The COVID-19-induced lockdown sent global economies and consumer confidence spiraling. It also did something unique – it forced a significant change in consumer behavior. A BCG research shows Australian consumers have decreased spending, shifted focus to essential and local purchases, and are mostly shopping online. Businesses are responding to these shifts and evolving new models that help them be more economical and efficient. Many retail stores, for instance, have decided to close brick and mortar stores and move online.
It’s unclear whether this simpler, more virtual life will last long. However, the expectation from CMOs to tap into this new normal and deliver business results is amply clear. To do this, CMOs must focus on four key areas:
Performance marketing to get more bang for your buck
Working with limited budgets due to the cost constraints necessitated by COVID-19, 70% of marketers have already paused or decreased their ad investments. Marketing campaigns are increasingly being measured on performance and ROI. To be able to showcase ROI, marketers will need to capitalize on the data at their disposal and make informed decisions right from the start. The role of data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) will become increasingly important to drive better campaign decisions, test performance faster, and course correct to drive maximum value.
MarTech to optimize operations and drive efficiencies
Even as data will play a key role in identifying best marketing opportunities, the role of technology will get stronger in driving efficiencies. There are over 8000 MarTech solutions available today and we’ll see increased adoption of those that can deliver value for money. Campaign management tools, automation, social sentiment dashboards, 360-degree performance dashboards, project and workflow management tools, chatbots, etc. will find their way in every marketer’s arsenal.
Audience driven marketing
The backlash several brands have faced for their callous use of COVID-19 related marketing is clear indication that consumers are fed up of irrelevant and insensitive messaging and will retaliate. In a survey, 60% of adults in the U.S. said they have stopped buying from a brand because they disliked its ad campaign. Social media has increased the virality of this negative word of mouth and the writing on the wall is that brands will be held accountable for what they put out there. This means more checks and balances on the channels they choose to be visible on and also, what they say. We may soon see AI systems checking for unacceptable language or inappropriate messaging before a campaign is rolled out.
Building connections in a truly boundaryless world
One of the biggest impact of COVID-19 has been the overnight digitalization of the world. From remote workforce to changing consumer behaviors, the virtual world has opened up many new opportunities for marketers to capitalize on. For instance, marketers can engage audience virtually with cloud-based collaboration and communication tools like Zoom – an endeavor that is cost-effective and has a much wider reach.
Aligning to the new normal
It’s an interesting and challenging time to be a marketer. Changes are everywhere and as an outcome; we are witnessing an acceleration in the adoption of technology in many aspects of marketing.
We will talk about each of these areas in detail in the upcoming blogs. Till then, let me know how you see the future of technology-driven marketing shaping up.