by David Lawrence on November 18, 2020 | Rocket News

For much of 2020 I was working on the assumption that 2021 was in many ways going to be very similar to the previous eight months. Large sections of the economy being heavily restricted. States shut-off from each other. Australia locked away from the rest of the world. Flare-ups triggering changed restrictions and even more potential lockdowns. Consumer and business confidence continuing to be shaken.

A few things have happened in the past month or so to change my thinking. At Rocket, we’re planning for a very different 2021. We see Australian businesses getting moving again to reclaim lost revenue and put into action the positive plans they had for 2020 before everything got turned upside down.

So, at the risk of getting things horribly wrong, here are 5 things getting me very excited for the coming year.

  1. Health Minister Greg Hunt has announced we are on track to start the rollout of a vaccine in March next year. Australia has secured 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine which is reporting a 90% effectiveness rate in late-stage clinical trials (but needs more data to confirm it's safe). Australia also has agreements with other vaccine programs. This could be a total game-changer if things go according to plan. It may allow Australia to selectively start opening its international borders for tourism, business and international students.

  2. Large employers like NAB are directing staff to return to work over the coming weeks. Many smaller employers have already started this move. At Rocket, we’ve got the team back in the office two days a week and will increase this to three early next year. This will have a substantial and positive impact on the small and large businesses that rely on workers for their livelihoods. This injection into the economy in all cities of Australia will have a flow-on effect. Working together also increases collaboration and creativity and could also see an increase in efforts to grow businesses and recover from 2020.

  3. Consumer confidence is at a seven-year high. The Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment survey is now tracking 13 per cent above where it was for the six months prior to the pandemic hitting in March. This is an unexpected but very welcome development as Australians are likely to spend more during Christmas and moving forward

  4. The National Cabinet has announced a plan to reopen domestic borders by Christmas. In addition to the obvious boost to the economy in terms of travel, this will have a big impact on business in general and the ability for national activities such as sport and events to get back to some kind of normal. In addition, the recent NSW Budget will inject significant funds into the NSW economy to get things moving across a broad range of sectors.
  5. As an agency, we’ve been very busy. The past three months have been amongst the busiest we’ve had in terms of bringing on board new clients (even including pre-COVID times). As a marketing agency we’re often a leading indicator of bad economic times i.e. we see marketing budgets reduced before larger issues appear in the wider economy. In this case, I’m hoping we’re a leading indicator of business getting moving again for a bigger 2021.

What has this got to do with marketing?

Rocket’s approach to recessions (and other negative events) is that they represent a rare opportunity to grab market share at the expense of competitors less willing or able to aggressively fund their sales and marketing functions.

Equally important though, is understanding how your prospects and competitors are likely to be behaving in the future. If, as I am suggesting, opportunities for growth and increased spending are just around the corner then business owners, CEOs, CMOs and anyone else interested in increasing revenue needs to be preparing for what this will look like for them.

Ramping up sales and marketing takes time and none of us operate in a vacuum. Will a “wait and see” strategy work if one or more of your competitors are already gearing up for a major marketing blitz to start the new year? 

So before you take your foot off the pedal for a well-deserved rest from what has been a crazy 2020, you need to ask yourself - what exactly you will be coming back to face in 2021?

Next steps

We love talking marketing with business owners and marketers all around Australia. If you’d like to have a chat about what we’re seeing in your industry, and how this translates to marketing opportunities for you, then get in touch. You can let us know you’re interested here or by calling 1300 059 620.

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