5 Marketing Trends for the New World
As marketers, we are navigating a new world. What marketing trends we should be watching closely?
The last six months has seen economic and social upheaval. We have witnessed economies around the world close and cities under quarantine. In some cases, businesses even ground to a halt. As a result, the IMF predicts that global growth will decline by 3% this year.
In short, we are in a recession. Apparently, it is the worst period since the Great Depression.
With this economic impact, we are also witnessing social norms impacted. For instance, people are spending dramatically more time at home. Some people find themselves juggling a full work schedule while homeschooling young children. Others are spending more time for self-care, reflection and planning. For all, it means less physical contact with others.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how this time will impact the future of marketing. Recently, I participated on a webinar panel where we discussed “What will marketing look like in the new world?”
Marketing Trend Predictions
The results are in. Ad spending globally is down 8%. We can expect more tightening of marketing budgets during the next 6-10 months as we brace for a second wave. Further, as economies like Europe and Canada start to reopen, precautions have been put in place to slow the spread of CoVid. Whether it’s low contact interactions, remote workers or social distancing, these changes will be around for the foreseeable future. However, one thing is for sure. All of them will impact how marketers connect with customers.
What are my predictions? Could we see current marketing trends become mainstays in a post pandemic world? Here are 5 marketing trend predictions for our new normal, with input from the other two webinar panelists.
Key trends for a Low Contact Economy.
Marketing Trend 1: Transformation as a new normal & technology as the driver
First and foremost, we are in a new “Age of transformation”. If you were a business on the fence about how to digitize and transform certain parts of your business before the pandemic, you’ve probably figured some parts out by now! CoVid does have a silver lining. It has helped some companies fast track their digital transformations.
How should your business embrace technology to operate differently and efficiently? Your company is hopefully exploring this question. While you do, here are a few more:
- Could we automate or employ AI (artificial intelligence) more within our business?
- Can we create more touch-less interactions?
- Do we need to track the spread /risk factor within our own organization?
- How might there be more government oversight within our industry?
Whether your organization is in education, government, or another industry – transformation was required to survive Covid-19. What (other) transformations does your organization need to make?
Marketing Trend 2: Brand Agility is Table Stakes
Next on the predictions list? Brand Agility. The last few months have been surreal for governments and businesses. From a health crisis to a social justice movement, the ripple effect of these major events are being felt around the world. Companies have needed to refocus their business products and services, reinvent operations, and rethink distribution strategies. They have also had to create new messaging, make a social stand, tweak messaging, train, and mobilize employees – all on a dime! As the future remains uncertain, a brand’s ability to be flexible and fluid based on volatile market conditions will be required.
What are the levers in your business allowing you to stay flexible? Is your leadership team empowered to make decisions quickly?
Marketing Trend 3: New ways to show community & connectedness
The third marketing trend is linked to community and being connected. One thing I’ve witnessed – both locally and globally – is a restored sense of community and need for social good. For example, millions marched for social justice around the world shortly after the George Floyd video. People are looking for ways to connect and do good. However, we will likely have to ‘do good’ while keeping our social distance and wearing masks for the foreseeable future.
With that in mind, how can we help people feel more secure and connected during that time? Our marketing approaches must take this into account.
Marketing Trend 4: Emotional Intelligence & Empathetic Engagement:
The next marketing trend is linked to the softer side. In times of crisis, loss and uncertainty shine a light on things that matter for people, such as health, family, security. Organizations that can tap into these key feelings through empathy, authenticity or humour can begin to rebuild fragile customer relations. Further, if they can deliver worthwhile products/services while creating meaningful connections with customers they will have a winning formula!
How can your organization strengthen authentic connections? What ways can you rebuild trust in an environment where “false news” is mainstream?
Marketing Trend 5: Virtual Teams & Freelancers are here to stay
Last but certainly not least, the fifth and final marketing trend is a move to virtual or on demand workforce. The Age of Digital Nomads has morphed into the Age of a Virtual Workforce. Whether it’s remote staff or “staff on demand”, this pandemic has paved the way for wide acceptance of a virtual workforce. For instance, Twitter, Google and Facebook are leading the pack, allowing 50-100% of staff to work remotely until the end of the year. Beyond the large corporations, numerous small and midsize businesses experienced significant losses due to layoffs and maintaining payroll (FTE responsibility) while business ground to a halt. As we work on creating herd immunity in the upcoming months, businesses will look at nimble ways to scale up and down with the economy opening and closing. This can be achieved through AI and or on-demand staff.
How can your business stay nimble during this time? What are some ways to keep your staffing flexible?
So now what?
In short, there is no crystal ball, so only time will tell. What are some marketing trends you anticipate out of this pandemic? Share your thoughts below!
Interested in more info?
- Watch the full webinar here: Marketing in a Crisis, organized by the Response Marketing Association.
- Read our marketing assumptions blog post for 8 things to account for as you plan and execute marketing campaigns in this new normal.
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