In our December 2021 post “The Brandpoint Guide: Level Up Your Digital Marketing in 2022,” our CEO Scott Severson outlined three major focus areas that he predicted would continue to be a challenge for digital marketers: employee shortages, supply chain issues and the continued effect the coronavirus pandemic has on our professional day-to-day lives.
Now that we’re halfway through the year, I wanted to take a moment to revisit these topics more in-depth. I wrote about how digital marketing can help solve for employee shortage struggles a few weeks ago, and today I’ll dive in on a few things I’ve noticed and learned about digital marketing through the lingering pandemic.
A note: I hesitate to use the phrase “post-pandemic,” but the truth of the matter is that we’re living in an entirely different world than we did in 2019. While variants will continue to come and go and hundreds of thousands of people will still be infected, there is a lot to reflect on when it comes to how our business habits have irreversibly changed.
Digital marketing’s market size will hit over $400 billion this year
A press release by Beroe, an intelligence and analytics provider, states that thanks to the rapid shift from traditional to digital marketing tactics during the COVID-19 pandemic, the digital marketing industry has seen incredible growth.
While this expansion in digital marketing tactics around the world will lead to huge changes in how marketers and businesses run (and see success), it also leads to growing pains and challenges. Trends and consumer habits shift quickly and constantly, and your business needs to keep up with the higher expectations of a digitally savvy customer base.
Marketers need to create an integrated marketing strategy
“Higher expectations” is a theme that I’ve been seeing across the communications and marketing industry. The concept is explored further in this Forbes article by Acquia’s CMO Lynne Capozzi. She explains that over the last few years, we’ve all become accustomed to the level of personalization and omnichannel integration from big companies like Netflix or Amazon, and now we expect that same level of user experience everywhere.
“Today, consumers anticipate a relevant, easy, enjoyable online experience whether they’re shopping for tennis shoes for their daughter or marketing automation software for their enterprise.”
As digital marketers, we don’t always have access to the type of budget that giants like Facebook or Netflix have. However, we can always scale to what is possible in our own organizations following the same themes.
Every channel you have needs to be smoothly integrated with others
This means brand consistency no matter where a customer finds you, be it on a paid landing page or a LinkedIn post or in a demo with your sales team.
Charting out audience personas is a great first step to solidifying your omnichannel plan. Decide who you’re speaking to specifically. (This works for B2B and B2C marketing plans, by the way!) Think about details like:
- Demographics like age, job, location, etc.
- What are their specific pain points? (And how does your service or product help?)
- How can you make their lives more efficient and easier?
- What would any hesitations be to working with your company?
Radical innovation should be at the core of what you do
This is another phrase that Capozzi mentions in her Forbes article, and I was struck with how closely it aligns with Brandpoint’s current focus. Radical innovation doesn’t mean coming up with an off-brand, harebrained plan every other week, just throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. To us, it means constantly pushing ourselves to evaluate our products, services and processes to see what things can be adjusted to best fit our target audience’s needs and habits.
As digital marketers in a post-pandemic world, this means doing a lot of listening to your audience. Have budgets changed? Do you have to do less with more? Have your customers shifted from one social platform to another? Work with your sales and product teams to discuss these types of questions and regularly meet to work on your innovation strategy.
High-quality content is the key to strong personalization strategies
Brandpoint is a content-first digital marketing agency, which means that we strongly believe that how we communicate with audiences is one of the most effective ways to grow and see success. These high expectations in the content-consuming world underline our philosophy.
- If you create a piece of value-added content, you have to truly and sincerely be creating something valuable.
- If you’re writing an email campaign, nurturing a new lead, you need to dive into those audience personas and speak directly to them from a place of wanting to solve their problems.
- If you’re launching a paid LinkedIn campaign, you should be driving your audience to a piece of content that aligns with the ad’s messaging and gives them something in return for clicking.
- If you have complicated products or services, especially for those in fields like manufacturing, healthcare or financial services, make your website tell your story in multiple ways. Include explainer videos on product pages. Share testimonials and case studies with detailed goals, results and quotes. Create long-form blog content explaining the value of your product.
A focused digital marketing strategy will help your company thrive in the post-pandemic world
As we predicted in 2020, companies who took their foot off the marketing gas pedal during the pandemic would regret it – and we believe this came true. We saw a digital transformation and now we’re in the future we were all trying to picture as the world rapidly evolved around us.
Start with your goals in mind, whether it’s driving traffic, growing sales or increasing your leads (or a combination of many), and assess what you’re doing and what you’re missing. Keep pushing forward during the pandemic to truly help your customers and clients – providing a valuable and genuine experience is one thing you can control in a world that we know will continue to change around us.