As we went into lockdown and slowly got used to the new ways of managing a business, a number of things shifted in the way that brands marketed and promoted themselves. This has left a mark on the world of marketing for the foreseeable future – changing circumstances to make our jobs slightly more difficult as well as exposing things that we as digital marketers can do better during normal operations.
So what can we expect digital marketing to look like post COVID-19?
1. Smaller marketing budgets
For many SME’s, COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown meant that they no longer had a steady stream of income to support their marketing efforts with. Many of them had to dramatically reduce or completely cut their marketing budgets in order to survive, leaving the marketers with very little room to actually drive results. Until the economy bounces back, we will continue to see marketing briefs with much smaller budgets than we’re used to.
However, this might not be such a bad thing…
2. Innovation & Flexibility
With smaller budgets, many digital marketers have looked for the most efficient ways to drive results for their clients. This has meant looking beyond the scope of their normal operations and utilising the channels in ways that hadn’t been tried before.
At Logic Digital, we often push for blended marketing budgets e.g. rather than specific budgets for SEO, PPC and Content Marketing services we look at the entire budget and allocate effort in the areas where it will have the most benefit at that time. This process allowed us to easily shift our focus to new tactics that would deliver the best results for our clients when they had to reduce their spend due to COVID.
Moving forward this should become the norm for digital marketers. A client has usually come to you because you are the expert – so when they ask for a particular service be open to recommending another route that may actually be better for their business.
3. Brand Affinity & Advocacy
While businesses have been closed and unable to deliver their regular services and products, the focus for their content and social media efforts has been on driving brand affinity and advocacy rather than conversions of any sort.
This has often included providing useful information that may not be directly related to their business, but instead has been something integral to their target audience e.g. clothing brands sharing information about how to work from home.
By creating and sharing this content (even with no obvious tie to their products), brands have finally demonstrated a genuine desire to help their customers that will ultimately drive affinity and advocacy in the future – crucial factors that can influence purchase decisions.
Again, this is something that brands should be careful not to forget as they get back to their normal marketing schedules. These marketing techniques will allow you to transform one-time converters into loyal customers who recommend your brand to others.
Unfortunately the COVID-19 lockdown (and much lower budgets) led to a large amount of redundancies amongst digital marketing agencies and have left many boutique agencies with less bandwidth and capabilities than before. While this is undoubtedly a very sad fact of life right now, one of the positives coming out of the situation is that these smaller agencies are banding together to collaborate, share skillsets and learn from each other – whether than be through white label support, partnerships or business group meetings.
Right now, nothing is set in stone and nobody knows anything about what the future will look like. Despite the initial fears you may have, this is actually a refreshing starting point for digital marketers: clients have never been more open to new ideas; businesses are focusing on other metrics besides sales and we’re getting to face new challenges that will ultimately make us better at our jobs in the long term.
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