The future of marketing in 2020 - how your team will look in a post-COVID world
Coronavirus is changing consumer behaviours – potentially, forever.
It is impacting every part of our lives, where we go, how we spend our time and our money.
In a crisis, it is natural to focus only on the now and adopt a pure survival strategy. But this could mean winning the battle but losing the war, marketing teams need to think long term. None of us know what is going to happen, when we will recover or even what that is going to look like. But, eventually, it will return to (a new) normal and marketing teams need to be prepared for that.
So, what does the future look like for marketing teams post corona? Here’s what we think…
Increased appetite for digital channels:
We have seen a major shift to digital channels since COVID-19, online is becoming the channel of choice as consumer spend even more time at home.
As we return to a more normal way of living, face to face channels will likely return, but the demand for digital channels is unlikely to disappear – the behaviour shift will endure at some level.
Coronavirus impacted marketing activities, practically overnight. Events, launches and campaigns were cancelled or postponed and budgets instantly shifted.
Adapting your digital campaigns in real time is more than possible, but for those more traditional methods, precious money and time was wasted on things like TV ads rolling out as if nothing had changed. Digital is generally a lot cheaper, faster and in some cases better.
So, when the crisis is finally behind us, brands are likely to switch their budgets to digital businesses models, targeting very specific groups virtually.
The statistics to back up the current shift:
- Shopping apps have increased of 43% month on month in April
- Downloads of video sharing app TikTok surged by 315m in Q1 2020
- Netflix gains almost 16 million new subscribers in Q1 2020
- 44% increase in time spent on social media worldwide
Pace of change:
As we are moving to a more digital way of shopping, working and just general living, it is not surprising that pace of change needs to be accelerated. We are seeing simple more practical ways of being more efficient, more phone calls, far less email chains - which have ultimately enabled a quicker route to market. These are great practises for everyone to adopt when we return to our normal work lives.
Plans that would typically have taken weeks or even months are being turned around in a matter of days and in a very different way to what we are use to. We have seen a massive shift to online events, with the crisis enabling a pivot to digital a lot faster.
Arguably engaging your existing customer base through virtual channels is much easier, because that trust is already there. The issue will come from acquisition of new customers, your brand needs to stand out, you need to engage new clients in a unique and different way – it is critical.
So basically, marketers must keep control and governance in place while working within their framework but in a much faster way.
As companies rush to protect their workforce from the spread of the virus, it is clear marketing teams have stopped going to the office to plan, collaborate and execute marketing campaigns. The shift to remote working has created new challenges and a shift in priorities for marketing teams.
It is likely that the wave in remote working will continue long into the post-coronavirus era. Some marketers may have found themselves far more productive whilst working from home, so companies may decide remote working is the way forwards.
Although, not every team will feel a 100% remote workforce is best, collaborating on projects is arguably a lot easier with face to face interactions and this is where technology is likely to come in. It will likely play a huge role in a shift to remote working, regardless of how many employees decide to alter their working habits permanently. Technologies increase visibility, meaning individuals are able to see how they are contributing to projects and their role as part of the wider team, encouraging transparency and accountability, which will hopefully increase overall productivity levels.
We know redundancies are being made, and this is unlikely to stop just yet. But roles aren’t just going to disappear, they are shifting. We are likely to see an increase in demand for roles like project managers and specific marketing roles, like CRM, so that companies can run very personalised campaigns in order to thrive once again. There has been a huge appetite for project management tool since the start of the pandemic and this is unlikely to change.
Customer centric brands:
Consumers are social distancing and therefore likely feeling pretty isolated. The inability to get out of their home, has led to lots of people going online to get that contact they desire. More FaceTime, phone calls, online gaming, and pretty much anything you can think of is now online.
Social media has been a major channel for so many brands and a great way to connect with consumers and communities. Brands must choose their channels wisely and help the customers during this time, by either doing good or providing entertainment.
We are sure you’ve seen, pretty much every fitness clothing company has started daily live Instagram workouts, and so many restaurants have been sharing their top-secret recipes (our personal favourite are the Pret cookies).
Marketing is not just about getting consumers to buy a product; it’s about building a community and brand awareness to take care to your customers. More people are looking for socially responsible brands; 47% of global consumers expect companies to support hospitals during the coronavirus crisis.
Brands must address and understand how their customers’ needs are changing.
The impact of coronavirus has rapidly changed marketing teams’ priorities, budgets and so much more, some of which we are unlikely to even know about until things return to some sort of normality.
Marketing has become more difficult during this pandemic; teams need to be faster than ever. Modifying big projects in a matter of days, finding resources to execute new campaigns and content.
Luckily, marketing teams are resilient, teams are learning to work remotely and have been taking steps to change their execution of plans and re adjust their budgets.