How has Covid Affected Marketing in 2021

2020 was a tough year for everyone. No one in their wildest dreams could have ever imagined that everyone would be locked inside their houses. Just like us, the economy, market, businesses, etc. were also hit. It is famously said that an earthquake isn’t as deadly as its aftershocks. And similar to the aftershocks of an earthquake, the different waves of Covid started to top the charts in terms of the death toll. Everyone was trying their best to analyze the situation. Some people even claimed that the entire situation was a hoax. And well, they were the first to go.

Amongst all the randomness of the event and the panic, initial months literally flew by. In fact, life paused for a while, nothing could be done the way it used to be. Everything changed and the year 2020 cemented its position in the history books. We just saw what no one in the history of mankind ever did. Both in terms of the death toll and market dip. Businesses were shut down abruptly because everyone had to isolate themselves in order to save themselves. Nobody could have predicted what has unfolded in 2020.

However, just like it has always been, humans found a way out. “Every dark cloud has a silver lining” “Only light can remove darkness”. Just like that, we did the right thing, worked together (not literally), and made things as they were (almost). Although we cannot just erase Covid from our memories and get back to doing things as we used to; but we can always learn from this dark time. How our markets dipped and then flourished again. How businesses went down and got back up. We can basically look back at this year and remember how we got through one of the worst pandemics, the world has ever witnessed.

Now, let us discuss how Covid affected the economic sectors and more importantly, how much impact do they have on marketing in 2021.

Almost 74% of marketers have been working from home since March 2020. Everyone shifted to working/learning online in 2020, which has actually turned out to be a huge success. Imagine talking to the CEO of the company you work for, in shorts and slippers. It might not be the way it used to be, but the change was necessary and has somehow cemented its place. Digital working and learning might not have been ideal until 2019, but it is all we have got since and beyond 2020….

Marketing in 2021 has definitely not had the ideal start people thought it would have, but things are not the same as they used to be more than a year ago, and hence, we should take whatever comes to us with open arms. Studies have shown that people claim to be more productive while working from home. Some marketing professionals even claim that their creativity and collaboration in projects have gone up while working from home. This goes to show that the shift to online has been an improvement from how people used to work.

Given that there are no interruptions and disturbances while working… With the increase in creativity, productivity increases; and this is great news for everyone, especially marketing professionals. Marketing in 2021 has not received the start it was expecting, but it has definitely been going in the right direction at an excellent progress rate.

In general, marketing budgets are often the first to be cut when things start to go south. And accordingly, layoffs and furloughs were struck the marketing industry hard when the pandemic went to a global level in March. However, many opportunities have also emerged which made working online easier and more efficient. People have started to rely more on each other as a result of negligible physical contact.

This introduces more trust in the workplace and has supplemented in making online working more fruitful and easier. Marketing has been through a lot lately and these slight elements which are assisting professionals with workplace efficiency are ensuring a better start for marketing in 2021.

Moreover, reduced teams and shared experiences of taking on challenging times together have led people to rely more on each other. Because of this, almost a third of marketers now believe that their managers have greater trust in their abilities and capabilities, as compared to the stats from before Covid. This has led people to believe that the chances of their career advancement have improved significantly. Which is a positive development (overall). Considering the stats, marketing in 2021 should be bliss when compared to that in 2020 and it is safe to say that we are finally reaching the level we were on before Covid hit.

How has communication developed?

With over 95% of the industry working remotely in the pandemic (via phone calls, video chats, etc.). Digital means of communications have become the industry standard benchmark. Over a third of our surveyed marketers claim to attend more meetings than they used to, before the pandemic. Although professionals had worries that not being sat next to each other would hinder quick thinking and effective communication, they have actually found significant benefits in working in a distributed team. Hence, it is safe to say that communication will not be a bottleneck in concern with marketing in 2021.

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Is 2021 the year of freelancers?

Because of the pandemic, everyone has been working remotely for a while now. This has made room for more personal ideas and innovations. Especially because employers and clients have lately been giving out remote-only projects. This means that the industry is becoming more comfortable with remote talent. Hence, 2021 could turn out to be huge for freelancers. Marketing in 2021 could witness a lot of freelance talent.


2020 has surely been a tough year. Everyone had to abandon their workplaces all of a sudden, everything happened overnight. However, we made our way through and adapted to the changes. Although everyone was forced to work from home initially, most people have gotten used to it. Talking statistically, about 58% of marketing professionals are okay with the change and they want the best of both worlds, combining some days in the office and some in the comfort of home.

However, work experience is essential, especially for a field like marketing where people learn from watching others. This might also be a reason why most newcomers are keen on going back to the office. No matter what the situation will be, it is safe to say that marketing in 2021 is definitely going to be different as compared to how it was before Covid. Some necessary changes were made along the way, new habits were developed, new limits were reached, and new projects were completed in a way no one had expected. However, everything turned out perfectly and things seem to be normal now. Hence, marketing in 2021 until now has been unexpectedly good and hopefully, it remains the same.

After all, we survived the aftershocks and we will definitely survive these minor changes.

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Henny Darwin is a content strategist and moderator at Designfier, one of the leading graphic design marketplaces.