post-pandemic summer marketing trends

4 post-pandemic summer marketing trends nobody is talking about (but should be)

ARTICLE OVERVIEW: Our take on how the post-pandemic world will affect summer 2021 marketing for businesses.

We asked our team in the office what post-pandemic marketing trends they think businesses will be focusing on this summer and here’s what we agreed on:

post-pandemic summer marketing trends
  1. More intimate and limited events and spaces

  2. Shift to “corporate responsibility” for businesses (what you’re doing, not what you’re selling)

  3. Promotional PPE items (masks, hand sanitizers, etc.)

  4. Having bigger conversations to appeal to customer anxiety

The truth is that traditional research gave us the same expected answers — increase in artificial intelligence; influencer and video marketing; etc. But 1) we already know all of that and 2) we know those aren’t all.

We could all agree that 2021 needs a bit more amp up following last year’s lockdown. So, based on current trends, our marketing team came up with some ideas about what upcoming 2021 marketing trends will look like for businesses post-pandemic. Even if people aren’t talking much about them, chances are they will be. And we know you’re just as curious to hear them as we are to talk about them.

Businesses will host intimate, limited- or split-space events to a) connect with customers and b) create a sense of urgency

The bulk of past marketing campaigns that were large and in charge. Post-pandemic, we believe the 2021 summer marketing industry will focus on building intimacy between business and consumer by hosting smaller events with limited- or split-space venues.

This “building relationships” trend has been going on for some time now, but post-pandemic will move businesses to zoom in on establishing connections with customers to let them know we’re all here for each other.

With this, we also believe there will be a rise in small scale events with an increased sense of urgency using call-to-actions on event invitations whether via email, text, or print ads. And this CTA could range from a “Limited Space” offer on an email to a flyer boasting “Private Beach Yoga – 50 Yogis ONLY.”

This shift to hosting smaller events could also take a unique approach with a single event being hosted at two different locations. While this might contradict Trend 5 (try not to skip… you’ll eventually see it), we didn’t say all these trends would be used altogether.

Some businesses might arrange a two-location event where one location is for goods or services sold and another space strictly for the event. Whatever this looks like, we know businesses will figure it out.

Focus shifted from products to what a business is doing for the world

Digital advertising isn’t dead, but people are getting tired of it and want to see more about what a business is doing for the world than what they’re trying to sell. Interestingly, if someone knows what a business is doing to better the world, they’re more inclined to purchase from the business. Why?

Think about like this: We’ve been in front of screens, locked in our homes, accidentally turning on our video or sound… and we’re tired! Not to mention the chaos everyone has experienced (literally, we don’t want to mention it again). People are looking for positive changes.

Meaning and purpose are the marketing trends that have always allowed companies to transcend transactions, but it hits different this year. If a customer knows a business’ “why” then it’s easier to attach to that business compared to another in terms of competition.

Related article(s): 15 Top Marketing Trends To Keep An Eye On In 2021

Promotional PPE (masks, hand sanitizers, etc.)

We already saw this coming, but no one’s talking about it as much as we thought they would be. We can guess that face masks, hand sanitizer, shields, and other products that remain among the most highly-demanded aren’t going to miraculously be forgotten about post-pandemic. Even if Google says the worldwide search for face masks has gone down, it’s still going strong.

Masks have become a clothing statement, and we believe businesses will have PPE or related items to promote or give away at events. Say goodbye to the standard pen, lanyards, and mugs (we’re kidding… these will still be used) and hello to promotional items dedicated to health and safety.

Related article(s): 35 Trending Products to Sell in 2021

Having bigger conversations to address customer concerns and appeal to anxieties

Although some consumers made it through 2020 just fine, many didn’t. Marketers must be sensitive to those losses. The reality is that people are still nervous, paranoid, and not that social entering the summer season. But this doesn’t mean they don’t want to enjoy the summer.

This just means that businesses have to ensure their processes, the message(s) they’re sending, and their customer concerns are all being addressed in a safe manner without compromising on fun. We believe businesses will go above and beyond to address customer anxieties to make them feel validated and that they’re not alone.

Catering to consumers’ anxieties includes the fear of something being safe enough. If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that 2020 has been stressful. Brands will continue to speak to that common experience in 2021.

“Consumers are exhausted, anxious, and shaken to their core,” said Alma Derricks, REV founder and managing partner. “In 2021, brands should continue to focus on practical features and benefits, personal well being, and healing while avoiding cruel and insensitive displays of privilege.”

“Today, your audience wants to have an authentic experience with your brand and the best way to do that is by leading with conversations.” The reality is that every single person on planet Earth was affected by the pandemic.

Related article(s): Marketing Experts Share Their 2021 Trends and Marketing Trends to Watch in 2021, According to 21 Experts


If there’s an upcoming summer campaign trend that wasn’t discussed in this article, share it with us. We’d love to hear your personal and professional thoughts on what trends will be occurring even if nobody else is talking about them!