Just when digital marketers were beginning to really grasp the ins and outs of the industry and develop successful strategies, along came COVID-19 and flipped it all on its head. While the industry was already constantly changing and evolving, nobody could have predicted the massive shift that was going to affect the digital marketing world in a way that nothing ever had before. It wasn’t just digital marketing; every industry, every sector, every business, was affected in unbelievable ways. When COVID-19 appeared, everything changed.
When difficult times arise, people typically fall into one of two categories. They either act (or fail to act) out of fear, or they press forward with determination and grit, handling hurdles with grace. As a digital marketer, you are seeing trends and patterns that you’ve never seen before. Reaching potential customers and providing them with something relevant has a whole new meaning.
Not only that, but numerous digital marketers have experienced a loss in their revenue since the beginning of the pandemic, causing them to shift their thinking, their strategies, and their plans for an indefinite length of time. In fact, over half of digital marketers are expecting changes to last for at least another six months, if not more. Digital marketing is changing because the world is changing. It’s changing because people are seeking different experiences and they’re looking for solutions to problems they didn’t have before COVID.
The Evolution of Digital Marketing In The Age of COVID-19
Digital marketers are actually in a great place to meet the needs of consumers during COVID-19, because they already focused on virtual, online tools. When COVID-19 caused worldwide shutdowns and prevented people from getting out, going to stores, and connecting with others, digital marketers had an open door to reach them.
However, many marketers still experienced less of a reach than usual as well as a decrease in their revenue, despite being in a great position for awareness and visibility. Tactics that were proven to be successful were no longer working and they had to really stretch themselves in order to make headway with their target market.
They hadn’t changed, yet their strategies were no longer successful. What had changed was the focus and needs of their audience. What had changed was that people were no longer searching for the best pair of jeans, front row concert tickets, or even the newest gadget. Instead, they were searching for safety, health, security, and peace of mind to know that everything was going to be okay. Digital marketing began to change because consumers began to change. Needs began to change. Things that were important began to change.
How Digital Marketing Is Changing
Slowly, digital marketing is changing to meet the new needs of consumers. While some digital marketers were quick to see how things were evolving and jump on board, others took a step back to observe and see how things would pan out. Looking out at the digital marketing sea today, however, you’ll see nothing but marketers flowing into these new waters.
Strategies are changing for digital marketers. What once worked seamlessly as a means for gathering leads, increasing engagement, and ensuring conversions, is no longer effective.
The tangible needs of consumers have changed, as have their motivating factors. Some products are no longer relevant, and marketers are faced with the challenge of discovering a way to make a certain product fit a current and relevant need.
The strategies that once reached a widespread of a target market, aren’t working during COVID-19. Marketers need to take a good look at their target market and determine whether or not their needs or budget have changed, and if they have a product that will benefit them. If they don’t have something to offer that particular demographic any longer, it may be time to move on and find the right target market.
When developing a new strategy, take the time to really look at your target customer and determine what their needs are and craft your strategy around them.
Changing organizational structure
The new normal is leading businesses to switch up their structures. Many organizations are having their teamwork remotely, and headed into the future, will continue to do so. That means some businesses are no longer having to pay overhead office costs, which is actually saving them money.
However, they need to consider the challenges that go along with far less in-person time. Without a physical office space, building a connected team and a great work culture is difficult. Having regular video meetings using software like Zoom and time for connection is essential to keep people together.
Changing client communication
The in-person client meeting is essentially non-existent for the time being. This actually provides a bit of a challenge for marketers, as the in-person meeting tends to be the time when they get to woo potential clients.
The good news is, the client is still in need of digital marketing services, which means they’re likely going to be receptive. Yet, it’s going to be a bit harder to gain their attention when that in-person connection is lost.
Meetings with clients and potential clients are going to remain virtual for a while. That means marketers need to get great at connecting and holding the attention of others from behind a screen. Dressing professionally, creating a great backdrop, and keeping meetings short, lively, and to the point, are key in this virtual client communication.
The Final Word
During COVID-19 and for some time into the future, adaptation is going to be the name of the game. Seamlessly flowing with the necessary changes is essential for staying afloat. Keep in mind that it’s a hard time for everyone and everyone is learning to navigate this new normal. Just keep focused, keep adapting, and you’ll come out of the pandemic strong and ready.