Around this time, the virus went from being a vaguely imminent threat to be wary of, to an inevitable and highly problematic daily reality. This unique health crisis in the 20 th and 21 th centuries disrupted lives, and profoundly changed the lives of business and of business and economic systems in the world, as few events had done before. For those of you who work in marketing, the Covid-19 epidemic has bound to be a tornado.
Twelve months later, we are finally on the right track to return to a state of “semi-normal”. Vaccines are being rolled out, guidelines from health ministries are starting to loosen, and states are reducing restrictions and emergencies on populations, to varying degrees.
Americans who are vaccinated can congregate with other people – also vaccinated – without wearing masks or social distancing, according to long-awaited advice from federal health officials.
In France and in other countries, we are not there yet, but we can foresee a possible improvement in the situation if the pace of vaccination campaigns finally accelerates.
We are therefore not yet out of business, but recognize that a good part of the road towards a return to normalcy has been traveled. And now is a great time to take a step back and reflect on the past year, from a digital marketing perspective. What have we learned from the Covid-19 pandemic? What has changed over the past year, and what are the main implications and impacts of this health crisis that we must always take into account?
What we have learned
One of the biggest lessons to be learned from the dramatic impact of COVID-19, from social distancing and ordering meals at home to telecommuting, is that all the considerable effort and resources that have been put into it for a long time to strengthening the digital aspect of marketing were worth it.
As online exchanges and engagements became nearly the only means of connection between businesses and customers, the value of a digital UK WhatsApp Number List presence and high-level digital tools has become even more essential.
We have also learned that buyers tend to favor this dynamic. A study by McKinsey & Company last year found that 70-80% of B2B decision-makers prefer remote interactions with vendors and digital self-service services, citing ease of planning, savings on travel costs and security.
And despite a very real phenomenon of “Zoom fatigue”, where we see many marketing professionals exhausted interacting with their interlocutors via a screen all day long, buyers (and sellers) now overwhelmingly prefer this method of communication. meeting remotely rather than talking on the phone, according to McKinsey, whether it involves meetings with existing customers, prospects, or vendors and suppliers.
While shaking someone’s hand isn’t exactly the same as sitting in front of a screen, video calling offers a much more personal and engaging experience than hearing someone’s voice on the phone. phone. With the burnout factor in mind, it’s worth thinking about ways your sales reps need to animate their video calls to make them more engaging and interactive.
And as B2B sales match changing buyer preferences, marketing too will need to be in sync and support new sales processes.
Perhaps the most crucial learning – which is not unrelated to the above – is the vital importance for businesses and their marketers to be agile and adaptive. Because, as we’ll see next, a lot has changed and there doesn’t seem to be an end to this development.
What has changed
The Covid-19 epidemic has disrupted almost every aspect of our lives, as a result, it’s difficult to describe all of the things that have been turned upside down with a succinct list of specific changes. But looking back on the past year, these upheavals seem more distinct in the marketing arena.
– Content strategies change and adapt
In the latest episode of their annual B2B content marketing benchmarking report, the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs asked a series of specific questions related to COVID-19. Almost all respondents (94%) said the pandemic had some level of impact on their content strategies, while 70% described the impact as moderate or major. A large majority expected these adjustments to be at least partly sustainable, in the medium and long term.
The most frequently cited reactions were changes in targeting and messaging strategies (70%), editorial calendar adjustments (64%), and changes in content delivery and promotion strategy (53%).
At LinkedIn, for example, the teams responsible for creating and delivering content experienced exactly what we just described. Goals and priorities rotated in no time, and all of the content that had been released recently had to be revisited from an entirely new perspective.
In addition, the post-pandemic will see the progression of what experts call “Information Marketing”.
What is “information marketing” and how is it different from content marketing?
While content marketing has a lot to do with creating high quality content that ranks well on Google and other search engines, information marketing has less to do with pure SEO, and more about people. information and marketed content.