Consumers are looking for positive emotions in advertising. A survey by marketing management platform provider Allocadia found that the top triggers to get consumers to engage or buy are inspiration (42 percent), joy (40 percent), hope (34 percent) and love (38 percent).

“In 2020, COVID-19 forced marketers to completely rethink their strategies and budgets,” says Julia Stead, chief marketing officer of Allocadia. “Economic forecasts and consumer behaviors remain difficult to predict as we move into the new year still contending with the coronavirus. Where and how people are shopping and why they’re buying can change very quickly. Behavioral data is crucial to giving marketers the actionable insights they need to pivot campaigns fast and be agile with budget when trends emerge overnight.”

The survey found that forms of advertising were also key in gaining consumer attention. TV commercials still resonate most with people (54 percent), followed by social media ads (36 percent). Radio is cited as what resonates least with people (15 percent). Regardless of the form of advertising, 73 percent of Americans expect brands to incorporate more diversity into their ad campaigns in 2021.

Third-party sites like Amazon and social media platforms impact consumer behavior figured among the survey’s findings. For online shopping, 75 percent of Americans reported that they buy from those sites, with Amazon (73 percent), Facebook (48 percent) and Instagram (32 percent) used most often. Consumers are split as to whether social media ads influence their purchasing decisions: 51 percent say yes, 49 percent say no. For those who are influenced, 50 percent say social media ads spark gift ideas; 44 percent say social media ads introduce them to a product they didn’t know of, and 44 percent say social media ads remind them of a product they need or want

With the pandemic continuing to create economic and public health uncertainty across the U.S. and around the globe in the new year, regarding when they’d go into a store, 61 percent of Americans said they plan to shop more for essential items like food and clothing. A comparatively low 38 percent said they’d purchase fun items such as new tech gadgets and toys, and 37 percent intend to buy functional items such as laptops and home entertainment equipment. Only 37 percent of Americans have travel plans for 2021.

Comparing reported shopping behavior in 2020 to expected behavior in 2021 yielded a significant change regarding where consumers expect to do so. Going into 2020, 41 percent of Americans reported doing most of their shopping online, 28 percent said most was in-store, and 31 percent claimed both venues. But for 2021, plans are likely to shift, with a decrease in those saying they’ll do most shopping online (33 percent) and in-store (27 percent), and an increase in those saying they’ll do most of their shopping in both venues (40 percent). Also, the survey found that in 2021, 42 percent of Americans expect their spending to be about the same in 2021 compared to 2020, while 30 percent expect to spend more, and 28 percent expect to spend less.