What next? Adweek’s outlook 2021 for media, marketing and technology


At the start of a new year, a time of unprecedented change in media, marketing and technology has left the industry with burning questions: When is a recovery forecast and what factors will affect the schedule? When all is said and done, which industries will see the most radical changes? And how are marketers, publishers and brands preparing for a new normal? Our editors are breaking down where we were before the pandemic, where we are right now, and most importantly, where we are going.

Brand Marketing Outlook: Brands went into 2020 with the consumer focus – creating more personalized experiences for them, giving them a variety of ways to access their brand, and advocating for causes and issues they believe in. The events of 2020 did not change these priorities, but made them more important. … Click here to read more from Brand Marketing Editor Diana Pearl.

Media outlook: Last year started with publishers in a dilemma about how to keep their programmatic advertising business going beyond 2022 when Google stopped supporting third-party cookies on its Chrome browser. After a turbulent year, the question now arises of how publishers will remain agile, especially since they are grappling with the same situation that they have had since March last year, namely how they can forecast in a time of uncertainty. … Click here to read more from media editor Lucinda Southern.

Convergent TV outlook: In early 2020, the television industry focused on introducing new streaming services to keep up with Netflix while preventing audiences from giving up linear television. A year later, Covid-19 changed everything. At the same time, nothing has really changed. … click here to read more from TV editor Jason Lynch.

Programmatic outlook: Covid-19 had an impact on programmatic advertising, but the shock, while immediate, was relatively brief, as programmatic lends itself well to rejuvenating marketers’ confidence. Meanwhile, battles between some of the iconic Silicon Valley names, including Apple and Google, will determine the fate of countless ad tech companies whose data practices are increasingly the subject of government control around the world. … Click here to read more from the programmatic editor Ronan Shields.

Creativity Outlook: The Covid-19 pandemic brought global ad production to a standstill, forcing the marketing triumvirate of agencies, customers, and manufacturing to rewrite all the rules for producing work. Now that the advertising industry is looking to a post-pandemic future, the question is not whether something has changed. The question is whether everything has changed. … Click here to read more from creative and innovation editor David Griner.

Agencies outlook: While we’re charging through 2021 there’s no sense of what would be called “quiet” but the agencies have a better view of where to go after the events of 2020. The stores figured out how to get lean. You have a new meaning. And new opportunities, especially in e-commerce, offer green shoots amid the ashes. … Click here to read more from agency editor Doug Zanger.

We also asked our readers and community members– from young professionals to experienced C-suitors – to share what they see in a year that is second to none. … Click here to learn more about the Adweek community.

A new year offers the opportunity to reset. In this digital series, Adweek examined the changes in 2021 and answered a few other burning questions:

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