Being a CMO was never an easy job. But in a post-pandemic world, CMOs have an even bigger burden to carry. The Covid-19 crisis has changed consumer behavior in several key ways. The ability to adapt your brand’s marketing strategy to consumers’ needs will be the difference between flourishing and becoming extinct. Here’s how CMO’s can meet these advertising issues in 2021 head-on to build a better business.
1. The Migration to Online Shopping
In the wake of forced business closures, eCommerce sales, local delivery, and curbside pickup became a means of survival for many brick-and-mortar businesses. An inability to adapt to online sales platforms meant companies were forced to shutter.
Recent research on changing consumer behavior has also revealed that consumers are turning to online, reduced-contact sales to obtain the products and services they need. Younger, higher-income consumers are the ones driving this trend. Also, online sales driven by influencer marketing is behind the purchasing decisions of 34% of surveyed consumers.
These trends are unlikely to reverse, even after the pandemic officially ends. So, how can a business pivot strategy and thrive? CMOs should consider how their offerings can be customized and adapted to the rise in online shopping and social commerce.
What channels will be useful in influencing consumers on the buyer’s journey? Remapping the customer journey and rethinking the most effective marketing channels and messaging will be the key to capitalizing on these evolutions in consumer behavior.
2. Increased Demand for eService
We’re not just seeing an increased demand for online shopping. We’re also seeing consumers’ hunger for eServices grow. Before the pandemic, the banking industry was one of the leaders in offering eService features. But due to the Covid-19 crisis, consumers have been putting pressure on companies to make it easier for them to perform other tasks as well.
Take Telemedicine, for example. In Q1 2020, Teladoc Health, a virtual healthcare brand, enjoyed 1.7 million in profits. Compared to Q3 2019, profits had nearly doubled. During the Covid-19 pandemic, over 38% of surveyed consumers started using eServices.
eService options make consumers’ lives easier and tasks more convenient. Rising consumer demand for eServices gives marketers new avenues and opportunities for building relationships and increasing customer loyalty.
3. Rising Demand for at-Home Entertainment
Before the pandemic, roughly 5% of the US workforce worked from home. But major world events tend to cause massive change. The evolution of cloud computing and technology has made work-from-home a reality for a much larger percentage of the workforce. And recent surveys from startup founders have uncovered that the majority will have work-from-home policies implemented three to five days a week after the pandemic ends.
With the pandemic also putting the kibosh on things like movie theaters, amusement parks, indoor dining, festivals, and the like, the home has become a hub for both work and play. Turning home into the office and, in some cases, the classroom has also led to an increase in consumer demand for at-home entertainment. Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have seen a 10% increase in demand since the pandemic started.
For CMOs, advertising issues in 2021 can be overcome by looking more closely at the opportunities presented with streaming services. Advertising on Hulu or other streaming services like Spotify can get your brand in front of new, captive audiences. Over-The-Top advertising, or OTT, lets brands advertise directly to consumers over the internet through smart devices. It gives you the ability to limit wasted marketing resources by targeting hyper-specific demographics.
4. Localized Marketing Presents New Opportunities
Travel restrictions have severely curtailed consumer wanderlust. Many are searching for new experiences, products, and services in their own backyards. Since the pandemic-related travel limits went into effect, activity on local social media pages, groups, and forums has increased. In particular, Facebook groups have been places where online community networks thrive.
For marketers, expanding connections with consumers is a critical component of their efforts. Seeking new opportunities for localized marketing allows brands to get in front of new customers. Consider tailoring your messages and using different marketing channels to forge connections with local communities and specific neighborhoods. Managing local engagement and activity will require CMOs to tweak their operating model to build a local presence that scales.
5. Managing Your Brand’s Response to the Crisis
Building trust with consumers has always been a critical part of marketing campaigns and strategies. But during a crisis, consumer trust is even more important. 61% of surveyed consumers said that a brand’s response to the crisis had a significant impact on their purchasing decision. For CMOs, effectively communicating their brand’s purpose is essential for building consumer trust and confidence in a post-pandemic world.
Marketing campaigns should communicate the causes their brand supports, what values they hold, and how the company is making a difference. Informing their audience about the partnerships they’ve forged, how they treat their employees, and what projects they’ve become involved in are all effective ways to showcase brand purpose and build trust.
But a caveat. Brands that have cynically capitalized on this change to consumer sentiment by being all talk and no walk have already gotten backlash from customers. If you’re going to communicate your brand’s purpose, you’ll need to back it up with action. Consumers have a platform in social media in which to call out untrustworthy brands.
Advertising Issues in 2021: Rethink Your Marketing
Major world events like the coronavirus pandemic have the potential to spark massive change on a global, local, and individual scale. We’re already seeing the changes it’s brought to consumer behaviors and sentiments. For brands to thrive in a post-pandemic world, they’ll need to rethink their marketing to avoid advertising issues in 2021 and beyond.
Your business fundamentals must be strong. Seeking new marketing channels and opportunities will help your brand reach new customers, strengthen relationships with current ones, and adapt to the changing environment. We can help.
At inThink, our marketing experts have the skills to thoroughly analyze and understand your brand’s purpose and effectively convey your message to new customers. We know how important it is to remap the buyer’s journey in a post-pandemic world and uncover new channels and opportunities to find customers and convert leads. Reach out to us today to learn more about how our Growth Plan works.