For some marketers, especially malls and national retailers, 2020 was a big challenge even before the pandemic. COVID-19 quickly enlarged that font from 11 points to 72. American author and noted storyteller Jonah Sachs summed up what CMOs may want to watch and incorporate into their revised post-pandemic strategies when he said: “Your brand is a story unfolding across all customer touch points.”
With more online consumers becoming increasingly dependent on digital, it’s not surprising that mobile advertising spending recently passed web advertising. It now accounts for 75% of all digital marketing according to a 2019 Edelman study. Data and automation remain as important as ever. The following should also be monitored and adopted, where applicable.
The Edelman report also discovered that influencers’ recommendations led to 58% of consumers surveyed to make first-time purchases. But CMOs also need to strengthen influencer roles in conveying authenticity and market fit for the brands they represent. This is important since Instagram last year removed “likes” from its platform as well as from an undisclosed number of American users.
Video continues to rise in popularity. Edelman research pointed out that consumers now spend more time watching “live” videos than pre-recorded ones. It’s a wonderful opportunity for CMOs to use the power of video to tell stories that not only interact, but also sell.
AR and VR
Augmented and virtual reality are also appealing to more consumers. An earlier article described how AR will give consumers the ability to try on clothes through their smart phones without leaving home. Edelman predicts AR will approach $200 billion by 2025. What additional applications might there be in other areas like education, transportation, retail, etc?
In the wake of the pandemic, many budgets will be cut. With only 23% of companies employing AI, according to Edelman’s study, there are opportunities to invest in AI to help reduce some of these fixed costs.
Still another area that has grown is voice search. Edelman reported that 60% of those they surveyed last year used it. It’s convenient and accurate and expected to grow even more in the future. Marketers who understand their target audience need to craft a strategy to network organically in various voice forms with their consumers.
A surprising result of Edelman’s research is that the company found an astounding 71% of employees weren’t actively absorbed in their work. One way brands might increase engagement is through gamification apps that create a sense of purpose within the company. Utilizing mobile learning is one option to consider.
Corporate social responsibility became even more important to consumers during the pandemic. Brands should think of ways to incorporate their community goodwill into a social impact marketing plan that they can share with their consumers and employees.
For every tactic adopted, brands need to set goals and timelines. Each must be reviewed and evaluated on a regular basis so that adjustments may be made, where necessary, and reports shared with collaborating departments and senior management.