Did Covid-19 Change Digital Marketing Forever?

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed several industries to adapt faster to a digital-first process. The pandemic not only led to changes in how teams function, it also led to key shifts in consumer behavior and the average customer journey.

How have these changes influenced the way in which digital advertisers and marketers are optimizing campaigns and strategies?

Let’s explore a few points.

Changing Customer Behaviors Influence Marketing-Advertising Plans and Messaging

While the Covid19 pandemic enforced lockdowns forced organizations to meet evolving customer preferences and needs with a digital-first approach, these changing customer trends also influenced how marketing and advertising plans and budgets started shaping up.

Buyer preferences were disrupted through 2020. This also led to changes in how consumers wanted to interact with brands because of their own changing content consumption preferences. With new norms like contactless payments, contactless shopping, marketers and sales people had to adopt an approach that would allow them to position themselves as a humane brand. Studies show that customers today consciously look to interact with brands that are either local or those that prioritize issues related to health and safety.

While consumer priorities changed leading to disruptions in purchase behaviors, so did their expectations with the brands they interact with normally.

For today’s audience, marketers not only have to drive ways to prove their value-add and worth, marketers have to be socially conscious and humane in their messaging to keep customer interest alive.

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Multichannel Digital Presence Requires a More Robust Advertising and Marketing Strategy

Through 2020, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic enforced lockdowns, home viewership through streaming services (Amazon, Netflix) rose significantly, thereby resulting in increased digital ad spend through these channels. Today’s need for a digital friendly environment that allows customers to transact with brands seamlessly through any platform of preference also requires marketers and advertisers to not only know where their customers are and what platforms they are most active on; it requires marketers and advertisers to plan deeper media mixes that include having an element of traditional media (TV) with a robust digital media presence.

Marketers and advertisers are now using unique opportunities through other channels live CTV ads to boost presence and audience interest.

As pre-pandemic activities start resuming worldwide, marketers and advertisers will still need to revisit what they thought of as their most popular marketing channels, resulting in a gradual shift in marketing and ad strategies. Customers will still want a lot of the convenience the surge in digital-only activities might have brought forward through 2020 resulting in transformations in how marketing leaders and businesses as a whole function or plan strategies hereafter.

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Reduced B2B Buying Cycles

Digital transformation and changing customer behaviors has in many ways shortened and simplified the typical B2B customer journey. While marketers of the past might have had to spend significant amounts of time planning awareness campaigns, today’s highly informed audience looks at brands differently. On the one hand, online social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram) offer marketers and advertisers ample opportunity to inform their target audience about their product and its core features.

But today’s B2B buyer is well informed, they rely on peer reviews and recommendations and don’t need the same level and length of nurturing, if the right triggers are already hit with the right content. Martech, the use of advanced business insights and customer behavior metrics have not only given marketers the opportunity to present customers with more relevant content suited to their interests or concerns, it also allows marketers to permanently shorten the length of their prospect’s buying cycle.

Marketing and advertising trends will always evolve with changing business dynamics. As the world tries to get back into their pre-pandemic pace, a lot of the changes influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic will continue to remain.