This year has required a lot of adjustment for individuals and businesses alike. As our daily routines were disrupted, many of us had to pivot in one way or another in order to adjust to the times. The changes trickled down to every aspect of business, marketing, consumer behavior, and more. It's safe to say that we were all affected in some way or another this year.
While some of these shifts were painful, there are some interesting dynamics about the year that we think will continue into 2021. It is never easy to predict the future (2020 has certainly proven that), but we think some of the shifts that were made this year — especially in the world of marketing — may stick around for awhile or, at a minimum, influence consumer's behavior in the new year.
Here are some areas of focus that make sense for your business in today's marketing landscape:
Digital Is in The Spotlight
Many businesses this year had to rapidly adjust to a more digital presence as social distancing requirements and stay-at-home guidelines took effect. While digital has always been important, this year has elevated it to new heights. Going forward, we can expect to see the same, if not more, reliance placed on digital. Businesses will have to overcome physical distance with an online presence that connects and resonates with their target audience. If your business was using digital marketing as a supplement to your main marketing and sales efforts in the past, now is the time to move digital to the forefront.
Authenticity and Connection Matter More Than Ever
Social distancing and limited gatherings have completely changed the way we connect with people this year. As a result, this has changed the way consumers connect with brands. Don't shy away from having conversations online with your customers in the new year. It's likely their main method of communication and, as such, a place where they're looking for authenticity. Regurgitated sales messages won't cut it anymore; online users are expecting the same authenticity and customer service online as they would receive in person.
Video Marketing is Booming
Nielson reported a 60% increase in video consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses that have struggled during the chaos of the past year can take advantage of the booming popularity of video content in the new year. Not only can video tell your brand's story, but it gives viewers a more detailed picture of your company culture, values, and beliefs — all important aspects when it comes to customer connection and brand loyalty.
User Experience Can Make or Break the Relationship
A seamless user experience has never been more important. Your website, ecommerce platform, emails, and social media platforms should all make it easy for customers to engage with you. Anything that snags the process — a slow-loading website, clunky checkout process, or boring email — could result in the loss of a customer. There are so many options available to customers online that they won't hesitate to turn to another source if your business isn't delivering the experience they expect. Businesses should look to strengthen their online marketing efforts by ensuring an exceptional user experience across platforms.
2020 has been a tumultuous year, but you can set your business up for success by being aware of customer preferences and ironing out any kinks in your marketing as we enter a new year. As consumers across the globe dramatically change their behaviors, adjusting your marketing strategy to better cater to their preferences will help ensure the long-term success of your business.