COVID19 has been a turning point in most of our lives, isn't it? As individuals, this unexpected event turned our lives upside down. Who would have thought remote working will become the norm? Who would have even imagined that wearing masks and sanitizing hands regularly will become the thing? No one. But these are just part of our daily routine, thanks to coronoviridae.
This pandemic has not only brought massive shifts in individuals' lives; but also has impacted businesses across the globe. According to Statista, 22.9% SMBs in the US have had a large negative impact on their business due to this pandemic. As entrepreneurs and marketers, we all were introduced to a quick refresher course on the basics of our trade.
This pandemic reiterated some of the age-old marketing truths that we all tend to forget easily. Here are 8 such marketing truths that were reminded by the pandemic.
Customer Communication Is Mighty Critical
When it comes to customer communication, sadly most businesses tend to engage in wrong practices most of the time. Cold emailing and not providing subscribers an easy way to control their communication preferences are observed commonly in most industries. The latest statistics show nearly 85% of all emails are spam, but the good news is between June 2020 and January 2021, the average daily spam volume dropped from 316.39 billion to just over 122 billion. This highlights how customer communication is handled by businesses across the globe and industries.
On the other end of this are those companies who fail at communicating with customers at all. Both these cohorts understood the value of goos customer communication during this pandemic. As old school marketers always educated us, customer communication is supercritical for every organization's success. During the pandemic, when consumers were locked inside their homes, it was good communication that kept them aware of the developments with their favorite brands. Transparent and timely communication helped brands to serve their customers during these tough times and even survive this pandemic.
Content Helps You Build Authority And Credibility
I don't know about you, but I have had this conversation with lots of entrepreneurs about whether content marketing is any good for them. Entrepreneurs and businesses tend to believe that content marketing is a tedious process and is not sustainable to bring the right results. Boy, were they wrong?
It was observed that organizations who always believed in investing in quality content survived the pandemic unscathed. Their content engine helped them stay close to their customers even during the pandemic and help them with their goals uninterrupted. As traditional inbound marketers say, quality content can help you build your authority figure in your industry well. Businesses realized it late, and the investment and adoption of content marketing skyrocketed during the pandemic.
Social Media Is Not A Waste Of Time
Similar to content, many organizations believe social media is not their cup of tea and do not believe social media can do them any good. This belief is highlighted by the millions of brand social media accounts with irregular content on various social media platforms. As traditional digital marketers used to reiterate the various use cases of social media channels for brands, social media became a powerhouse for many brands during the pandemic.
As statistics show, there was a significant rise in the average time spent on social media by the US population, amounting to around 65 minutes daily in 2020. With lockdowns and restrictions, every individual turned to social media platforms for entertainment, communication, and shopping. Brands who were staying away from social media learned the lessons of leveraging social media as a communication channel with their customers. Social media is never a waste of time if used properly, for brands and even individuals.
Social Media Is Just A Tool At Your Disposal
Social media is nothing more than a tool at every brand's disposal with several use cases. It depends on the brand and brand owner how to leverage the platforms. Some brands use social media channels for customer communication and education, some use them for handling customer queries, and some for pure branding purposes.
The pandemic accelerated the adoption of social media by brands, not only for marketing but even for selling their products. The adoption of Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp Business for setting up stores and handling customer queries has been on the rise. This pandemic has underlined the age-old marketing truth that social media is just a tool to be utilized according to your business goals.
Customer Experience Overrules Everything
Our ancient marketing wisdom has proclaimed that marketing cannot stay away from customer experience. But marketers or entrepreneurs never grasped this truth until recently. Marketing has a significant role in making every prospect and customer feel special. You may ask how? Every content, every element on your website, every design in your store, every email you send to your content - all of these needs to be aligned to deliver the best experience for your customers.
The brands that always believed in the power of CX survived the pandemic without many hassles as their loyal customer base stood by them during the tough times. Customer Experience has to be the number one priority for every brand today. There is no escaping that fact.
Paid Marketing May Not Work Always
For many brands, Marketing starts and ends with paid tactics such as Facebook ads and Google Ads. These are the brands that follow you everywhere in the digital realm, with their ads appearing on every website you visit. They are not only annoying, but these tactics can tend to burn cash if not executed properly.
During the pandemic, these brands suffered a lot because suddenly, they could not rely on ads as the last thing their customers wanted to see were ads. Insensitive ads were getting called out, and brands were getting ridiculed on social media platforms. Brand marketers had to take a step back and course correct to adjust to the new norm. As the age-old marketing wisdom says, paid marketing may not be the way all the time. Be sensible to your customers and their needs.
Influencers Are Just People Themselves
Influencer Marketing is one of those buzzwords ringing in most marketing circles and communities. Every brand wants to leverage it, but most are unsure how. But the pandemic had other plans in store. Pandemic opened up several facets of influencers and their world. The new turn of events showcased that influencers were just normal people, and they also needed brands to monetize and survive.
With the adoption of Instagram reels and TikTok accelerating, the influencer community across niches also grew during the pandemic. And brands learned that they can now easily identify the right influencer for their brand and engage them for achieving the right goals.
Always Think Different
“Here’s to the crazy ones — the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules". These are a few words from Apple’s 1997 “Think Different” campaign conceptualized by the great Steve Jobs. Every marketer knows the age-old truth about Marketing - "Think Different". If you are a marketer, you need to think differently and devise ways to educate your prospects and customers.
If this pandemic has done no other favor for marketers, it has done this - It has made all of us think differently. Think differently on how to communicate with customers, how to use social media, how to design marketing campaigns with empathy, and much more.
So Always Think Differently.
So here are 8 age-old marketing truths we forgot and were reminded of by the COVID19 pandemic. As marketers, it is our moral responsibility to be as empathetic as possible always (especially during times like these), and to keep our customer's needs before everything else.
Stay Safe. Stay Healthy.