Digital Marketing 2021 Survey: How COVID-19 Has Influenced Companies’ Strategies

Mapp, the international provider of insight-led customer engagement, has conducted a market survey to identify marketing priorities and industry trends for 2021. Due to the challenging times caused by COVID-19, the key focus is on changes to marketing strategies, the latest trends, planned investments, the impact on eCommerce, and data management. 1,000 companies in the UK, Germany, and Italy took part in the survey.

Unless stated, the findings below relate to UK respondents only.


Marketers focus on website personalisation

Demand in 2020 increased sharply: 45% of eCommerce companies surveyed increased their online sales. A third of the respondents already provide a personalised experience on their website, with a further 13% reporting they are looking to do so in 2021. Currently, only a quarter report the use of dynamic content on their website, but over half are planning to introduce it in 2021.

Although 65% report they have accelerated investment in digital and technology innovation due to the pandemic, 43% still do not have an app and of those that do, only 5% have one that does everything their website can do.


Data management continues to be a challenge

Unlocking the power of their own data is one of the major challenges marketers face right now. The survey revealed that almost one third of businesses do not currently use a data management platform (DMP) to improve targeting and optimise advertising spend and 63% of businesses struggle with unconnected data sets, providing them with only a partial view of customer behavior. At the same time, three quarters of respondents said they can identify less than 20% of customers who visit their website and 38% can only identify less than 10%.


Investments in customer engagement prove successful

Those who use a customer engagement platform report very high levels of satisfaction, with 67% rating their customer engagement vendor 4 or 5 out of 5 during the pandemic.

These platforms help marketers manage the customer journey in a data-driven way. Here, everything revolves around obtaining a 360-degree view of each individual contact across all channels and activating them in a targeted manner. Through central contact profiles, important information such as socio-demographic characteristics, interactions, and transactions can be bundled and used for targeted personalisation.


Ricardas Montvila, Global Strategy Director, at Mapp comments: “COVID-19 has massively accelerated eCommerce and digital business models. Our market survey shows that 65% of UK eCommerce companies have increased their investment in digital and technology innovation as a result of the pandemic. However, the results also show that the full potential of personalisation is far from being realized. In the future, customer intelligence and marketing analytics will become critical in providing even more precise real-time customer insights to optimally use existing budgets in a changed market environment and to score points with the end customer through customised content.”


About the Survey

A total of 1,000 participants from the agency, retail, finance/insurance, media & publishing, telecommunications, and tourism & leisure sectors were surveyed in February 2021, of which 262 respondents were from the UK. A summary of the results in the UK market can be viewed in this infographic:


About Mapp

Marketers and data specialists should be able to focus on what will make a difference for their business, instead of spending all their time taming the technology behind it. With the insight-led customer engagement platform Mapp Cloud, they can focus on what really counts – and the exciting insights that come with it. Thanks to customer intelligence and marketing analytics, companies can easily and effectively gain data-driven customer insights across all channels in order to trigger highly personalised marketing activities. Customers benefit from AI-supported forecasting models that enable targeted and self-optimising cross-channel campaigns. Automated messages are sent via the most suitable marketing channel, at the right time, with the optimal contact frequency. Thanks to advanced one-to-one personalization, the highest levels of engagement and long-term customer loyalty are achieved.

Mapp has global offices in seven countries. Mapp’s digital marketing platform helps more than 3,000 companies break away from the pack by uncovering missed opportunities, including Argos, Ella’s Kitchen, Expert, Freesat, Lloyds Banking Group, MyToys, Pepsico, Quint and The Entertainer.