Several industries were compelled to transition to a digital-first process by the COVID-19 crisis. Not only did the pandemic impact the way teams worked, but it also changed consumer behavior and the usual customer journey.
While the pandemic prompted enterprises to adopt a digital-first approach to satisfy changing customer preferences and demands, these shifting customer patterns also altered how marketing and advertising plans and budgets began to take shape.
Through 2020, buyer preferences were disrupted. Because of their evolving content consumption preferences, this resulted in changes in how customers wanted to interact with brands. With new standards such as contactless shopping and contactless payments, marketers and salespeople needed to find a way to position themselves as a humane brand. Customers today actively seek out businesses that are either local or that place a premium on topics such as health and safety.
Consumer priorities evolved, causing a shift in purchasing habits, and their expectations from the brands they regularly interact with, shifted as well.
Marketers must not only find ways to demonstrate their value-add and worth to today’s audience, but they must also be socially conscious and empathetic in their messaging to maintain customer attention.
Robust Digital Media Presence
Home viewership via streaming services climbed dramatically through 2020 due to pandemic-enforced lockdowns, resulting in increased digital ad spends. The demand for a digital friendly environment that allows customers to transact with brands through any platform of choice, requires marketers to know where their customers are and what platforms they are most active on. It also needs them to plan deeper media mixes that include traditional media (TV) with a robust digital component.
Marketers are now taking advantage of unique opportunities provided by other channels, such as live CTV commercials, to increase their visibility and audience interest.
Marketers will need to rethink their most popular marketing channels as pre-pandemic activities resume around the world, resulting in a gradual shift in marketing strategies. Customers will continue to want many of the conveniences that the spike in digital-only activities may have brought forward through 2020, resulting in changes in how marketing leaders and companies as a whole function and create strategies in the 2021.
Diminished B2B Buying Cycles
The usual B2B customer journey has been simplified and shortened in many ways as a result of digital transformation and changing customer behaviors. While marketers in the past may have had to devote substantial time to creating awareness campaigns, today’s well-informed audience has their own perspective on companies. Moreover, online social media platforms provide marketers with a wealth of opportunities to educate their target audiences about their products and key features.
Today’s B2B buyer is well-informed, relies on peer reviews and recommendations, and doesn’t require the same degree or length of nurturing provided the relevant triggers are being hit with the right content. The use of advanced consumer behavior metrics and business insights in martech has allowed marketers to not only present customers with more relevant content tailored to their interests or concerns, but also shorten the length of their prospects’ purchase cycle.
With changing business dynamics, marketing in 2021 will continue to evolve. Many of the changes impacted by the pandemic will persist as the world strives to return to its pre-pandemic pace
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