The world is probably facing its biggest crisis post the 2nd World War. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to regroup and rethink our strategies, regarding the way we live, the way we work and the way we operate.
Yes, the markets are down. Yes, the economy is shattered. For many companies, it’s a matter of making ends meet, but for many others it’s about finding the silver lining. As they say, only the toughest ones get going against the tide.
No one other than businesses can better understand the importance of being digital now. And as companiesrecoup their business models, there’s one thing that they should know about – THE INDUSTRY HAS CHANGED. THE WAY PEOPLE COMMUNICATE HAS CHANGED.
And this affects the marketing professional the most. If you think you’re one of those fortunate individuals who still have their job and are doing pretty decent with their traditional marketing methods, think again; because the world is adapting to digital. You will have to sell and market everything digitally. And guess what, everyone else will be doing the same.
So how do you excel at it? Yes, one way is to spend more on marketing budgets to gain more traffic, but considering that the media spend is the first thing brands would look to cut upon, this is definitely not a solution.
The other way though, works like a charm, but you would need a better understanding of the market for that, which literally means that you should be able to know what the consumer wants… In simple words, read on!
As a senior marketing professional or a Chief Marketing Officer in a top tier company, or a much smaller company, there’s one thing you need to know – Just Being Opportunistic and Doing #MomentMarketing Isn’t Enough!
Well, Kent RO did it – a master stroke when it comes to the marketing strategy, but a below-the-belt blow when it comes to the communication. This brings us to point 1.
Consumers especially today want brands to make sense and address an issue for the longer run, than just saying, “Buy Me!”
This belief is expected to stay intact post the pandemic too. So rather than product pushing, consumers expect the brands to empathize with the current happenings around the world, mould it in their values, and stick to it – for real! A classic example would be of HUL’s Fair & Lovely dropping ‘Fair’ from its brand name as a way to fight racism around the world and support the #BlackLivesMatter initiative.
If you’re looking for something more concrete for instance, look at the way people are buying stuff and making payments. A digital payment ad was looked upon as something so basic before the lockdown. But now, it’s a gold mine for brands if they attach a story to it that relates with the audience. Same is the case for hygiene. Who would’ve imagined people would praise the little kid Bunty for washing hands for so long – guess he did foresee the future.
So yes, marketing is not just strategies and tactics from now on, it is the connect that an individual feels. Don’t just sell a product; sell experiences – to each his own!
By now we know that we need to connect with our consumers more than ever. But how do we do that? This brings us to another set of skills – the hard ones!
Marketers would also need to be on their toes when it comes to acing the hard skills and choose the right tools &technology methods – the ones which are lighter on the pocket and effective on getting that ROI.
Be analytical first, then creative!
You need to know the culture, the people; in order to know what your consumer wants. This is where your database comes in. Most companies have their in-house data department, whose work is to only gather insights. The correct use of data-driven insights, with the help of artificial intelligence and other tools, will help you discover how people perceive your company and your products/services.
Create a plan for what kind of data you require, how you are going to get it, and then derive conclusions regarding your consumers. Once you have the insights, test them using different analytical tools and statistics. This will result in further shortlisting of actionable insights to using them in your communication.
This can be achieved through big data, but is easier said than done. It is high time companies actually use ‘big data’ in its practicality, dig in and then derive the numbers. After all, more visibility is what you expect from data-driven marketing.
Confused? Here’s an instance. Imagine you opening a sweet shop in your locality, but with limited options. And you’re unsure about the kind of sweets people would prefer the most in your area. So you hire a detective. And bang! He comes up with accurate data – GulaabJamun it is! There you are, starting with GulaabJamun.
Your company’s ‘data department’ is the detective here. Smaller companies lacking such personnel outsource the data, but everyone does it.
Nail the Post-Campaign Analysis
So you’ve collaborated with your technical team to derive your key performance areas. But what about its metrics? Achieving a technical standpoint is apt for any firm if it wants to see its campaign succeed. And that comes by having the right alignment with your analytical team. Using Google analytics or any other tool to check its effectiveness is really useful as it helps a company to optimize its communication strategy for the existing campaign.
This is very important as it tells you the actual audience behavior, because that’s how they’ll be reacting to it. Yes, almost everyone uses analytics today to monitor their campaigns, so what’s the big difference?
The difference lies with you, on how you amalgamate all the tools at your disposal. Various tools will give you different outcomes on different social networking sites. It depends on how you collate the data and use it either to your advantage or for damage repair. If it’s an out-and-out digital campaign with the priority on lead generation and conversion rates, then Google AdWords Performance Grader and WordStream are a prerequisite. These tools can boost your online marketing campaign.
The above-mentioned techniques were all paid ones, so let’s go organic now. Digital content cannot only thrive on paid media; it needs Search Engine Optimization too. SEO and content marketing go hand-in-hand. And the best way to use it to your advantage is to merge the technicality of SEO with the implementation of content marketing. SEO means content, keywords, backlinks, utilization of metadata, proper tags, optimization of onsite technicalities, a constructive sitemap and the list goes on… Well, content marketing also, more or less, needs the same!
SEO & Content Marketing are basically your Ram Aur Shyam.
Now that you’ve learnt most of the skills that a modern marketer should possess, you should also know the universal usage of these strategies.
For instance, the data-driven insights about consumers are a boon for E-commerce platforms. This will enable you as a marketer to cash in on new e-commerce channels and also collaborate with a few new partners.
Well, I’d saved the most important point for the last – Don’t shy away from collaborating with different brands, or even your competitor for that matter. Remember, the one thing this pandemic taught is, is that we’re all together in this! So a good idea shall see many brand-to-brand campaigns, which is unique, never-seen-before content and something that will grip the audience.
Look at Lay’s as a classic example. In its recent social media post, it thanked almost all the brands – just for being there for their consumers, which is us, the people!
Remember, adaptability is something that will keep you ahead in this race, or at least afloat! Leaders aren’t just made like that; they are the ones who brave the storm. Consider this as an opportunity for your business to prosper. After all, necessity is the mother of invention they say!