Merkle Forecasts Important Considerations for Marketers in its 2021 Q1 Media Trends Report

Changing consumer needs demand new marketing strategies

COLUMBIA, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Merkle (, a leading technology-enabled, data-driven customer experience management (CXM) company, has released its 2021 Q1 Media Trends report, distilling advertising data, consumer trends, and media statistics for marketers to consider when planning their digital campaigns to ensure success in the quarter ahead.

“The pandemic has drastically shifted consumer behavior, and we expect that many of these behaviors will stick in the recovery period and beyond. Marketers need to be aware of these changes to resonate with the hearts and minds of consumers,” said Erin Spice, senior director of media strategy at Merkle. “Our mission with this report is to review the shifts we have seen and identify areas of opportunity.”

Merkle highlights five areas of focus as marketers enter 2021 including Experiences, Social Commerce, Gaming & Sports, over-the-top (OTT)/connected television (CTV), and Cookieless Future. Key insights from Merkle’s research include:

  • Experiences: Virtual experiences are expected to remain the norm and are thus essential to maintain customer engagement. Brands can continue to innovate through their approach to experiences, as well as look to utilize ad formats geared toward live engagement and apply augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR) formats within social media to keep consumers actively participating virtually.
  • Social Commerce: Consumers will continue to shop via social media platforms with Facebook and Instagram among the top social commerce destinations. To stay ahead, brands can add calls to action to their social posts and expand to other platforms like Snapchat and TikTok to build audiences.
  • Gaming & Sports: Consumers will continue to watch fewer sports and devote more time to gaming. To meet consumers where they are, marketers should consider in-game advertising and creating exclusive content for fans.
  • OTT/CTV: CTV viewing trends will only increase. Marketers should leverage their first-party data to target audiences in this medium. Demographic viewing trends are also important to consider.
  • Cookieless Future: It’s crucial for marketers to understand how their platforms will be affected by the phaseout of third-party cookies. Staying up to date on announcements from Google, understanding implications to retargeting strategies, and having new audience measurement tools in place will help brands transition more seamlessly through this change.

On February 2, 2021, at TIME, Merkle will host a webinar to discuss key insights and trends from the report, plus a review of Q4 2020 digital marketing benchmarks. You can register for the webinar here.

About Merkle

Merkle is a leading data-driven customer experience management company that specializes in the delivery of unique, personalized customer experiences across platforms and devices. For more than 32 years, Fortune 1000 companies and leading nonprofit organizations have partnered with Merkle to maximize the value of their customer portfolios. The company’s heritage in data, technology, and analytics forms the foundation for its unmatched skills in understanding consumer insights that drive hyper-personalized marketing strategies. Its combined strengths in performance media, customer experience, customer relationship management, loyalty, and enterprise marketing technology drive improved marketing results and competitive advantage. With 9,600+ employees, Merkle is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, with 50+ additional offices throughout the US, EMEA, and APAC. Merkle is a dentsu company. For more information, contact Merkle at 1-877-9-Merkle or visit


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