by Samantha Press Marketing Manager at citizen
For many marketers, the events of 2020 and 2021 heralded a drastic change that forced them to re-evaluate nearly every aspect of their business.
From the plethora of digital channels that marketers use to interact with customers, to their daily internal work flows, the industry is almost unrecognizable from what it was in before the pandemic.
Amid the widespread uncertainty and economic turmoil caused by the crisis, however, Salesforce research indicates that marketers are actually optimistic about what the future holds, with 77% feeling their work provides more value than it did a year ago, while another 66% expect % to see revenue growth over the next 12-18 months.
In order to ensure this success, it is important to reflect on the key marketing lessons of 2021 and assess how to carry this newfound knowledge into 2022.
The popularity of the video soared
As ongoing shutdowns and restrictive measures disrupted daily life during the first half of the year, marketers were forced to take a more digitally focused approach to customer engagement than ever before, and this has prompted many to re-evaluate which channels are worth increasing or decreasing. investment.
It wouldn’t come as a surprise that since customers – potential and unlikely – have spent so much time using their devices at home, digital marketing channels have seen a massive increase in engagement, with video platforms like YouTube and Twitch seeing a particularly large increase in value.
With a recent study finding that 81% of consumers and business buyers expect to spend more time online once the pandemic is over as they did before it started, video penetration is likely to continue to rise, and as such marketers may do well, to consider what They can gain from using this medium to their advantage.
Websites are more important than ever
Websites have always been one of the best ways to attract conversions, but with the pandemic causing stores to compulsorily close, more customers are online than ever before, highlighting the need for websites to function like storefronts.
In this sense, marketers have had to think a lot about how to communicate key sales messages through their organization’s website, and how to improve the site to make it as accessible and usable as possible for visitors.
Now that the vast majority of stores that survived the economic downturn of the crisis have reopened, many new internet converts are actually choosing to stay off the main streets, with PwC figures showing nearly 50 outlets are closing daily as a result of the pandemic.
This means that marketers need to consider investing more than ever in their online production to move forward, and come up with new and innovative ways to stand out from their competitors in the digital marketplace.
Marketers have had to re-evaluate how they treat customers and co-workers
Just as interacting with customers in person has been out of the question for many high street retailers during the lockdown, talking to potential customers on their business phones has been impossible for office salespeople.
This has increased the importance of engaging with customers no matter where they are located, as well as benefiting from how they want to buy.
According to this, marketers have worked tirelessly to deliver powerful consumer experiences across a variety of touchpoints, thereby avoiding the disjointed journeys that often discourage or exacerbate buyers.
However, it is not only consumers who have changed their physical locations and online behavior – marketers have also had to adapt their approach to communicating internally within their organizations.
Gone are the days when team members were always attached to their desks – the pandemic has proven, in many ways, that this approach is no longer quite fit for purpose, either from a productivity or well-being perspective – and finding the right workflows to connect with has been an effective learning curve for work teams. .
But with the world of work and organizational structure changing drastically in the wake of the pandemic along with customer behavior, this is a lesson that marketers can carry in the far online future that lies ahead.
Changing the methods for using cookies
Marketers have also learned about Google’s intention to phase out third-party cookies on Chrome browsers in 2022, as well as Apple’s changes to iOS 14 that will make tracking customer behavior more difficult.
For years, brands have relied on cookies to track site visitors, improve the user experience, and collect data that helps them target ads to the most relevant audiences, but these ads mean there’s a radical change on the horizon.
To be better prepared for the upcoming changes, marketers must now think of alternative methods they can use to make their digital advertising efforts effective without the need for cookies.
For example, contextual ads – ads related to other content on your screen – are already seeing a revival, while people-based marketing enables marketers to meet customers where and when they really want to interact with them without relying on third-party cookies to track users. or data collection.
Changes to tracking through cookies will certainly make it more difficult to collect customer data, but marketers must recognize that these changes are inevitable and a reflection of times, and therefore must now consider alternative approaches they can take.
Looking to the future
There is no doubt that COVID has made the job of a marketer more difficult than ever, and there are many new lessons that people in this sector have had to learn over the past two years.
If marketers can use this knowledge to create new strategies and approaches that can be effective in the future, the experience of fighting and surviving the pandemic can certainly be seen as valuable to the industry as a whole as it looks into 2022 and beyond.