What does marketing mean in 2020?

The marketing landscape is constantly evolving, meaning marketers must continually adapt to stay competitive.

The past few years have shown just how quickly consumer behavior trends and advancements in technology can shift the way in which marketing teams must approach their campaigns. However, this year has already brought about many challenges impacting the way in which marketers must adjust their strategies to meet changing needs.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic beginning in December 2019 has forced brands to think, operate and strategize in new ways to adjust to the changing needs of their consumers.

In just a few months, we have seen many countries shift into a temporary ‘survival mode’, with social-distancing measures keeping most at home. As a result, the behavioral trends and attitudes of consumers has drastically shifted, giving marketers a new challenge to deal with.

 

How has COVID-19 affected marketing?

With social-distancing measures forcing people to stay home, many new behavioral trends have formed.

We have seen people choose television, radio and newspaper for their main source of reliable information over social media.

We are witnessing exponential growth in online video chats; with work, lectures and social engagements being done exclusively over the internet. Social media usage, gaming applications and video streaming have also experienced a significant rise in usage, as they have become the primary source of entertainment for most.

E-commerce channels have been in high demand in proportion with the elevated need for physical goods. Inconsistent supplies at grocery stores and the fear of community transmission has driven many towards online channels to purchase their essentials.

While many of these trends may reverse once normality returns, brands must stay aware and adapt to the changing conditions.

 

How are marketers reacting to these changes?

Marketers must continue tracking trends to gain a clearer understanding of how consumer behaviors are evolving.

By closely observing trends, opportunities and potential threats through conversation across social media platforms, marketers will better adapt to the evolving landscape.

As people move beyond social-distancing requirements, it is unlikely that their newly adopted behaviors will merely revert back to original.

The mix of media platforms being consumed by consumers is constantly changing; however, these changes have been tracked and observed by marketers during this crisis. For example, with digital entertainment mediums spiking, marketers may consider adjusting their strategy to appeal to this change. i.e., display more advertisements on social media or game consoles.

 

How should marketers plan for normality?

Marketers must also understand which steps to take once business returns to usual. As well as continual focus on the experience of the customers, great emphasis should also be placed on the internal marketing functions of the brand.

By understanding customer experience from the perspective of the consumer, marketers will be able to better connect with them and mitigate the effects caused by the crisis.

Beyond the changes resulting from the outbreak, we are also anticipating the following 5 trends to take over the marketing industry in 2020:

 

  1. Customer Experience and Personalization: Advancements in technology, as well as increased access to information has allowed businesses to better personalize their customer experiences. Personalized marketing will forge a real connection between you and your consumers.
  2. Strategic Marketing Transformation: Knowing when, why and how your strategic plan should be transformed will ultimately benefit customer experience. Altering your brand’s functions and procedures depending on the external environment and consumer trends will increase revenue and profits.
  3. AI/Automation: While the human aspect of marketing is still important, new technologies are capable of enhancing your marketing efforts. AI can replace boring and repetitive tasks to give brands more time to focus on a better customer experience.
  4. Focus on customer loyalty: Recurring customers are more valuable than new ones. Building a loyal customer base will reduce the impacts of crisis events such as the COVID-19 outbreak, since it can cost up to five times as much to attract new customers.
  5. Live Video: Live video is becoming increasingly popular on sites such as Facebook and Instagram and it is a great way of making your audience feel involved. People spend 3x longer watching live video than they do watching pre-recorded video.

 

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic beginning in December 2019 has forced brands to think, operate and strategize in new ways to adjust to the changing needs of their consumers. Beyond this, we are anticipating various other changes in the marketing landscape.