6 marketing strategies to future-proof your marketing

future-proof marketing strategies

Three very important themes emerged in 2021 that will forever change the way marketers work. These themes have created their own marketing approaches.  

  1. Responsible marketing 
  2. Sustainable marketing 
  3. Retention marketing  

As we settle into the new year, it’s time to consider how we can update and adjust our marketing strategies to incorporate these new themes. There has been a seismic shift in the way audiences think and we must address this in our marketing. 

Growth is the ultimate goal of all marketing strategies. Whether you’re looking to grow your profits, brand awareness, audience base, or international presence, these six marketing strategies will ensure you’re ready for the future. Each addresses an important element in the shift in audience consciousness.  

To ensure your marketing is future-proof, these are a necessity for serious marketers.  

1. Build relationships based on trust

Trust is the most important factor in the decision-making process for 70% of modern customers. In our ‘Rise of the responsible marketer’ report, we revealed the multifaceted ways trust can impact your business.  

Open, honest and transparent communication is paramount to build a strong relationship with your audience. Simple steps such as clear and easy-to-access privacy policies, and stating why personal data is being collected, and how it will be used need to be implemented uniformly across all your channels and platforms.  

From your first interaction, you need to create a customer journey that reinforces your status as a trustworthy brand. Trust indicators such as third-party reviews on your homepage and clear and transparent data collection at the point of email newsletter sign-ups are the first steps you need to take to demonstrate your commitment to responsible marketing.  

2. Adopt privacy-forward technology

Hot on the heels of privacy updates from tech giants Apple and Google, businesses around the world need to be thinking more consciously about data privacy rights. This is not a brand-new trend. Laws such as the GDPR and CCPA have already caused a significant shift in the way marketers think about customer data. But, as more privacy changes loom on the horizon, you need to think about how your marketing stack will keep up with rising demands.  

A platform that gives you the ability to track consent – what and when customers consented to receive your marketing – and has ISO 27001, ISO 27701, and ISO 14001 accreditations guarantees that we’re taking privacy seriously and are already thinking about the next big development.  

3. Collect zero-party data

Zero-party data is self-reported information.  It’s willingly and openly shared with you because you’ve earned the trust of your audience. But why is zero-party data important?  

With the eventual death of third-party cookies and the ever-changing privacy landscape, marketers have to find new ways to gather information on their audience. To create experiences and journeys that drive conversions, you need to know what motivates users. Being self-reported, zero-party data is inherently trustworthy. It is data directly from your audience that explains what they want, why, and how they want to receive it.  

Collecting zero-party data will ultimately improve the effectiveness of your marketing campaign, driving strong results than ever before.  

4. Tap into intent

In a new world where customers are taking more control over their data privacy, and as third-party cookies are phased out, marketers need to look for new ways to reach customers at pivotal moments in the lifecycle.  

Your insights have never been as important as they are today. Audience insight and intent data will help you identify who’s prime for conversion and who needs to receive lead nurture campaigns. Data-based marketing campaigns will significantly improve your results. You’ll be able to target segments with hyper-relevant content using RFM audience modeling, lead scoring, and tracking high-intent pages.  

Ultimately, tapping into customer intent will deliver more high-quality prospects into your marketing funnel, helping you achieve more of your marketing goals.  

5. Think sustainably

Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword. It’s here, it’s important, and it’s changing the game.   

As your business prepares for the future, you need to be making changes today that will impact tomorrow. Green-washing is not acceptable to today’s modern eco-conscious audiences. You need to think about the full impact of your business, not just the customer-facing elements. Sustainable packaging is great and necessary, but you won’t have the memorable impact you could if you make it a part of your brand story.  

Demonstrating your commitment to sustainability in everything you do is essential to be seen as authentic and trustworthy.  

6. Retain customers

Dotdigital’s Global benchmarking report found that email unsubscribe rates were increasing at a rate of 7.6% while new contact creation declined by over 8%.  

List growth is a great way to measure marketing success but the size of your marketing list doesn’t necessarily reflect the number of engaged contacts. To future-proof your marketing, you need to be thinking about your customer retention tactics. And, not just loyalty programs. What is it about your brand that will make people come back for more? How are you going to keep your audience engaged for longer?  

Depending on your business your goals will be different. An ecommerce brand will be looking for repeat purchases; non-profits may be measuring annual donations or hours volunteered, B2Bs focus on contract renewal. Ultimately all of them rely on repeat business and this needs to be a core focus of a serious marketer.  


Jenna Paton, Content Marketing Manager
Jenna expertly writes thought-leadership content about cross-channel marketing and customer engagement and manages the creation and execution of Dotdigital's content marketing strategy.

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