There is no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on marketing, just as it has had a major impact on virtually everything else in our world today. We now have a new normal, and that new condition of normalcy will prevail for quite some time, even after the pandemic is under control. Consumer habits and expectations have changed markedly, and that will require marketers to change right along with them, even without the benefit of any kind of prior experience to guide them.
This is new territory for everyone, and the faster you can adapt to this new business landscape, the greater are your chances of success. It would be a mistake to think that everything will revert back to pre-COVID circumstances after the pandemic, because it’s much more likely that the new mindset and the new workplace practices which have come into being, will now become permanent parts of the new business environment. In order to avoid being left behind, you will more than likely have to change the way you conduct your marketing and advertising initiatives, so that you can become part of this new business paradigm. If you are looking to change your marketing initiatives, but don’t know where to start, check out this article on crazy marketing growth.
New consumer habits
One broad category which has become a feature of the new business landscape consists of new consumer habits which have developed during the pandemic. For instance, the plethora of physical experiences which were in broad demand before the pandemic, have now been converted into digital or virtual experiences for the most part.
In order to reach into the homes of consumers, it has become necessary to greatly emphasize digital and virtual participation rather than physical experiences. While the mass gatherings of festivals and sporting events will undoubtedly return when the pandemic subsides, it’s also highly likely that all the virtual experiences now being cultivated by marketers will remain in vogue well after the pandemic.
Another way that consumers have been impacted is that they have been pretty much forced to accelerate their adoption of modern technologies. Most people are fairly resistant to change and are reluctant to shift to newer technologies unless obliged to do so, and that’s exactly what has happened during the pandemic. For example, consumers are now making greater use of telemedicine services as well as apps which can deliver groceries to their residences. This being the case, marketers and advertisers will be obliged to shift their marketing strategies in accordance with this increased user acceptance of more advanced technologies.
Consumers have also increased their dependence on virtual relationships, since in-person interactions have been significantly de-emphasized during the pandemic. That means social influencers should be in even greater demand than they are at present, because of the increased need for virtual relationships. This to is likely to cause a shift in marketing directions, so as to take advantage of the increased emphasis on virtual influencers.
One other significant shift brought about by the pandemic, is a greater consumer reliance on the importance of branding. Showing loyalty to a brand can help you people feel more socially connected, and it can make you feel like your opinions and their patronage really matter. This can give people a sense of having a larger purpose, and that means that marketing initiatives which emphasize branding should take on even greater significance during the post pandemic period.
One last new habit developed by consumers during the pandemic, is not really so much a new habit as an emphasis of an old one. Consumers are now making even more purchases online, as opposed to buying from brick-and-mortar stores. The long months of restrictions have driven home the point that online purchasing is a viable and desirable means of acquiring goods and services. Any successful marketer in the post-COVID world will have to take this into account, and make sure that online purchasing is part of their overall strategy.
Most marketers have learned some valuable lessons as a result of situations which have developed during the pandemic. One of these lessons is that creating content which is streamlined and extremely flexible is what is most desirable in modern times. This kind of content allows marketers to change messaging rapidly, in order to accommodate the fast changes which are occurring throughout society.
As a result, agile marketing has become the norm for today’s marketing and advertising professionals. The role of marketing has definitely become broader and more expansive, with analytics being used to drive more major decisions than ever before. It will be necessary in the post-pandemic world for marketing teams to be comprised of multi-dimensional employees who can quickly shift roles when it’s necessary to adapt to marketplace changes.
More than likely, it will be necessary to establish cross-functional teams that can support the agile marketing process, and each member will need to have a number of different skills so they can quickly change roles as needed. In-house agencies will take on greater significance in the post pandemic world, because these bodies will need to become the primary resource for generating new creative assets.
In-house agencies will become crucial in the effort for businesses to eliminate communication barriers which inhibit ad production and slow down content. These in-house groups will take on the role of communicating with customers, communicating internally, and also establishing solid communications with industry suppliers and resources. In the past, these roles may have been carried out by various silos within the company, but it has now become necessary for these internal agencies to coordinate communication paths, to ensure that the company message is delivered with a single consistent voice.
In the post-COVID-19 world, CMO’s will have to step up and play an even greater role in company leadership, because every company will have to figure out what its most important message should be, as well as how to adapt to the changed business world. Senior marketers must continue to be a guiding force within their brands, and that means CMO’s must make their voices heard with regard to creative thinking, and responding quickly to new consumer demands and needs. If you are a marketer, CMO, or small business owner wanting to change up your marketing for 2021, read this article next.