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November 19, 2020

Three Ways Marketing Will Change Post-COVID-19 in 2021

by Ashley Lipman

COVID-19 has had a profound impact on organizations across the globe. Business priorities have changed due to supply chain disruptions and reductions in consumers’ disposable income. As such, companies must learn to adapt to new marketing practices, which is important if you want to stay on top and continue to forge a path for your organization.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how marketing will change post-pandemic, with a focus on social media, customer retention, and appropriate messaging.

1. A Focus on Customer Retention and Loyalty

For many marketers, the long-lasting effects of COVID-19 will be felt for a long time. Almost every sector has been affected by this pandemic, but many companies continue to push ahead.

The pandemic is forcing organizations to focus their efforts differently. Additionally, when times get tough, companies generally tend to cut costs in non-essential areas first - such as marketing. As a result, marketers choose to focus on new strategies, such as customer retention and loyalty. In the past, it was more geared towards conversions and acquiring new clients. This updated tactic is useful because it helps companies concentrate on aspects they know will generate profits.

Businesses are also turning to passive marketing. In other words, they include less in-your-face links and prefer subtle call-to-action buttons. Furthermore, this isn’t the focus of the advertising content, but rather an extra addition. Consumers will likely be sensitive to organizations that attempt to capitalize on the pandemic. They’ll also be wary of campaigns that pressure them into spending money they don’t have. As a result, it’s crucial to shift your company’s perspective to a more empathetic and giving mindset.

By demonstrating that you understand your customer’s needs, your business can stand out among the competition in a positive way.

2. Digital Transformation

The majority of consumers are social distancing right now, and the odds are that they’re craving contact more than ever before. Where do they turn to satiate this desire? Well, the Internet, of course.

In the past, marketing strategies that consisted of only printed material and television adverts were the way to go. It’s imperative to make changes to this method, and the move towards online promotion is recommended. Businesses like Elite Sports Socks do this well by creating all their advertising content themselves.

Apart from a brand-oriented social media page on the most influential sites like Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and Facebook, it’s vital to embrace digital tools. Some examples include CRM, document signing, and online payments.

Additionally, companies should use these channels to assist their community during this pandemic and other times of crisis. It’s crucial to remain present, respond to consumers’ questions, and provide support.

One example of a brand that’s using social media to its advantage is Levi’s. Every day, the company hosts virtual concerts on their Instagram page at 5:01 pm, a tribute to their signature denim jeans. Not only does this lift their consumer’s spirits and connect the community, but it also allows Levi’s to support COVID-19 relief efforts.

Traditional marketing was more about increasing profits and generating sales. The new generation of marketing strategies encompasses a lot more. At its core, marketing is about building healthy communities and looking after customers. As a result, brands must learn how to adapt to the changing needs of consumers.

It’s predicted that marketers will continue to focus their efforts on social media after the COVID-19 pandemic. Subsequently, budgets might be increased towards digital channels, as opposed to television and print marketing.

3. It’s Time to Redefine Your Business Objectives

The past couple of months have taught us a lot of things. If there’s only one thing we can take away from this experience, it’s that everybody has a responsibility to act in the best interests of society. We all play a specific role, whether it’s being an essential worker on the frontline, providing support to disadvantaged communities, or staying at home to prevent more infections.

Marketers also have a part to play, especially since they have a powerful position that directly connects them with millions of consumers. It’s crucial that they use their unique abilities to address customer’s concerns and act as a voice of reason. Especially now when there’s a vast amount of misinformation on the loose.

Appropriate Messaging

Additionally, marketing teams should ensure they produce content that’s appropriate and not tone-deaf. They should avoid promotional messages that act as if nothing has changed, but also stay away from continuously talking about COVID-19. As always, it’s about striking the right balance.

The pandemic has also taught companies the power of positive impact. Brands that offer assistance and show empathy are more likely to succeed than those that don’t. Furthermore, social responsibility is more important than ever - and consumers will remember which organizations reacted the correct way.

Customers will also remember which companies avoided responsibility, and these organizations can face a lot of backlash after the pandemic. A prime example of this is the industry giant Adidas, which was heavily criticized after holding back rent payments.

In essence, companies need to demonstrate that they understand consumers’ needs and wants. Consider the obstacles they face and the opportunities that lay ahead of them. Be present, make sure your brand aligns with your vision while listening to your community.

Other Factors to Consider

The future of marketing will change in various ways after COVID-19 beyond these 3 points. To have a quick overview, here are some other aspects you should keep in mind:

A Pivot Plan

If a company wants to be successful after this crisis, it must implement a detailed pivot plan. This can help with recovering lost profits and forging new business goals. Here are some pivots that organizations are making:

  • Cutting down on non-essential expenses

  • Budgeting for short-term marketing

  • Holding virtual events

  • Making sure to show empathy towards customers

Highlighting Value

The COVID-19 pandemic left many people without an income, while others experienced drastic cuts to their salaries. As a result, the average consumer’s overall disposable funds decreased, leading to changes in spending patterns.

Now, customers are more aware of their budgets, and they want to spend their money on goods and services that offer value. This means that companies need to adjust their marketing strategies to highlight the benefits of their products.

Traditional tips and tricks like timed offers aren’t viable, and marketers need to connect with consumers on a much deeper level. It’s vital to show your product’s value tangibly and reframe how you showcase your offerings.

Price Point

One of the most crucial components of a marketing strategy is the cost. In many ways, the price of your product or service ties in with demonstrating its value. A decrease in many consumers’ budgets means that they’ll be less willing to spend more on something that they can get for a lower price.

This means that for the first time in a while, marketers need to pay attention to the four p’s: pricing, placement, promotion, and product. Although you can use various methods to adjust price points, your focus should be on adding value while cutting margins. However, the approach you choose will largely depend on the type of business you run.

Data is Everything

Like Ronald Coase once said, if you torture the data long enough, it’ll eventually confess. When it comes to marketing, there’s nothing that rings more true. The correct information can help you understand your current position and give you an edge for the future.

In order to interpret information accurately, you need to understand your consumers’ behavior. The COVID-19 pandemic showed us that data shifts could happen almost instantly, so it’s vital to keep an eye on these trends.

A company’s marketing strategy should always be based on the information that’s been collected. Not only does this help brands to adjust their advertising activities appropriately, but it can also be predicted if there’s enough data on hand. In the world of business, it’s essential to react to external circumstances quickly. If a company isn’t data-driven, this can be an impossible goal to attain.

Final Thoughts

Although the future of marketing looks blurry right now, there are a lot of things that you can do to stay on top after the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time of uncertainty, brands should focus on realigning their purpose, retaining customers, and creating an online presence in order to achieve long-term growth.

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