Market Dealer | Lessons From 2020 and How Marketers Can Apply These in 2021
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Lessons From 2020 and How Marketers Can Apply These in 2021

Lessons From 2020 and How Marketers Can Apply These in 2021

When this year was dubbed as ‘20-Plenty’, we had many hopes and dreams that this would be the year of new beginnings and great achievements. Little did we know that we were in for plenty of surprises, which marked 2020 as the year of change and discomfort.

However, there is plenty of insight we can extract from this year, and maybe… just maybe keep this year called ’20-Plenty’. Many professionals and historians will all be writing and revising this year for decades to come as they frame events and experiences in the future.

Will 2021 see a return to marketing as normal? Well, we will have to investigate all the lessons from 2020 and see how we, as Marketers, can remain optimists that believe that there is hope on the other side of despair.

But what happens next year? How can Marketers remain competitive and drive value for their business? How can they stay relevant in 2021?

Here’s what we at MDH Digital think …


Digital Needs to be the Foundation Upon which Everything is Built

According to the latest research, marketers faced or will still face increased pressure to prove their worth in 2020. Dun & Bradstreet stated that 70% of Senior Marketers have had budget cuts in 2020 and 76% of them are facing increased pressure to deliver leads despite this uncertain period.

Marketing channels, like pop-up promotions, were eradicated from any 2020 plans, not to mention likely heavy budget cuts across all of marketing. Businesses can no longer survive without a strong digital infrastructure, period. Therefore, whether your business is launching a digital journey or have been at it for a while, your business has to be ready for change at a moment’s notice and evolve quickly to meet the needs of your customers.

In 2020, investments in paid, owned and earned digital channels now account for almost 80% of multichannel budgets, with digital advertising and search advertising taking nearly a quarter (22%), social marketing (11.3%) and website (10.4%) topping the list.

In the near future, and for the long run, digital needs to be the foundation upon which everything is built to last.

Become Truly Agile

Change is the only thing that is constant. Being able to adapt is great at the best of times. During periods of uncertainty, your business should be prepared for eventualities.

Try applying these useful tips for being adaptable :

  1. Prepare in advance: Don’t just expect disruptions, but actively go looking for them.
  2. Accept change instead of trying to avoid it: Different pressures require different responses and difficult decisions.
  3. Move fast when the time’s right: Get ahead or lag.

What businesses should also take into consideration is that customer behaviour is likely to change even after these uncertain times. Therefore, one should be ahead of the curve to meet customer needs when that change kicks or rolls in again.

Continue to Evolve Brand Values and Messaging

2020 has completely changed marketing messaging, and empathy is being utilised like never before. It may be difficult to express emotion digitally, but marketers have to mimic human experiences across digital channels to fill physical voids and customers are starting and will continue to expect it well into 2021.

Therefore, businesses should be able to read their customers’ digital body language or emotion, in real-time, to deliver personalized, authentic, emotionally relevant and humanistic content digitally to truly connect with their customers.

The Future is Certainly Uncertain

But there are some things we do know will continue to be important in 2021:

  1. The ability to verify marketing’s value – and communicate it to decision-makers
  2. The ability to adapt to changing circumstances – and seize the opportunity it brings
  3. The smart use of digital platforms and tools – to drive productivity and better serve customers
  4. The seamless combining of Pre- and Post-COVID ways of working
  5. Continued sensitivity to the needs and experiences of consumers