Since the beginning of this year, the world has witnessed a major shift in how we consume content, communicate, and do business. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have been forced to evolve and reprioritize our lives, and with it, our marketing strategies.
Although the industry has adjusted to working from home, many companies continue to operate as usual, creating challenges for marketers.
Marketing To The Masses
When the pandemic began to loom over the world, the need to maintain a constant stream of revenue became more vital than ever. This, combined with the increased digital nomads’ presence, created an opportunity for marketers, especially those who can integrate marketing into a digital nomad’s lifestyle.
Marketers seized this opportunity and adapted their strategies, creating a boom in remote marketing. Thanks to the flexibility and scalability of modern marketing technology, such as HubSpot, marketing to the masses became a reality for many brands.
Now, as the world emerges from the pandemic, marketing to the masses continues to grow. According to HubSpot’s 2021 State of Marketing Report, 79% of respondents said they plan to increase their use of online marketing in the next six months.
Marketing Is Personal
Marketing is more personal than ever before. Thanks to online marketing tools and platforms, marketers can track the purchase behavior of individuals, revealing key pieces of information about the customer journey, including what interests them and why.
This information is extremely valuable in tailoring marketing content, whether you’re developing a marketing plan for the year or need to create a marketing email for a specific campaign. With marketing automation platforms like HubSpot, which integrate Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, and other customer data and insights into the stream of your marketing emails, you’ll have the ability to create highly personalized, automated, and trackable messages that produce results.
Product awareness represents the total amount of knowledge a typical consumer has regarding a product or service. This can be measured through various methods, including surveys and brand awareness tracking. During the COVID-19 pandemic, a lack of awareness became a major issue, especially regarding the safety of consuming raw meat. This sparked a trend towards simplified, digital ways of raising product awareness.
Nissan Leaf, one of the world’s most recognizable and best-selling electric cars, was experiencing severe brand awareness issues, with many people still unaware that the company’s electric cars are for sale. To remedy this, Nissan turned to digital PR, launching a dedicated website with all the information people needed to know about the electric car, as well as a dedicated Twitter account and Facebook page.
The company’s social media accounts gained nearly 19,000 followers in just three months. This is compared to the previous year, when Leaf’s social media presence only gained 8,300 followers in only the first three months. Since then, Leaf’s social media team has continued to grow its following, now boasting over 24,000 followers on social media.
Shifting Attention To The Longer Term
In the past, if you wanted to grow your brand, you’d typically focus on marketing and sales for the shorter term, while paying less attention to the long term. Thanks to the pandemic, marketers now must consider the future, especially as it relates to customer loyalty and retention.
To retain its customers during the pandemic, Apple took a page out of Google’s book and decided to buck the trend. The company decided to invest heavily in customer relationships, putting in place a number of initiatives, including:
- Free delivery for all new purchases
- Extended warranty coverage for MacBook Pro, iPad, and iPhone
- $100 gift card for every Mac or iPhone sold
The result? Since the beginning of this year, Apple’s store-within-a-store concept, which opened in February, has attracted 20% more people than usual.
The Impact On Advertising
The impact of all of this on advertising couldn’t be more profound. Not only have we seen a major shift in consumer behavior, but we’ve also witnessed a seismic shift in the ways in which we engage with our audience. Traditional advertising, which relies heavily on mass media and billboards, suddenly became unworkable during the pandemic.
Most traditional forms of advertising, including television and print, suffer from a serious image problem, as 73% of respondents in HubSpot’s 2021 State of Marketing Report said they’re likely to reject advertising that isn’t aligned with a brand or business they know and trust.
To overcome this, many marketers have turned to digital advertising, with 65% of respondents in our 2021 State of Marketing Report planning to increase their use of digital advertising in the next six months.
Fortunately, the digital advertising industry has also adapted, providing marketers with a range of options, from banner ads to video content, interactive buttons, and more.
The Impact On Sales
Product awareness is extremely valuable, particularly when combined with a highly personalized approach to marketing. Thanks to marketing automation, sales can be highly targeted and personalized, too, with marketing and sales working in conjunction to provide the best possible experience to customers, as 76% of respondents in HubSpot’s 2021 State of Marketing Report said they plan to increase their use of marketing automation to drive efficiency and improve customer experience.
The result? According to HubSpot, sales were up 17% in 2020, compared to 2019, with 64% of respondents saying they plan to increase their use of data and analytics to drive more effective decision making and gain a deeper understanding of the customer journey.
The impact of these changes will continue to be felt long after the pandemic.