • Emotional roller coaster : every story has happy and sad nodes , as designer need to understand where to start your story 
  • how to know what audience feels : one is to ask them or others judge their behavior
  • Design toolbox : layouts , colors , type etc
  • concept vs art : there are 3 type of responses 1 ) visceral – instant 2) behavioral – what they feel about it 3) reflective is what changes within them after the see the design


Advance Consumer Behaviour by MKP

Driving consumer loyalty means thinking about everything from online to instore, with the perspective of a customer

5 stages of brands hate

  • Cool hate : the most common factor , when your brand fails to connect with your audience and the disconnect leads to its has nothing for me seeks a switch.
  • Simmering Hate: Comparatively a low hate but cause long term damage, its defines as when negative word of mouth triggers for your brand due to substandard performance
  • The Burning Hate : Lemme put it this way The digital world is directly associate with #Metoo , amazon you see is filled fake reviewed to mark the ratings, this is how people react when they find something below or false of their promise and leads to take action against brand
  • Boiling hate : On a lighter note boiling hate is the cousin of burning hate the only different is boiling hate is short term and leads to the brand boycott , brand custodian has to be smartly understand the TG which triggers in their favor
  • Hot hate : 73% of the millennials preferred to buy a sustainable product and like to contribute further, so the hot hate is where people in reaction willing to pay more money to the alternate to show hate or protest against brand

So knowing your consumer is great but knowing how they behave is even better.

The process of buying to satisfy the needs and desire ,  There study can be experimental psychology (Micro reason) and anthropology (Macro reason)

  • enthrology : its the part of anthropology research , where brand research consumer by observing the action on the brands
  • neuro marketing : the process of marketing to understand how brand stimuli or react on seeing the brand
  • Triple bottom line ,:  Financial : Giving profit to the stack holder , Social : Giving advantages to the community 3: Environment : Creating health solutions for the consumers  
Knowing Internal & External Influencers 

Internal Influences on Consumer Behavior

  1. Sensory Marketing : Understanding the raw data based on body sense like touch , smell etc and understanding the consumer react to those
  2. Motivation: the sense of belonging or association with the product
  3. Impression Management: This like self esteem and self concept also drive behaviour
  4. Gender Identity and sex type:  Product or attribute of brand targeting males or female also related to CB
  5. Brand Personality
  6. Lifestyle and value: Lifestyle told us who buys and Physographic told us why consumer buys
  7. Attitude: is based on 3 component 1- Affect : How consumer feels about the brand 2 – Behavior : How consumer will react with the brand 3: Cogination: How consumer preception which he or she believe to be true about the brand e,g, of subarue car ad Head heart and wallet . In most cases brand take opinion on brands aspect rather all together the attitude of brand
  8. Decision making: Understand the brand type or service either they are rational / emotional or impulsive buying and understand decision making and association with the brand  

External Influences on Consumer Behavior


  1. B2B and Family decision making in group : Following are the roles , Initiator : The one who address the need 2 , Gate keeper : the one who keeps the information and float to the group 3 Influencer : The one who shared the preceived info add to decision making 4 , Buyer : who actually buy. 5 User who consume the product
  2. The purchase situation: Retail theater : Improve shopping experience by asthetic , technology “Go to Gemba”
  3. WOM : The most powerful tool , things to encourage WOM are Social media , influencer , ambassador, incentive plan
  4. Subculture and Culture : Sub culture are values and norms within the culture. Where the Culture are sets of Myths( A symbolic stories to differential good and evils) and Rituals
  5. The Fashion system: How ideas spreads : The diffusion on innovation theory

Digital shifts 2020

  • By 2020 85% of the customer service will be done without human involvement
  • The way people see themselves in the world  is shifting which shaped out the way they interact with others and brands is also changing
  • Omni culture identities:  technology has exposed people with different perspectives now people seeks multicultural identity and they are comfortable, either its comes to gender roles, parenting responsibilities . However people are liking to keep their cultural identity yet like to merge into new perspective
  • New negotiations : As technology grow, people expectations with the brand grow, with technology both people and brand will have the control over prices and advantages : Now on the one side people are seeking for better offers from the brands where they are also willing to pay Surge pricing for the convenience, they believe they are willing to pay extra if its worth the time . Like ride hailing in 28% american doesnt have any issue on peak factors, News trends like programmatic buying
  • Next gen-work : Millennial will officially takeover the work force , by 2020 half of the world work force will be millennial , They want clear strategic vision and company where purpose ,objective and meaning fullness  meets their expectations
  • Beyond aging :  Aging is getting obsolete now , people age bar has increase for being perceived as old people , that tech driven things are making people more up to day , healthy and smart living
  • Shopping near or far : People do like to continue with the cultural commerce by on the other side they global minding is also increasing , ,65 M business in facebook has 35% people are from other countries


  • 5G : more fixed 5g connection will be offered with the change of New Normal living
  • Chatsbots will become more efficient
  • Data Process with AI ,: Data will be analyzed better current, By 2019 the current potential of data analysis is  1% which will goes up to 3 to 4 %
  • VR will limit to gaming only
  • IoT : Internet of things : connecting devices will more effective in data gathering, every button will mark the data
  • Cloud based : environment will be more effective
  • CEO to be digitally transformed
  • Youtubes ads are taking over facebook ads
  • Content cluster : like creating segmented pages for the people searching and link it with main page ideally for seo
  • live chat and chat box will rules the new CRM modules
  • voice searches : 20% of the searches has been done through voice searches