Learning from the pandemic: 5 direct marketing survival facts

While the term “new normal” has become a cliché, it’s an apt description for the pandemic’s impact on daily life. We are resilient creatures and we’ve quickly adapted to living with COVID-19 in ways that will forever change the way we think and act. Looking ahead, marketers need to recognize that much of the new normal is here to stay. Consider how these 5 facts and trends may affect your marketing plans:


1) The value of E-commerce cannot be overstated.

This comes as no surprise but it’s important to note that the lockdown has forced traditional brick-and-mortar retail shoppers to become more comfortable with online shopping. At the height of the lockdown, there was a 66% spike in global daily e-commerce sales. If you sell directly to the consumer via your website, now is a critical moment to ensure that your shopping experience is optimized.


2) Technology’s role in customer relationships is accelerating rapidly.

With e-commerce becoming the norm, more customers are expecting way more from your digital channels. How good is your customer’s experience after check-out? How helpful are your apps, social channels, blogs and websites? Customers expect instant gratification or, at the very least, easy online solutions.


3) B-to-B marketing needs to adjust to at-home workers.

According to Global Workplace Analytics, an estimated 56% of the U.S. workforce holds a job that is compatible (at least partially) with remote work and 25-30% of the workforce will be working from home multiple days a week by the end of 2021. This means that thinking beyond corporate mail and email will continue to be more important than ever for B-to-B marketers.


4) Skyrocketing media consumption is a double-edged sword.

People keeping up with COVID and the 2020 election has led to an incredible leap in media consumption. According to Nielsen, the time spent accessing mobile devices for news jumped 215% earlier this year. And while that means more eyeballs and lower costs per impression, it also means there’s a lot of content overload happening. Expect to work much harder to get the consumer’s attention.


5) Greater personalization will be the key to differentiation.

Whether we’re streaming video or shopping from our couches (likely both at the same time), we expect content to be matched to our needs and preferences. Marketers need to accept that personalized experiences are more than a goal, they are matter of survival.


On a final note, remember that there is no better advocate for your brand than a satisfied customer. Pay attention to how your customers’ needs have changed as a result of the pandemic and you’ll be prepared for success into 2021 and beyond.

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