Digital Marketing in the Post COVID-19 World
There’s an old saying that goes thus: “In good times you should advertise. In bad times you must advertise.”
Meldrum & Fewsmith conducted a series of six studies that conclusively show that advertising aggressively during recessions not only increases sales but also leads to an increase in profits! This fact has held true for all post-World War II recessions, studied by American Business Press since 1949.
Today, COVID-19 has triggered a massive shift in the way that businesses are perceived. That lockdowns and travel restrictions have led to a severe impact on the global supply chains is something we’re well aware of. But this has also impacted how marketers conduct their day-to-day activities. Marketing conferences and summits globally have moved online or have been postponed as the virus brought the travel and events industry to a grinding halt.
Marketing leaders now have to account for the change in behavior of the intended audience. McKinsey found out that sales leaders are laying more emphasis on digital channels since COVID-19 than ever before. The image below illustrates the findings from McKinsey B2B Decision Maker Pulse Survey, April 7, 2020.
What digital marketing as a domain is experiencing is not a new trend, but the acceleration of certain underlying trends that have been developing over the past ten years.
B2B buyers are not just in search of a Digital Experience but an Exemplary Digital Experience. Results from the McKinsey 2019 survey showed that those suppliers who provide outstanding digital experiences to their buyers are twice as likely to be chosen as a primary supplier than those who provide poor experiences!
To ensure that the digital platform is consistently delivering such experiences, digital teams have to not just evolve, but, to evolve fast. One of the core tenants of exemplary service is to drive personalization. To drive personalized marketing objectives, digital marketers will have to be strategic, agile, flexible, collaborative, and data-driven.
The focus for digital marketing teams will be on:
- User acquisition
- Sales support by Generating Leads
- Customer engagement by creating the right content
- Prospect and priority identification by identifying user journeys
Each of the above focus areas can be supported by one or multiple teams, and to make each of them more effective the organization should:
- Get the right data in the most relevant format
- Enable marketing teams with the right set of analytical capabilities to make sense of the data thus generated.
To achieve the above organization objectives, the Customer Data Platform(CDP) proves to be the way forward for marketing organizations. Hubspot defines CDP as:
“A Customer Data Platform(CDP) is a software that aggregates and organizes customer data across a variety of touchpoints and is used by other software, systems, and marketing efforts. CDPs collect and structure real-time data into individual, centralized customer profiles.”
The Customer Data Platform helps in changing the outlook of customer engagement from a funnel-based approach to a more cyclic approach, where marketing teams can nurture users for loyalty and repurchase. If used correctly, CDPs can help organizations drive sales goals through marketing and achieve greater ROMI. The relevance of CDPs can be seen from an analysis of Google trends, which shows an increase in the search trend for CDP from 2019, and it peaks during the times of COVID-19.
In the upcoming blogs in the series, we shall be exploring more on Customer Data Platforms, and how analytics can help drive agile and efficient digital marketing efforts.
COVID-19 is responsible for the changing customer behavior of B2B clients, and marketing teams have had to accelerate digital adoption to keep pace with the change in customer preferences. With the absence of physical touchpoints, it becomes imperative for sales to leverage digital to generate leads and drive engagement. This is leading to an increase in consumer demand for the quality of digital experiences and also highlighted an organization’s focus on digital channels. With data being the key player in the digital world, collecting and analyzing the data in the best possible way will drive success for digital marketers. This, in turn, will drive adoption for CDPs, which will form the backbone of digital marketing efforts in the new world.