Masks- just like Asia
Masks and mask wearing will become mainstream in Europe and some parts of America, it will be seen as a sensible precaution against airborne disease and as a marker that you care about the health of others.
Digital meetings stay mainstream
“Digital presence” rather than physical presence will be widely acceptable to businesses and personal interactions. First and exploratory meetings will almost always be by Teams or Zoom. Train travel growth will slow, but there will always be the need to “press the flesh” and look deeply into someone’s eyes - face to face meetings will not go away! To quote Citigroup’s investment banking boss Paco Ybarra again, working from home was a success in 2020 because of “[personal] capital that we have accumulated before” that is, when people met face to face. But Teams and its competitors are here to stay, good job someone thought to install all those cameras on laptops!
Procurement gets an upgrade
The already poor reputation for Government procurement will lead to a radical overhaul of the antiquated and not fit for purpose buying systems for the public sector, from Local Authorities to the UK Govt. itself. Why is it that to sell a few bollards to officialdom you must go through round after round of procurement red tape? But when billions of Pounds of PPE are needed, a nod and a wink to an old friend will do? Procurement will have to change.
Science and technology have saved us
I think there will be greater appreciation of the benefits from a healthy science and technology sector, a greater respect and understanding of the absolute genius the UK has in so many fields, I’m hoping we will listen to “experts” once again and allow them to lead us to a better world. To be fair this may just be wishful thinking, we will probably go back to the age-old distrust of science and technology!
Carnage on the High Street
There is probably no going back for the High Street, habit takes time to create but can be quickly destroyed, I think retail footfall will be low forever unless shops create a little bit of magic that can’t be found online. It’s going to be about unique experiences, touch, sound, smell and (with clothes), fit. In 2021 we will have to think about what we want done with the empty shops.
Digital Marketing eclipses all others
Digital has shown its worth to the world during the pandemic, without the internet, things would have been so much worse. Without online sales and access to services via the web and apps, our lives and businesses would have been infinitely poorer. 2021 could be a turning point for digital and digital marketing, spurred on by the events of 2020, lets hope it is?
Good luck for 2021!