2021: Week 01 | Gisela’s Crystal Ball for 2021

2021: Week 01 | Gisela’s Crystal Ball for 2021 cover image
This week Mark and Gisela discuss 2021. What’s here to stay, what’s changing, and what’s next.

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Transcript

Mark Dolynskyj
Mark Dolynskyj

Welcome to Clickbait and Switch, and it's 2021. This marketing podcast tries to cut through the bullshit and hook you up what you need to know what you don't and what stories should be getting more love than they're getting I'm Mark Dolynskyj on the other mic Gisela Sleizer. Now that we've spent the past couple of weeks exposing and analyzing a couple of trends, we've asked ourselves sort of what's next.

What's going to happen in 2021? But first we thought we'd take a moment to talk about 2020. And what was the challenge on obviously a global scale? What really defined everyone's year was their digital experience and the accelerated fact that all of these digital outputs can be harnessed for good or for evil.

You know, there were the screens we've worked on. Thank you. Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Skype. There were screens we stayed in touch with loved ones with like WhatsApp, FaceTime, and Instagram. There are those screens that we could doom scroll with. Thank you Twitter, especially for that one, as the internet is a hole.

We could distract ourselves with Disney+, Netflix, Crave, Hulu and HBO Max, TikTok and YouTube. Special shout-out to TikTok where everyone over the age of 30 joined to day-drink and share it with the world. Twitch kept the gamers united, Pinterest helped people redecorate. Spotify, Apple music, you know, obviously gave you sounds and stories and everyone on your block has a podcast now, just like us.

You know, the internet was everywhere. Shopify, Etsy, Amazon, and e-commerce overall kept everyone shopping locally, and keeping stores afloat, but we're also constantly inundated with that danger of what is a fact? What is truth online? And, you know, we kept wondering, you know, is COVID going to kill us now? Or is democracy dying?

You know, that, that was kind of, you know, the doom of 2020 and everything was taking place digitally. So when we started with our first click. So what is obviously going to continue in 2021?

Gisela Sleizer
Gisela Sleizer

2021, we'll continue to see storytelling be the core to the human experience in our semi-expert opinion. This is what we think will happen. So will our insatiable hunger for numbers and stats continue as well? I would say so, and they're kind of connected.

Mark Dolynskyj
Mark Dolynskyj

They are, and this sort of thought was inspired, you know, by who better than Jeff billion dollar Bezos. You know, he was saying that, you know, there's so many things that are changing, but the more important question to ask yourself is what won't change.

And obviously the desire for convenience, you know, being lazy is obviously preferable to hard work, but more deeply, storytelling in all of its shapes and forms will continue to be something incredibly important to everyone on this planet.

Gisela Sleizer
Gisela Sleizer

That's right. We've also become quite addicted to telling stories to each other about ourselves, our views on the world through social media, but we've been doing it more and more through numbers and data.

We are finding, in a way that's different from the good old days of infographics, we'll remember those right? Kind of the beginning of the internet and content. Yeah, infographics everywhere

Mark Dolynskyj
Mark Dolynskyj

Infographs were jobs everywhere, but just became designers.

Gisela Sleizer
Gisela Sleizer

Yeah, but this year what we saw is storytelling turn to numbers in terms of how many cases in how many countries and at a more personal level, how many steps did you do today? Are you keeping fit? Are you still moving? Even though you're not supposed to be moving or at least not moving with other people. How many shares or followers or views does your content on social media have? It really really centralized around that.

Mark Dolynskyj
Mark Dolynskyj

It really was. Everyone was telling their own specific type of story, you know, and this is something that has existed since time immemorial.

Everyone's been telling the stories through time and it's not going to change where we're telling these stories obviously changes and is impacted by what's available to us. But just think back to this year and how the stories of, you know, which local communities were being affected or the small businesses that were being affected and people supporting all of those different voices and encouraging strains of opinion and ideas that weren't necessarily their own became quite the hallmark of 2020. And that could only grow going forward into 2021.

Gisela Sleizer
Gisela Sleizer

Yes, I would think so. What else will come up in 2021 in terms of storytelling? It's hard to say. I think we've all grown accustomed to lowering expectations or trying not to guess at what's coming.

Mark Dolynskyj
Mark Dolynskyj

Thank you polling system in the United States.

Gisela Sleizer
Gisela Sleizer

Tales of survival or tales of reinvention, we might start to see kind of the, you know, the storytelling of the aftermath. And maybe that we'll once again, take a tone of less, less numbers and more. I don't know, perhaps back to the emotion, not that the emotion wasn't there before.

Mark Dolynskyj
Mark Dolynskyj

But moving on, so 2021 and what we don't think will happen, we don't think that, you know, this, everything is digital all the time is going to continue. That can't be the way we continue to live. And our job, I think, as a society and as a whole will be to try and make sure that we keep those things that we think have enhanced life, but in the end, not everything will remain digital. There's no way that could happen.

