This year, the world of work changed beyond all recognition. As workplaces closed their doors in late March, remote offices were being set up in kitchens and living rooms across the globe. For marketers, this meant the ‘normal’ rules for conducting business became meaningless overnight. Established marketing methods such as face-to-face networking were halted, encouraging business leaders to adapt and reinvent their offerings in order to keep pace with the changing world.
The reliance on digital has surged in recent months. And the ever-increasing pace of digital change will continue to encourage organisations to consider how they can maximise the power of new technologies.
It’s estimated that the UK currently operates at just 17% of its digital potential and that workforce disruptions brought about by digital technologies will pose significant challenges to marketing leaders and teams alike.
And so, as we enter the virtual era of business, what can you do to upskill your digital marketing team to ensure they’re keep pace with evolving business demands and the new generation of consumer?
Enhance customer loyalty
During times like these, every interaction with your customers is an opportunity to demonstrate what lies at the heart of your organisation. Purpose-based companies that show empathy will likely emerge as the leaders. The first step in showing you care is to reach out – not for marketing or selling – but to offer genuine support, guidance, and advice. Although a seemingly contradictory piece of advice for marketing professionals, holding off on the hard sell and focusing instead on nurturing the consumer is exactly what you need to be doing to instill trust and loyalty in your brand.
So, if you’re using the same old (pre-Covid) marketing, change it. The fastest way to lose customers is to send out a sales pitch. Now is the time to keep your network moving forward. Show them you care more about helping their business than simply getting their business.
Partner up to create new ‘service platforms’
Over the years, we’ve seen varying degrees of e-service adoption. Banking has had relatively higher penetration, along with media and entertainment. But now, people are not only increasingly buying online, they expect to perform other tasks and access a multitude of services as well.
For marketers, this increasing consumer confidence in the use of e-services suggests a potential surge in demand and an opportunity to create new connections. You might consider developing partner ecosystems. As services proliferate, it’ll be more important than ever for your marketing team to think of their brands in the context of an interconnected service “platforms.”
Go in the direction of your customers
Self-service, touchless, virtual meetings, e-commerce – all digital communication channels have now become a necessity adopted by most customers. In order to survive in the digital era, you too must pivot and accelerate with these channels and offerings.
Consider offering your customers a free 90-day trial of your product, or outsourcing software that will maximise the potential and accessibility of your own. By making this shift and delivering superior digital experiences that speak to the needs of your customers, you are far more likely to increase adoption and maintain these business relationships into the future.
Maximise the power of your data
Using big data and analytics has always been on a steady growth trajectory but since the global pandemic, the need for data is even greater. As businesses re-open in phases, using data and analytics for contact tracing and to help make other important workplace decisions is becoming a necessity. Recent announcements from big tech companies including Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco and Salesforce focus on developing data driven tools to help bring employees back to work safely — some even offering it for free to its customers.
For faster, more efficient and smarter organisations, marketing teams need to be able to translate data into actionable strategies. One way to upskill your digital marketing team is by encouraging them to browse the Google Analytics Academy. It’s a great route into data and is beneficial for anyone working within digital marketing.
Navigate the “Homebody Economy”
In recent months, the home has become a multifunctional hub; an office, a school and for many, a shopping centre. As a growing number of organisations attempt to sustain some of the advantages of remote working, marketers will need to engage with smart devices and interfaces across the home in order to reflect the desires of the new consumer.
Your marketing team should take this as an opportunity to rethink their media mix across a larger set of channels, including video conferencing platforms, maybe even virtual reality. The trick for marketers when navigating this ‘homebody economy’ is to find ways of integrating their services into the products already anchored in the home.
Rewriting the marketer’s playbook
The new normal, while imbued with challenges and uncertainties, brings with it a wealth of opportunities for marketing teams. It provides a chance to reconfigure the layout of the old marketing playbook – and rewrite a few chapters. To ensure your business is ready for the new world, consider how you can upskill your digital marketing team. By using the right tools and methods, you can maximise your team’s productivity while meeting your business demands.