Most of us feel that 2021 is going to be the same old same old. We still wear our masks and work from home. Despite different testing and quarantine rules, international travel is still a challenge.
In the US, India, the UK, and other countries, we do see a ray of sunshine due to the progress of vaccinations. Even though we don’t know when the pandemic will end, eventually, it WILL.
How about the next step? What trends do we, as marketers, need to be aware of to proactively prepare for the post-Covid marketing era and the transition period?
Marketers should be aware of these five trends in order to plan and adjust accordingly.
- Virtual communication is here to stay, but everyone is craving for in-person interactions
During the early days of the pandemic, you may have seen this joke floating around the Internet.
It’s both sad and true at the same time. COVID accelerated the mass deployment of virtual communications across all industries and households. Before Covid, the most essential in-person interactions were doctors’ visits and going to school.
We now see our doctors on our computer screens, and our kids are educated virtually.
As soon as S#*t hits the fan, we simply turn it off and install a virtual fan in its place. It’s funny.
The virtual fan is here to stay. Remember how difficult it was for us to learn using Zoom (TEAMS or whatever)? Imagine if we scrambled to move lamps around until we broke down and purchased selfie ring lights from Amazon? Isn’t it funny how we had to clean off our office, dining room, and any other place that would show up in the background of our video?
We won’t let that slide. Definitely not. Especially after all the #drama of setting everything up. There has been too much investment!
- Content is still king
The biggest challenge during the pandemic was how fast everything changed. Frequently, B2B marketers dislike constant change. Marketing can be greatly impacted by a small change in strategy.
Channels of communication may need to shift as a result of a change in strategy. In the event of a shift in messaging and the creative concept, we may need to create new paid and social media campaigns with different copy and images.
Content plays a critical role in business communication:
- Brand’s involvement in social causes (purpose-driven content)
- Changes in protocol and processes to keep customers safe
- Show-and-tell of new technologies and products (e.g. Covid Vaccine?)
- The digital customer experience is your product
In the past, the surge of digital usage was mostly tied to holidays, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The digital customer experience has become a thing of everyday life. Prospects and customers need to be able to find the information you want to share easily.
In a way, you should treat the digital experience like your product, not as a cost center.
To design, revise, test, and optimize our products, we spend a lot of time and money. It should also apply to the digital customer experience since that’s where your customers engage with you. Engagements and impressions will also determine whether they buy from you.
When your digital customer experience is seamless and easy, you will get your money back.
- Align sales and marketing
Sales and marketing must work closely together in this fast-changing world. Both sides must change how they work.
Stop complaining about the quality of leads and start defining MQL and SQL together.
Instead of complaining about a lack of content, tell marketers what types of content you need.
Take the time to understand your salespeople, marketing. Make the extra effort, even if they are not pleasant sometimes. They are responsible for the company’s revenue.
Marketers, make it easy for them to sort content.
- Processes and workflow optimization is your competitive advantage
Marketers tend to become overwhelmed when digital marketing becomes complicated. Understand what goes on behind the scenes is the best way to overcome it. Essentially, you need to understand the processes and steps involved in how things are done and how data flows from one point to another.
If you are in email marketing, can you show how you created your theme and headline, sourced and selected content, built your email, sent it out, and tracked analytics? You probably can describe it verbally, but can you put it into a workflow by brainstorming with your colleagues, including platforms/tools used, approval processes, and all that good stuff?
In order to be efficient and understand digital marketing, you have to go beyond just creative, email, campaigns, and copywriting. Know your processes!
If you want to move up, you’ll need to understand how things work.
Ok, nothing about 2020 went according to plan, we were all thrust into unfamiliar territory. At the personal and professional level, we’ve learned a lot (I did).
The following are my biggest takeaways:
- Virtually everything that used to have to be done in person can be done
- Stay-at-home mandates allow us to build human connections in alternative ways
- We adopted, adapted, and made it work
If you have questions about post-Covid marketing trends, please contact
content marketing, sales/marketing alignment, account-based marketing (or you just want to talk about your marketing challenges), book a call with me.