Gisela Sleizer
Gisela Sleizer

That's right. We're living already the "new normal", but I think as things move forward and we start to become either more used to living with things like masks and social distancing or the vaccine starts to work, hopefully we'll find that sweet balance between what we learned and what we miss.

Mark Dolynskyj
Mark Dolynskyj

That's right, like digital events are never going to be able to replace real life. A concert is never going to be as good sitting at home on your couch than it would be in a concert hall with 10,000 other people singing the same song or visiting a museum, you know, seeing the Mona Lisa in person is not the same as seeing it on your computer screen, no matter how well those experiences are. There's things that are just better to be seen and experienced in person and that's, and that's not going to change, like, would you rather drink with your friends on a patio or drink over Zoom?

Gisela Sleizer
Gisela Sleizer

Patio, in my case. But I am thankful for Zoom for allowing me to do so digitally this year.

Mark Dolynskyj
Mark Dolynskyj

Well, that's right. And that's where we have to be careful and like, there are so many things that worked really well, that are obviously going to continue the, you know, working from home. If you have a job where you can do that, that's fantastic. And being able to balance that with the other times where you would need to go in and work with and collaborate with others, where it might be more beneficial to you to do it together. I mean, that's only going to enhance our ability to have those options.

Telemedicine was another thing that grew exponentially over the year, just because it had to, and that's super useful. The way pharmacies have been given more independence. The way doctors have been able to communicate with patients without having to see them. There's so many things that we've removed to free up all of this time. The commuting, the waiting in different places.

Like, just as a quick example, one of the things we did with my kid recently is we had a zoom call with Santa and it was absolutely fantastic. It was a wonderful experience, far exceeded any in-person Santa experience. And I know that some people are gonna be like, that's crazy. You suck. You're like, why are you doing that? It's a monumental thing, but it was so much more magical for him to be able to have a one-on-one conversation with Santa, face-to-face, through the screen. They had this conversation and it contained all the whims you wanted it to have without sort of trappings of the drunk mall Santa. It was beautiful. It was fantastic. It was very emotional.

Gisela Sleizer
Gisela Sleizer

Totally, and you have access to things that you wouldn't have access otherwise, for example, there's a theater in Montréal that is running their place digitally, as an event, so you can only watch it during the 24 hour period, for a small amount of money. And I was able to send that to my mom in Toronto, who would have never been able to see it otherwise, because she probably wouldn't have made it to visit or whatever. So there's a lot of access there, distance is shortened. Even when it comes to educational experiences or artistic experience or learning experiences, which is really, really cool.

Mark Dolynskyj
Mark Dolynskyj

It's been fantastic, but there's no way that everything digital is going to be the way of the future. Humans are social creatures and we'll need that physical interaction over time. It's just inevitable. All right, so what's the big trend that you see coming in 2021.

Gisela Sleizer
Gisela Sleizer

When I look at my digital crystal ball, Mark, what I see is 2021 will be the year of B2B,

Mark Dolynskyj
Mark Dolynskyj

Really?

Gisela Sleizer
Gisela Sleizer

Business to business.

Mark Dolynskyj
Mark Dolynskyj

Please explain, because that sounds really boring.

Gisela Sleizer
Gisela Sleizer

It does right? The first point to keep in mind is all the "pivot". One of the words of the year. Alongside new normal. So people create growing and new needs. So many businesses have had to pivot this year and they're already looking for new tools, new solutions, new services, and as they get better and better at doing the new way they do business. They will surely require or ask for more things. So that's a first part of B2B.

And then there's the fact that we've all kind of become businesses in our own rights. We talked in one of our last podcasts of the year, last year, about how much we're willing to give for free and how much we're willing to demand for our data among other things.

There's individuals becoming influencers, regular Instagram users that offer up their feed to make a little bit of money. So it's kind of like the age where everybody's a business.

Mark Dolynskyj
Mark Dolynskyj

Have you done some research recently into sort of millennials and how they're sort of interacting with the world? Do you want to break down our favorite age group? The millennials, which, do you want to break down, what are millennials? Just to make sure that people actually understand that definition?

Gisela Sleizer
Gisela Sleizer

Yeah. Good point. Millennials are people born. I think it starts in 1980 to about 1994 or so. So it's those people that are around 40 years old and into their thirties, I guess. Am I doing my math, right? No.

Mark Dolynskyj
Mark Dolynskyj

Yeah, you're pretty good.

Gisela Sleizer
Gisela Sleizer

Math is not my strongest subject, but these are millennials that are, they're sort of the last generation to grow up without the internet or the first ones to welcome internet into their lives. For example, in my own personal experience, I remember going to the library to do research and write my essays and print them out and hand them in to my teacher. You too, right Mark?

