Opinion: How has technology changed the marketing landscape? | Advertising

The pandemic told us what we already knew, which is that businesses need to communicate with a local approach and, in exact terms, target specific consumers based on their circumstances and relevance. This requires a deep understanding of the situation on the ground, country by country, state by state and location by location code. It can also be about personalizing the messages.

Beyond location, we’re finding that marketing communications need to be personalized, based on customer values ​​and needs, rather than demographics like age and gender.

Marketing Communications Management

As one can imagine, there has been an increase in online content consumption platforms as a result of this shift in focus towards all things digital. Online platforms are growing to cope with new competitors and user demand.

With the introduction of lockdown, the size, availability and profile of the digital audience has changed dramatically, attracting people who were previously only accessible offline. Not only that, but it has also changed their attitudes, their expectations, their consumption of content, and how they expect to be treated as consumers.

Brands that got it right, cared about their employees and customers, and acted on it. For some companies, this has meant a significant change in strategy and/or reorganization. Others needed to refine an established plan.

For example, Alessandra Bellini, Customer Director of Tesco (UK supermarket chain), explained: “We didn’t have to change or pivot. We really had to be at our best to listen to our customers every day… we were going out to stores, pickers and depot, talking to staff and customers in real time to understand what we needed to do in terms of a central perspective.”

Tesco has set out four important principles that will guide its marketing communications strategy after careful listening: safety, food and support for employees and communities.

Technology has undoubtedly changed the marketing profession in many ways. The three routes below are some of the most notable.

Virtual events

One of the most notable results of the pandemic is the rapid emergence and success of virtual events, which have allowed businesses and event organizers to host events without having to significantly limit their offerings. Virtual breakout rooms are available for attendees to connect and network, and marketers can set up virtual booths and connect with potential customers in a meaningful way.

Small, intimate seminars have replaced webinars, in addition to leveraging technology to replicate larger events. Webinars aren’t exactly “new,” but they’ve become the go-to thought leadership and lead generation tool for B2B and B2C brands.

The obvious benefit of a virtual event is that it requires less time outside of people’s busy schedules. Participating in virtual events can be more convenient, less time-consuming and more profitable.

Search Network Ad Spend

If there’s one indicator of digital marketing’s superiority over traditional marketing, it’s where ad spend goes. For the first time in 2019, digital ad spend surpassed traditional marketing, and the trend has continued ever since.

Meanwhile, digital ad spend grew steadily year over year, ranging from 8.2% to 15.1%. Despite an early reluctance to invest after the pandemic hit, digital ad spend grew 14.3% between June 2020 and February 2021, one of the largest six-month increases on record.

In the future, digital advertisements will be the dominant marketing medium for organizations of all kinds, traditional advertisements, while still relevant, will lose relevance.

Marketing localization

With people moving to suburbs and rural areas due to working from home after the pandemic, locational marketing will become more important. According to Accenture, two-thirds of consumers prefer to shop at local retailers and/or buy more local products. For brands to improve their connection with their audience, localized content and personalization must be more vital than ever.

Adapting to the new normal

With online marketing, a company can review its communication strategy.

The communication technique used previously may no longer be appropriate if people’s priorities and schedules change. It is a good idea to reconsider the emails sent, the material provided and the overall approach towards consumers.

This could involve a complete overhaul of the content calendar or putting some blog posts on hold to focus on posts that address doubts, anxieties, and questions about the current situation. It also involves brand managers spending time getting to know their post-Covid-19 customers.

Sending out an email survey with questions about their current priorities, areas of pain, and desires is one approach to doing this. They should be simple to answer (multiple choice or one point on a scale), but it is advisable to leave some questions open as you might learn some interesting facts about the customers.

(The author is founder and director of Value 360 ​​Communications.)

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