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April 8, 2021

3 Marketing Pivots That Are Likely Permanent

David G. Brashears

3 Marketing Pivots That Are Likely Permanent

We’ve officially hit the one-year mark since the world went home and held their breath to find out just how bad the pandemic was going to affect us. As marketers, we were especially concerned with the impact social distancing, economic upheaval, and cultural stress were going to have on our ability to help our clients develop effective messaging to continue to engage an increasingly fragmented audience. We’ve seen brands and services that were just emerging quickly become part of our daily marketing process.

As we look at the new ways we’ve found to stay productive and relevant and marketing professionals, many of our new tools are likely going to remain a permanent part of our work to help clients meet their goals.  Many people have been focusing on the “return to normal” mentality that would suggest that we’ll be moving back to the kinds of things we were doing prior to the global pandemic.  At Creative Energy, we think there are likely to be many of the concepts and opportunities that we’ve mined for our clients to help them stabilize their business will likely become part of the ongoing plan to continue to grow their brand loyalty and sales numbers.  Here are three things that started as necessary adjustments in order to stay effective in trying times that we think will continue to be effective tools for decades to come.

Virtual team meeting photo

Virtual Engagement

With the need to socially distance for public safety, last year saw an unprecedented number of conferences, trade shows, and brand events to go virtual in order to survive.  As an agency, we quickly became experts on planning and executing virtual events in the fires of necessity.  Many brands and customers realized just how effective virtual events can be when properly executed.  The ROI on having an engaged captured audience for your industry, or brand message, is pretty powerful when the barriers to participation are relatively low.  

As we start to see on-location events begin to emerge in the relatively near future, we think you’ll see more hybrid options available for those that want to attend.  Giving industry professionals the ability to participate in important conferences virtually will help grow relevant knowledge about emerging trends and technologies while also providing a larger pool of perspectives to improve the insights and feedback that these events can mine.  

Another aspect of all this new technology is the mass movement to remote work.  Our agency was quick to adapt to the need to move remote for the safety and protection of our staff.  Many professional industries, like marketing and advertising, were already very well aligned to be able to make this move quickly and efficiently.  It gave us the ability to safely continue to work together at a time when our clients needed our expertise the most.  Many professional experts agree that this move to remote work is very likely going to be a permanent part of many organizations.  The challenge for company leaders is making sure that staff members continue to feel connected and engaged in the internal culture that many of us have worked very hard to cultivate.  Many organizations struggled with productivity slumps and turnover as their remote team members felt disconnected and lonely during a very stressful time.  Those marketing teams that are able to continue to effectively inspire and promote daily collaboration among their teams will find a highly productive option with remote workers in their future.

Social media channels photo

Social Media Evolution

In 2020, we saw one of the biggest swells in engagement for the social media industry.  With everything from celebrity scandals, social advocacy protests, to the presidential election, social media was at the very epicenter of how we consumed and interacted with our greater community.  We saw social media leaders drawn into government hearings regarding their platform’s ability to influence and control the social landscape on a host of issues.  

Social media is evolving, and it’s likely never to be the same again.  Many brands are now evaluating, and culling, social media platforms in order to ensure their brand messaging is least impacted and most effective at clearly communicating with their target audience.  There are many experts that are seeing brands withdraw, or greatly reduce, their participation in social media platforms that they perceive to be detrimental to their goals, while transferring their social media budgets to those platforms that are seen as most effective and beneficial.  As ad spends change drastically for many of the established social media platforms, we are likely to see two things happen.  First, these platforms will likely revise their policies and social media terms of use in order to become a more stable and safe place for advertisers to promote their brand messaging.  The second product will be that new technologies will emerge to fill the gaps that brands perceive in their social media marketing strategies.  I think you will see more new and innovative social media alternatives to the larger established players coming soon.  

Also, social media companies will be offering new direct sales paths for companies in order to be more competitive with one another.  Many have already begun to offer tools to close the purchasing path loop.  Now brands will be able to directly move a follower from their social media content into a purchase conversion.  This will likely have new rules and terms for retails brands to navigate similar to what was necessary during the first online retail boom.

Having an informed, expert, social media consultant will be a huge benefit to making the most of all these industry changes.

Photo of Unicoi County branding website

Brand Culture Will Be King

We recently completed a large-scale national shopper survey for a case study we will be publishing soon. In that survey of shoppers from every region–of all different ages and demographics–we found that 81.58% believe that company culture directly impacts their brand loyalty. Creative Energy has long been a proponent of brand culture driving loyal customers. That was never more evident than in the last twelve months.  Our clients remained stable and continued to see growth in the face of a historic economic downturn because they had already invested in creating a relevant cultural position with their customers.

People are more informed, and have higher expectations, about the internal culture and CSR of the brands they support.  They know that their economic voice has real value, and they want to partner with brands that embrace a transparent and proactive social approach to their business.  Social listening, relevant public relations, and consistent brand messaging that are germane to the perspective of a brand’s target audience is now a daily part of data analysis and advertising strategy.

Brands that have cultivated the trust and confidence of their customer base now have the ability to directly influence buying behavior as well.  Loyal customers are more likely than ever to take the advice of their brands to make future purchasing decisions as long as they directly relate to a shared perspective on important issues.  

If you are ready to embrace the new marketing landscape and need an agency that has proven its expertise in these areas, we’d love to talk to you.  Contact our team and let’s help you grow your new brand era!