Uh, sometimes.

Yeah. So younger generations like Gen Z, which comes right after the millennials will not have that memory or memories of, for example, developing photos and having to wait for your pictures to appear before seeing them on the screen. So millennials are really the last ones to make that connection in real life.

And as we're getting older and we're growing in our careers, we're starting to occupy more and more positions of power or decision-making. And so there's been a recent, pretty large piece of research done by the B2B Institute, oddly enough, that's uncovered a sort of new acronym for this group of millennials are in the workforce right now, taking decisions. And they're being called the BETAs. I find this super interesting. And I identify with a lot of these things as a millennial myself.

So in beta "B" stands for blurred boundaries, meaning that we don't have a firm division between home and work lives. This was totally accelerated or accentuated by COVID and having to work from home.

"E" stands for evolving. So our careers and identities are closely linked with an emphasis on personal branding, self-improvement and setting trends. And we're talking about the relationship of this with social media, right Mark?

Mark Dolynskyj
Mark Dolynskyj

Yeah, cause they're really that first generation that grew up and developed the personalities without social media. You know, social media was really coming in when they would be either midway through university, at the top end anyways, or post university. So they've had to go through all of their personality and identity building prior to things like Facebook and particularly Instagram, really shifting the way that their identities are being created.

So, it is fascinating and it is that age bracket for these people who are now getting into those sort of like middle management and management positions and really defining the directions of certain aspects of company. So if they are a very important category and sector of society.

Gisela Sleizer
Gisela Sleizer

Yeah, totally . Understanding also how social media made a difference in the workplace, because as we were entering the workplace, Facebook was kind of appearing. So we all found ourselves having to give explanations to potential employers about the pictures we were having of our friends on Facebook. That's something that's not as prevalent anymore. I mean, anyone can be Googled prior to job interviews. But I find that we've become more accepting of personal stuff on the digital world.

Mark Dolynskyj
Mark Dolynskyj

I'm just not sure about that. Like, I guess the first thing you do when you like, Oh, this person's new to the company or whatever is like, you'll see who they are in LinkedIn, or you might try and see who they are and Instagram or something.

And I think we've all become very good at curating that public image, as you were saying. So that into that evolve section, the personal branding. Everyone I know of a certain age, that was really funny when you would start going for interviews and be like, Oh, make sure you delete all like the party photos off your Facebook page. You don't want to make sure those are private or make sure you're not tagged in those. And I think that really started the trend of curating that public identity.

Gisela Sleizer
Gisela Sleizer

Totally, but I think we have become a little bit more accepting of the fact that we all party, for example., so we all have party pictures on Facebook.

Mark Dolynskyj
Mark Dolynskyj

Pre-2020.

Gisela Sleizer
Gisela Sleizer

Yeah, so, "B" for blurred boundaries, "E" for evolving, the "T"  comes in for tech native. So, right? We talked about growing up without tech, but the younger generations grew up into tech, so to speak. So we demand kind of the same quality in personal tech and in professional technologies, which is a very important piece, especially for evolving industries, that things like, to give an example, insurance. It doesn't feel like a modernized industry, but they're going to have to become more modern if they want to continue to play a role and win in this new millennial reality of decision-makers.

Mark Dolynskyj
Mark Dolynskyj

Well that's right. And places like getting quotes online for things, your car insurance, your home insurance, banking online, all of that is been kind of driven to a large extent by this category of people.

Gisela Sleizer
Gisela Sleizer

Yep. And the last letter is "A" for activist. So millennials expect B2B organizations to have a clear purpose. And I would say not only B2B organizations, but all organizations to have a clear purpose that we can relate to.

Mark Dolynskyj
Mark Dolynskyj

Absolutely. That was definitely a big aspect of 2020. That's going to carry forward is the sort of politicization of who you are as a company who you are as a brand and what you stand behind, has been made more public than ever.

Gisela Sleizer
Gisela Sleizer

Yep. So that's a little crystal ball there for you. The year of B2B is off and we'll see if we nailed it in a few months.

Mark Dolynskyj
Mark Dolynskyj

Yeah. We'll have to check in at the end of the year and see if we screwed all this up. All right. Thanks again for listening. Thanks to CloudRaker for providing us for our podcasts.

We should state, obviously, even in 2021, these opinions are ours and not those of our overlords. If you haven't done so, please leave us a review, give us as many stars as you see fit. Preferably five, other than that, anything else Gisela?

Gisela Sleizer
Gisela Sleizer

Well, next week we're back with our weekly recaps of what happened in the days prior. So stay tuned for that.

Mark Dolynskyj
Mark Dolynskyj

Awesome.

Gisela Sleizer
Gisela Sleizer

Bye

Mark Dolynskyj
Mark Dolynskyj

Bye

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