The pandemic has fundamentally changed the way big and small companies do business. During the height of the pandemic, consumers and employees alike were forced to spend the better part of a year stuck in their homes. This was detrimental to traditional brick-and-mortar stores, relying heavily on their location and foot traffic to bring in revenue.
During the new normal, even the most traditional business models were pivoted and morphed into new creations to continue serving consumers. Staying afloat in such unsure times requires quick thinking and a deeper understanding of your consumers. Changing such fundamental business practices can take a lot of time and effort, leaving companies searching for fast and efficient ways to change in the new normal.
This desire for quick and efficient change can be seen in the marketing practices across various industries. Marketing became a hot topic of conversation as traditional practices for both marketing and advertising became quickly moot when consumers were stuck indoors. Consumer behaviours became erratic and unpredictable during the time spent in lockdowns. Convenience, reliability, and transparency promptly ranked at the top of consumer needs compared to quality and brand loyalty.
In this time of extreme change, innovative marketing can be the determining factor of whether a business sinks or floats. Understanding your market has always been an essential part of doing business, but it’s never been under such extreme pressure as it is during this new normal. Moving forward, businesses ahead of the curve will be the ones to come out as victors. Here are some of the essential changes and trends marketing has gone through after the pandemic.
A focus on local
Marketing has long been on the way to obtaining a deeper understanding of consumer behaviours. As the pandemic reared its head, consumers were limited to their homes and nearby locations. Even shorter trips to neighbouring towns became a thing of the past because of the pandemic. Businesses quickly saw that localized marketing campaigns that addressed specific local markets were far more effective than generalized national or international campaigns.
Understanding how to market to different localities allowed consumers to feel seen and made brands seemingly more accessible. Due to their size, small businesses have been leading the charge for these local campaigns. These businesses have been utilizing traditional and digital marketing techniques to maintain and grow their market share. More prominent companies are also following suit and showing promising results as more funds are put into testing a locally tailored marketing strategy. In no small part, this shift to local is also due to digitalization in the sector.
Online marketing and advertising have been the secret tools for big and small businesses continuing to flourish during the pandemic. Computers, smart TVs, mobile phones, and tablets have all changed the way brands want to market themselves. In terms of advertising, print ads, flyers, and billboards were switched out for social media advertising, moving graphics, and curated brand content. As consumers were no longer outdoors, brands were constantly coming up with new and inventive ways to reach them.
Studies showed that consumers viewed their phone screens more than any other device in their household during the lockdown. This is one of the main reasons we saw so many businesses tailoring their websites to be more mobile-friendly, coming out with eCommerce applications, and advertising on social media. Social media became an essential tool in gathering more in-depth consumer information because it allowed you to target specific sectors of your market based on their age, location, and even the brands they followed.
Going digital also meant integrating technology into different aspects of the business. Many businesses started to use technology to improve their business processes, customer experiences, and marketing. Other devices and interfaces called for various marketing materials to establish a seamless online presence.
Technology also played a large part in smaller businesses and those providing professional services to continue to adapt to the new normal. For instance, estate agents turned to platforms such as Skype and Zoom to continue communicating with clients about the properties and related products and services they offer.
Localization and digitalization addressed concerns on both ends of the spectrum. Both businesses and consumers have reaped the benefits of localized marketing and digital strategies. While the question as to whether this trend will continue as the world begins to open up is still up for debate, these marketing moves have helped companies gain a better understanding of the post-pandemic consumer, which can only serve to promise better results moving forward.