We’ve witnessed a fundamental shift in how companies approach their marketing. Priorities have switched from sales to retention. Meanwhile, new lines of communication have been adopted quickly to coordinate teams and reach customers.
But what happens this year? How can marketers remain competitive and drive value for their business? How can they stay relevant in 2021?
The future is certainly uncertain. But there are some things we do know will continue to be important:
- The combining of pre- and post-covid ways of working.
- Continued empathy to the needs and experiences of consumers.
- The use of digital platforms and tools to drive productivity and better serve customers.
1. Become Adaptable
Being adaptable is a good idea at the best of times. During unstable times it’s a necessity. With the situation so uncertain, are you prepared for all eventualities?
Unsurprisingly, many marketers highlighted adaptability as key to their success as they move forward.
Customer behaviors are also likely to shift once again as we move out of lockdown, and brands and marketers will need to be ahead of the curve to ensure that they are anticipating customer needs and staying relevant in these turbulent times.
2. Take a Blended Approach
As face-to-face meetings become normal again, some of the more traditional marketing practices will make a comeback. Marketers will need to be ready to grasp the opportunity this provides.
Those who blend the new and pre-covid ways of working most effectively stand to benefit.
What will remain constant is the need for great insight, a focus on strong audience understanding, and a creative and varied approach in our ideas and our executions — along with an ability to adapt to the changing world around us.
Without a doubt, we are missing face-to-face connectivity and collaboration with our community. We are a business that has been built on trusted relationships, and whilst we are able to continue this virtually with positive outcomes, we are looking forward to being able to bring back some in-person networking.
3. Evolve with Your Brand Values and Messaging
We’ve all been aware of how marketing messaging has changed during this period. Empathy is being utilised like never before — and let’s be honest, sometimes in a rather cloying way. But we’ve also seen brands become genuinely helpful during this time.
Having a solid brand, which is aligned internally and externally, will also be key.
We’ve seen throughout the crisis that organizations living up to their brand values are the ones that have thrived. Businesses will be remembered and celebrated for their positive actions during the crisis, and likewise, businesses that took advantage of the situation will be remembered for the wrong reasons.
4. Embrace Digital
The pandemic has accelerated many organizations’ moves online. This trend was reflected in my correspondence with marketing professionals.
Direct-to-consumer marketing, with the disruption facing retail, is being accelerated massively and that’s certainly going to be something that we’ll see in this “new normal.”
Online services and subscriptions will obviously become even more essential in terms of how brands approach marketing in the future. Lots of brands will need to go toe-to-toe with more scalable and more powerful online marketplaces.
The world will never be the same and we will have to adapt to a new normal. People will continue to rely on digital platforms, and we will see more companies offering contactless interactions across industries. Since there will be less face-to-face interactions, brands will be forced to focus on digitizing their experiences by finding the right technologies to support them with delivering a seamless customer experience.
Customers are starting to look for different qualities in businesses. They want to buy from trustworthy brands and those that are able to adapt and support them.