If there is one year, that is going down our memory lane, it has to be 2020. It came as an unwarranted shock and tied the globe with its mitigating impact.
Unprecedented times changed the way we study, we work, we shop, we socialize, we entertain or to sum up - the way we live. Such a change in the marketing landscape demanded quick and efficient adaptation and adjustments from all the brands and their offerings.
And they surely navigated the tide with their acumen and technological advantage to respond and rise to the occasion.
We can spend time mourning over the mishap brought by the pandemic or take the key takeaways of the current marketing climate. And use it to our advantage for 2021. Let’s do the later:
Someone rightly said, “Life is what happens when you are busy planning other things”. 2020 taught us how true this is.
We all want everything to go as per the plan. But what if it fails? There’s nothing like a perfect business plan since life is made up of uncertainties. And the challenges and the curveballs come our way.
Trends, situations, technologies, consumer behaviors, economic and political situations - they all change. And we need to be prepared to adapt to it.
This year has sure taught us one thing that our goals and strategies should be properly planned and we should have contingencies placed in case of failure.
Having a backup or plan B is a great way to change the gear when the situation demands. But more important than having the backup, is the mental strength to bounce back and to “Pivot and Hustle” your way through.
While technology is often considered as a bane for social interactions, 2020 saw great adoption of technology, which kept people connected and positive.
Businesses rallied around technology with an unprecedented level of adoption and adaption of existing and new tech and tools to continue providing a personal connection and keep business moving.
By using video conferencing platforms like FaceTime or Zoom for face-to-face connections and other virtual technology, the industry embraced tech with open arms to help minimize disruptions.
Humans are naturally adaptable beings and most people have found some kind of a ‘new normal’ in comparison to the confusion and uncertainty of early 2020.
Businesses and Brands reacted to the crisis and quickly rose to the occasion of supporting communities and other small businesses through faster response and flexible innovation.
Those brands who were flexible with their strategy and marketing quickly adapted to the changing scenarios and built upon the opportunities that came with 2020.
As businesses suffered losses on many fronts, those with deep and well-built customer relationships and networks were able to adapt to the new reality of remote work brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Therefore, businesses need to invest in relationships to stay in touch and forge new relationships with co-workers, partners, customers, and potential clients.
The more extensive your network and the more intensive your relationship, the better your chance of survivability in face of changes.
In light of all the confusion that 2020 brought, it has become hard to put together predictions for the coming year in marketing trends.
With consumers and the market shifting online and the relationship and network becoming virtual, digital marketing is not another form of marketing anymore.
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With our screens becoming our 2nd home, reaching our consumers through digital touchpoints is the way. Digital Marketing is the only way forward in the coming years.
While there are certainly new trends and technology to account for, there are some old tools and tech which aren’t necessarily new, but they’re evolving in notable ways to accommodate with the ‘New Normal’.
Brands either have to adapt to digital marketing or optimize their existing digital infrastructure to survive the coming future.
To break through the digital clutter, it was and will be the content that will be the deal-breaker. The content needs to connect with the audience and add some value to their values.
Whether it educates them, entertains them, or motivates them. But it should have an audience connect.
There has been a lot of innovation happening in content marketing too. And we need to use it to our advantage like AR (Artificial Reality), which helps in creating more immersive experiences.
Some of the other trends to note are the rise in the engagement levels on video marketing, growth in podcasts, or voice searches.
With the help of all these trends and technology, you can hold consumer attention for a longer time, which is now even lesser than that of goldfish.
The Google algorithm also focuses on quality content, for organic reach to create compelling content consistently over a period of time, to build your brand.
Ultimately, 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic and its related measures—mainly physical distancing and isolation—are having harmful consequences on the mental health of the general population worldwide.
Businesses and brands too were affected by lockdowns, where many lost their businesses, and many incurred huge losses.
It affected the psyche of the consumers and well as brands and businesses. 2020 became the greatest test of emotional intelligence in our generation.
This calls for poised, emotionally intelligent leaders to navigate through the uncertainty, turbulence, and potential losses. Your thinking capability is affected by your mental health and you need to be in a good state to innovate or build back something.
Like brands around the globe, even employees around the world suffered financially due to job losses. A person with multiple skill sets has quickly adopted other options and saved themselves from crises.
So, way forward it is very important for every individual to think of two-income sources so that they will not suffer financially.
“Survival of Fittest”, 2020 has proved this.
Therefore, before we forget and bid adieu to 2020 and celebrate and welcome 2021, we need to remember the things that were important in 2020, times when we failed, times when we got back up, things we lost, things we learned, and most importantly the value of life.
As we usher into a new normal, we need to be aware of the points which led us to this moment and act on them for a better future.
Gone are the days when you can rely on a single store to do all your marketing. Now you need to use multiple digital channels to strengthen your presence.
Brands need to reach consumers at multiple touchpoints, to come even in their consideration set. Hence a seamless message multiple needs to be communicated through multiple channels like via social media, email, and website.
Lastly, we learned the value of a personal brand and to create that connection with your audience. Keep investing in building your personal brand, through your unique offering.
Share quality content, in your genuine voice. Keep the conversation two way by engaging with your audience and creating your own community of advocates. Stay focused and committed. Slowly and steadily it will build your online credibility.