It is now wholly apparent that today’s world is not the same one that we left behind in 2019. With almost no industry left untouched by the effects of COVID-19, there’s no question the Coronavirus pandemic has catapulted digital transformation to the top of the priority list for virtually every business in the world. A robust digital presence and advertising strategy are no longer good-to-haves; they’re business requirements. They’re table stakes for competing in the future.
Marketing leaders need to be agile but strategic, pragmatic yet innovative, and most importantly, they need to navigate the now while planning for a future that remains unknown. Over the last few months, millions of businesses and institutions all over the world, across nearly every sector, have had to reimagine and re-architect entire business models, with marketing playing an increasingly critical role in their survival and viability.
In moments of rapid change and unpredictability, the “new normal” gets shaped by companies that embrace the opportunity to evolve. Developing a digital marketing strategy that fuels your business growth is no easy task, but there has never been a more pivotal time to put in the work. As the new normal continues to evolve each day, only one thing remains consistent; the stakes have never been higher for your business.
Here are a few things to consider as you reimagine your marketing strategy:
Strike the Right Tone
Believe it or not, the line between compassionate and cringe-worthy messaging can, at times, appear relatively thin. Companies who have taken a thoughtful, data-driven approach have generally fared better in this area…though, it is fair to say we’ve all had enough of the same ads showing the same empty streets and window-separated families at this point. Being ready to test and evolve your messaging with changing circumstances is key; the last thing any brand wants is to struggle with a scandal after a tone-deaf ad launches. In the same way that the hit show Gossip Girl struggled to keep the audience’s attention in the middle of a financial crisis because of its focus on over-privileged teens, an out of touch promotional video or post on Twitter can make an audience turn on a brand pretty quickly.
Prioritize Marketing You Can Measure
When budgets are tight, and there’s more pressure than ever for each dollar spent to help your bottom line, it’s essential to focus your budget on areas where you can measure success. Is that TV spot really worth it? How about the cost of Print? Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing allows you to measure ROI every step of the way. Digital offers companies an opportunity to improve their messaging and targeting every single day, not to mention the ability to see real-time results for each aspect of the campaign. Taking a data-driven approach with your marketing is the only sure-fire way to improve ROI, grow your audience base, and minimize inefficiencies.
Embrace a Larger Audience
If you work in an industry that relies on meeting customers face-to-face, from the small, local mom-and-pop shops to larger companies that depend on the annual circuit of trade shows and exhibitions to network, your world has undoubtedly changed over the last few months. While COVID-19 has driven all of us indoors, it also has, in many ways, forced us all online and removed boundaries and borders that once separated us. Embrace this. Rethink your audience. Use the fact that everyone’s eyes are, in one way or another, glued online to introduce yourself to new customers.
From a marketing standpoint, this uniquely challenging period will surely be characterized by the sudden embrace and evolution of digital-first marketing programs and long-term shift from immeasurable to measurable channels. Not only are the digital leaders outperforming competitors in this crisis, we see them doubling down on their investments to widen the gap. Businesses that adapt, innovate, and operate with a data-driven mindset will be best positioned to survive now and thrive in the years to come.
inSegment is committed to providing critical support for companies impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic; if transforming your marketing efforts to meet the demands of our times is something you’d be interested in discussing, contact us today.