Adweek looks at where we were, where we are and where we’re going.
Trent Joaquin for Adweek


By Adweek Staff

41 mins ago

A period of unprecedented change across media, marketing and tech has left the industry with burning questions at the outset of a new year: When is recovery projected, and what factors will affect the timeline? Which sectors will see the most radical changes when all is said and done? And how are marketers, publishers and brands preparing for a new normal? Our editors break down where we were before the pandemic, where we are right now and, importantly, where we’re going.


Brand Marketing Outlook: Brands headed into 2020 with a focus on the consumer—creating more personalized experiences for them, providing them with a variety of ways to access their brand, and standing up for causes and issues they believe in. The events of 2020 didn’t change those priorities but, rather, made them more paramount. … Click here to read more from brand marketing editor Diana Pearl.


Media Outlook: Last year started off with publishers in a quandary about how to maintain their programmatic advertising businesses beyond 2022, when Google would end its support of third-party cookies in its Chrome browser. The question now, after a turbulent year, is how publishers will remain agile, especially since they are wrestling with the same predicament they’ve had since last March, namely how to forecast in an era of uncertainty. … Click here to read more from media editor Lucinda Southern.


Convergent TV Outlook: As 2020 began, the television industry was focused on launching new streaming services to keep pace with Netflix while simultaneously trying to stop audiences from abandoning linear TV. A year later, everything has been transformed as a result of Covid-19. And yet, at the same time, nothing has really changed. … Click here to read more from TV editor Jason Lynch.


Programmatic Outlook: Covid-19 had an impact on programmatic advertising, but the shock, while immediate, was relatively brief because programmatic lent itself well to the recovering confidence of marketers. Meanwhile, battles between some of Silicon Valley’s household names, including Apple and Google, will dictate the fate of countless ad-tech companies whose data practices are increasingly the subject of government scrutiny across the globe. … Click here to read more from programmatic editor Ronan Shields.


Creativity Outlook: The Covid-19 pandemic brought global ad production to a grinding halt and forced the marketing triumvirate of agencies, clients and production to rewrite all the rules for how work can be produced. Now, as the ad industry looks ahead to a post-pandemic future, the question is not whether anything has changed. The question is if everything has changed. …  Click here to read more from creative and innovation editor David Griner.


Agencies Outlook: As we charge into 2021, there isn’t a sense of what one would call “calm,” but agencies have a better handle on where they need to go after the events of 2020. Shops figured out how to get lean. They have a renewed sense of purpose. And new opportunities, especially in ecommerce, present green shoots amid the ashes. … Click here to read more from agencies editor Doug Zanger.


We also asked our readers and community members—from young professionals to seasoned C-suiters—to share what they see coming in a year unlike any other. … Click here to read more from the Adweek community.


A new year represents an opportunity for a reset. In this digital series, Adweek explored 2021’s change in progress and answered some other burning questions: