A big hello from Portland, Oregon! With the fast deployment of vaccination, many of us marketers are gearing up for the full reopening and getting our team members back to the offices. Today I want to share the five trends that I think you need to pay attention to when you rework your plan and get ready for your post-COVID marketing efforts.
In this episode:
- VIrtual communication and in-person interactions.
- Event marketing evolution.
- Content marketing and content prioritization.
- Changing strategies and marketing execution.
- Protocols and process changes to keep your customers safe.
- Digital customer experience as a product.
- Sales and marketing alignment in a fast-changing world.
- Process and workflow optimization as a competitive advantage.
Quotes from the episode:
“Modify your customer journeys and beef up your offerings online and on your websites. That means your budget for digital marketing and the website should not go down. It should go up.”
“The key post-COVID is to determine which content to update and refresh because you might have a lot of content you need to prioritize in a repurposing refresh and the update.”
“When digital marketing becomes complicated, marketers tend to get overwhelmed. To overcome that, understand processes and steps, how things are done, and how data moves from one point to another.”
A big hello from Portland, Oregon. With the fast deployment of vaccination, many marketers are gearing up for the full reopening and getting our team members back to the offices. For today, it’s a solo episode. I kind of want to share with you the five trends that I think you need to pay attention to when you rework your plan and get ready for your post- COVID marketing efforts. All right, so let’s get started.
Trend #1: Virtual communication is here to stay, but everyone is craving for in-person interactions.
Do you remember the struggle and the drama that we all went through learning, using Zooms or Teams or whatever virtual meeting platforms? Do we have to learn how to use it? What about scrambling to move lamps around to give ourselves more lighting until we broke down and purchased selfie ring lights on Amazon. I mean, honestly, I have three of them and remember cleaning up all the clutter from our office/dining room or any place that we show up in the background of our video.
Oh, my God, too much, too much has been invested in virtual communication. Do you think we would just all let it go? No way. The kids may go back to school full time, but now they can attend classes virtually. We still prefer to see our doctors when we get sick. But if we don’t want to drive for our appointments, we can schedule online visits and still get up close and personal with doctors. The virtual communication infrastructure is set up. We will continue to take advantage of that.
Meanwhile, even marketing is likely to take on the hybrid model with in-person and online components moving forward, impacting the attendee pricing models and content distribution. Okay. And then digital customer touchpoints continue to surge. Therefore you need to modify your customer journeys and beef up your offerings online and on your websites. That means your budget for digital marketing and the website should not go down. It should go up.
Another thing I would like to share with you is that a sales team or all of us need to continue to shop in virtual aisle selling and virtual communication skills, such as using the camera to record a greeting or a follow-up as part of the email. Okay? By talking to many marketers and sales professionals, I can tell you that all of us are pretty much done. We are done with the virtual communications. We want to see, feel, and touch our colleagues — even the ones we are not particularly fond out. We still love them! Plus we want to attend conferences in person. Who doesn’t like to go to Scottsdale to attend conferences in February?
The event industry will have a strong comeback in the near future. If you are marketers, just be ready.
Trend #2: Content is still king.
During the pandemic, the biggest issue was how fast everything was changing. That was hard on marketing. Any little changing strategy has a big impact on marketing execution. For example, a changing strategy may require different channels to communicate. Changing messaging or creative concepts may require us to recreate entire campaigns with different copy and image selections of paid and social media. Only marketers who are in the trenches know exactly what I’m talking about. And I feel your pain.
With all the changes, the best way to communicate with your customer is through content. And I’m talking about original content. Well, look at the explosive growth of TikTok. That’s old content. All right, everyone is creating content to entertain someone else. In the business world, content plays a critical role in communicating your company’s stand in social causes, right about social inequalities, social causes. That’s a purpose-driven type of content that you write content to communicate and trends of your stand. Right.
The second thing is protocols and process changes to keep your customers safe. Again, you want people to understand your processes in your protocol – how to keep them safe, leave in the physical store or another way of a physical or virtual presence – the only way you can communicate that is through content. There’s nothing else, right? Again, for your new products, how to use your new product that’s education and show and tell why I can say content creation?
