The pandemic has brought about unprecedented business impact across all sectors. Human interaction and behaviour is no longer predictable as the new world order has taken over. In such volatile times, marketers need to continuously innovate to keep their audience engaged.
Change was the only constant in the year gone by. The below points highlight key trends that will bring about systemic changes in the way marketing is going to be done in the future.
- Digital – The Great Leveller: Going digital for marketers was no longer a choice. Since everyone was working remotely, marketeers had to find new ways on engaging with their audience, without any human touch. This meant that the winner was not the one with the highest dollar spend but the one who could break the clutter. Small and Medium Enterprises were more nimble and grasped this opportunity with both hands as they could now compete with the big names on a level playing field. This trend is likely to continue and drive new ways of engagement through the digital channels. This means that we will see a lot more innovation in the adoption and usage social media, SEO, email marketing, virtual events to name a few.
- Efficacy and Efficiency Drive Marketing Technology Investment: Given the state of business, marketing budgets were also slashed across the board. Suddenly, RoI became paramount for marketing leaders. It also made them realize that technology adoption can achieve a lot more with a lot less. Investments in automation tools, chatbots, AI-powered and data-driven marketing became real. This trend will only get stronger post pandemic as marketing teams will continue to gain from revisiting their marketing technology investments.
- Personalization will be the key: As customers started to become more careful with their spends, marketers realized they had to make an emotional connect in order to drive any message across. This meant fewer but highly personalized messages across multiple channels synchronized in a way that they feel compelled by a need. Thus, the use of technology backed by limited engagement options made marketeers focus on personalization a lot more. The trend which was more in talks is now a reality. Further, Account based marketing will also see hyper-personalization as messaging becomes more important and marketing teams become more tech-savvy. The quality of interaction enhanced by higher customer intelligence will make the overall experience much richer.
- Empathy will continue to be the key theme: The world has gone through a lot of pain. People have lost their loved ones, their jobs and all their life’s savings. A big change observed in corporate behaviour was that of empathy. This also reflected in the messaging that was used across customer channels. It was a much needed change from the ruthless selling that was being done in the past. Post-pandemic too, this theme is likely to continue as we rise from the ashes and move towards a world which is value oriented rather than ostentatious.
- Content All The Way: With efficacy, efficiency and personalization being the focus, it all came down to content. Execution at content level was monitored across all management levels as companies realized the need for quality rather than quantity. Going forward, Content marketing — creating useful, relevant and credible content that benefits the user — will remain the core for marketers. Starting with the content or the message that speaks to our audience, then translating it to the relevant channels and formats, will be the only way to create consistent, effective user experiences. Moreover, interactive & visual content such as assessments, games, polls, interactive videos and surveys will become more prevalent as communication will change to bi-directional.
In summary, in these times marketeers should :
- Be nimble. Plan but be ready to change it.
- Invest in technology as that will give you the edge.
- Analyse buyer journeys before making investments.
- Focus on visually compelling, interactive & quality content.
- Lastly, bring genuineness to every moment.