Rewind the clock one year back and we remember how everything came to a strange, long pause. It’s been a bit over a year since the pandemic hit, and the marketing business as a whole has evolved drastically. Consumer preferences have changed, as have the strategies of engaging with them. True, the new normal has brought a slew of new opportunities for some companies. On the flipside, many firms fought to remain alive and maintain their faithful customers. The pandemic prompted a lockdown which pushed employees to remain productive while working from home and wreaked havoc on both consumers and business owners. Marketers had to make some difficult calls to reach out to their clients when shoppers were limited to their homes.
A new year historically provides marketers with opportunities for reinvention and development. But there will also be hurdles this year as businesses keep pivoting and preparing for post-pandemic life. With this in mind, I believe that each CMO and brand marketer should pivot resources in reshaping and promoting the brand that fits the new normal that 2021 has to offer.
1. Stay aware of prospective disruptions
Since March 2020, the way companies work has irreversibly changed. Humanity witnessed how a global health epidemic, supply chain problems, or social movements can devastate unprepared brands. For some brands, these difficulties provided an opportunity to bring attention to significant social or political issues. For others, the uncertainty put their business models in jeopardy, and new normal severed consumer relations in some cases.
So, what has changed in your line of business? Conduct customized research to determine how customer or client attitudes, loyalty, or desires have changed over time. Keep an eye on the market for any changes to purchase drivers, mainly if there are significant events. Internal disruptions, such as layoffs, may hurt employee morale and efficiency. Get inputs from your employees on new policies that have been introduced and try matching those with their aspirations.
2. Drive hyper-growth with a focus on demand generation
In 2020, brands went on the defensive, reorganizing their operations to accommodate the new reality. Brands will face challenges as they transition from survival to growth mode. The global economy is only emerging from the slowdown of last year. As a result, demand generation would most likely be more difficult. Customers are becoming more financially savvy, so be prepared. Any customer segments may have disappeared, necessitating the identification of new targets. As a result, the demand generation team will have to work much harder than before.
Brand messaging must represent the principles and mission, and benefits of a specific product or service. Analysis and two-way reviews are more critical than intuition. To get a pulse on your global workforce:
- Hold internal seminars.
- Revise your customer service touchpoints based on this feedback.
- Scrutinize new campaigns to ensure that nothing could be construed as tone-deaf.
- Ensure that all new demand generation techniques stick to the brand’s core values.
3. Enabling top-notch CX in digital offerings
The pandemic widened the gap between brands which struggled to cope up with the new normal; some adapted and pivoted rapidly, while others lag. Businesses that have equipped their frontline staff with knowledge and expertise to engage with customers, in my experience, are winning. Customers demand more from companies who have invested in their digital brand experiences. The emphasis on digital is likely to continue. Wide events, such as conventions or trade shows and corporate travel, are unlikely to return anytime soon, as shown by the introduction of Covid-19 vaccines.
Every crisis, on the other hand, poses an opportunity. Conduct research to assess each touchpoint’s position in the current process and what needs to be changed. It’s not just about surviving a global pandemic; it’s also about building concrete distinction.
4. Re-imagine & adapt brand culture in the new normal
Our working conditions have changed significantly since this period last year. The need for remote cultural identity has never been greater as people gradually return to office environments. The fundamentals of great company culture haven’t changed: a shared mission, authentic ideals carried out through the organization, strong leaders with a shared vision, and cohesive and inclusive work environments.
Here are the opportunities for CMOs and brand marketers to collaborate with HR and senior leaders. This must be to assess culture and decide how it has changed in response to the current working environment. Companies must determine how they can enhance and expand employee involvement in the absence of in-person meetings. Return-to-work initiatives must be communicated in a way that reflects the organization’s brand, value, and intent.
5. Building relations with trust and humanity at the core
Brands and major companies all over the world showcase humanity at their finest. From Akshay Kumar donating vast sums of money to Maruti Suzuki for coronavirus investments in the growth of fans in general – many individuals and are only supporting those in needs amidst the disturbing times.
Brands, therefore, need to invest in online marketing to create and produce an effective messaging strategy to support fellow people and the nation’s corona warriors. In these unpredictable and unforeseen conditions, brands must think, work and lead in new ways, and we will all need to learn to live in humility. We hope to come out of this confidently and strive to bring value and enrich people’s lives because that is what brand-building needs.
This year has offered us a new beginning in our attempts to stop the calamities of 2020. It’s an excellent opportunity for purpose-driven brands and leaders to develop and engage their audiences. Businesses can — and will — set themselves apart with careful planning, careful thinking, and a solid, straightforward intention.
Marketers must bear in mind that re-establishing brand loyalty can take some time. On the other hand, consistency in your efforts can contribute to the return of beloved customers and the expansion of your customer base. But it’s only prudent to keep at it and make some minor adjustments for your customers’ benefit.