Samuel Scott

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Who got 2021’s marketing predictions right – and absolutely wrong?

by | Dec 17, 2021 | Marketing Essays

My new column is out in The Drum:

Who got 2021’s marketing predictions right – and absolutely wrong?

In the return of his end-of-year tradition, columnist Sam Scott scores some of the most noteworthy marketing predictions made at the beginning of 2021.

Pundits and analyst firms made many predictions about how the pandemic will affect marketing this year. But to my knowledge, not one forecasted the single, greatest change that actually happened: The Great Resignation of 2021.

Every December, my tradition is to write a wrap-up column that grades the marketing and media predictions for the year. After all, the money spent on them may or may not be as useless as remaining unvaccinated in a global pandemic.

In 2018, I looked at Deloitte, Forrester, Gartner, Scott Galloway, HubSpot and Salesforce. (Read the results.) In 2019, I critiqued GroupM, Kantar, MoffettNathanson Research and the World Federation of Advertisers. (See the victor.)

But in 2020, I withheld my pen. Regardless of the debate over whether the coronavirus pandemic has been truly a ‘black swan event’, only the Arthurian Merlin could have foreseen the events of that year. It would not have been fair to judge anyone’s prior predictions.

However, 2021 is different. After a 2020 of fear and uncertainty, we started this year with vaccine rollouts (whose successes have often depended on marketing) in a world where many are starting anew in one way or another. The fad of zero-based budgeting has turned into zero-based life.

Everyone began 2021 in the middle of fighting the pandemic’s physical and mental battles, so we all started the year in the same relative space. Further, 2021’s predictions are valid again because no other cataclysmic event occurred (except for a new Justin Bieber album).

To be fair and put new organisations under the microscope, I critique different analysts every year. So, who is in the spotlight for 2021? In alphabetical order: the Future Today Institute, GWI (formerly GlobalWebIndex), McKinsey, and Zenith Media.

Read the rest here.

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