There was no short supply of surprises in 2020, and marketers had to consistently re-assess and adapt, whether they were ready or not. However, despite how stressful it was, it was incredible to see so many brands and businesses rise to the challenge. Looking back, there’s a lot of valuable marketing and business lessons that we can take from last year. Here are a few of our top takeaways from 2020:
Adaptability Is Essential:
Marketers work tirelessly to anticipate and plan for the future, this helps them craft stronger and more effective strategies. However, it has been consistently proven that things don’t always go the way they are supposed to. This has never been more apparent than in the wake of the global pandemic. Adaptability is your greatest ally and most essential skill for your brands. 2020 highlighted the power of adaptability. Cafes and restaurants adapted to online ordering and delivery, clothing brands started making masks, some gin distilleries even started making hand sanitiser. This was no different for marketers. With 66% of business to business marketers adapting their strategy as a result of the pandemic, some of those carefully planned strategies were completely thrown out the window. Going forward it is clear that marketing strategies should not be written in stone, instead, they’ll be replaced with a flexible strategy that can be adapted when encountering unforeseen circumstances. Think about how your strategy can pivot if needed, the key is to be preemptive in this uncertain climate.
As the world moves away from a product-centric view on business, it is more important than ever for brands to build trust and loyalty through honesty. You want your brand to be associated with these positive qualities. 2020 proved how essential brand honesty is, and how it is maintained through two main practices:
Practising What You Preach: Through-out the pandemic a variety of major brands saw a public kickback from their audience. They were caught out over what they were saying publicly vs how they acted behind closed doors. One example of this is when a major American multinational technology and distribution company stressed the importance of their frontline workers, then not taking appropriate measures to protect them. Be sure the actions of your brand support the message you send out.
- Understanding We All Make Mistakes: More than ever before, customers understand that brands are run by people and make mistakes. It’s part of being human. Being honest in the face of your mistakes means not just trying to cover your ass. It’s being upfront and proactive when communicating with customers. Still trying to sort out that shipment error? Let your audience know, and what you’re doing to address the issue.
Content Is More Important Than Ever:
“Content is king.” This marketing mantra has never been more apparent than in the wake of 2020. Social distancing and working from home have become a significant part of life. This means more people are online than ever before, and businesses recognised this. Over 2020 global mobile advertising went up 71%. There is more competition, and the only way to compete is to curate organic, creative content that will help you stand out amongst all the noise.