Ultimately, content is still king. The key post-COVID is to determine which content to update and refresh because you might have a lot of content you need to prioritize in terms of a repurposing refresh and the update. It’s very time-consuming to figure out which type of content you should update, prepare, and make sure you take time to source, select, and prioritize your content and determine what you need to do about them. Is that helpful?
Trend #3: the digital customer experience is your product.
Once upon a time, the surge of digital usage was mostly a holiday like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Today, the digital customer experience is pretty much an everyday thing it’s given. It needs to be easy for your prospects and customers to find information that you want to share. Yours will need to make it easy for them to buy. In a way, you should treat a digital experience like your product. Don’t treat it like a cost center. We spent tons of time and money redesign, design, revise, test and optimize our products. That mentality should also apply to a digital customer experience because that’s the gateway for your customers to create a first impression or engage with you. The y engagements and impressions will also determine whether they want to buy from you.
We can take a page from major e-commerce sites, such as Amazon, Wayfair, Ikea, et cetera. Right. And I love cash apps experience of buying and selling Bitcoin. Bitcoin has been a hot commodity lately, but people may not know how to buy or sell them. Cash apps from Square make it super easy to buy and sell. You can download the cash app and click on the Bitcoin button, which is the second button from the right you click on that. It will take you to another screen that has two buttons buy and sell Bitcoins. That’s it. You can click “buy,” you can click “on-sale” right there, you can just buy and sell Bitcoins. Plus, their customer support is fantastic. Yeah, you can argue with me that’s the product, but that’s exactly what you need to do. Treat the digital experience like your own product. You’ll get your money back when your digital customer experience is seamless and smooth — mark my words.
Trend #4: Align Sales and marketing
In this fast-changing world, both sales and marketing need to work together closely. Both sides need to change how they work. So here’s what I’m going to say to both organizations. All right. “Sales, stop complaining about the quality of leads and work together to define what NQL is and SQLs are.” “Sales, stop complaining about lack of content. Tell marketers exactly the types of content you need.” “Marketing, please go out of your way to understand your salespeople. I know they are not pleasant to work with sometimes but make an extra effort. They carry the company’s revenue pressure on their shoulders is hard. I know because I carry that for my own company.” “Marketing also makes it easy for salespeople to store content, explain clearly what each content is, especially the hero content, tag them with keywords, target audience, industry, or however your salespeople search hold each other accountable.”
You know, it sounds like a cliché’ “teamwork makes dream work.” That’s how it is. So start talking to each other and make things happen.
Trend #5: process and workflow optimization is your competitive advantage.
When digital marketing becomes complicated, marketers tend to get overwhelmed. The best way to overcome that is to understand the nuts and bolts behind the scenes. In other words, you need to understand the processes and steps involved in how things are done and how data moves from one point to another.
In email marketing, can you document each step from the theme and the headline creation, sourcing, and selecting content, building your email to sending out and tracking analytics? You probably have to describe it verbally, but can you put it down in a very formal workflow and then brainstorm with your colleagues to understand what you can do to make those workflows more efficient and effective? The only way you can do that is you document each process and then talk it through. Does that make sense?
Processes and workflow are mundane. Because it’s so mundane, no one wants to spend time in the marketing department. We tend to outsource that to IT, marketing ops or agencies. If you want us to be efficient and understand how digital marketing works, you need to go beyond just creative email campaigns and copywriting. Understand your processes. Knowing how things work is going to be your asset if you want to continue to move up. All right. Because no one knows how to understand it, if you understand it, you will be the only one to explain that to management and provide you with a recommendation in terms of what needs to be done. So it’s time for you to shine.
So these are the five trends that I just share with you in this episode. Right? Number one. Virtual communication is here to stay, but everyone’s still craving for in-person interaction. Number two, content is still king. Don’t forget that. Number three, treat the digital customer experience like your product. Number four, align sales with marketing or vice versa. Number five, process and workflow optimization is your competitive advantage.
For all of us that went through the whole 2020 pandemic nightmare, here are my biggest takeaways. Almost everything that needed to be done in the present. It can somehow be done virtually. With mandatory stay home, we find an alternative to bail human connections. We do a virtual happy hour — the constant Zoom meetings. Have a pizza party with our family members. We find a way to build that human connection. Most importantly, we adopted adjusted and made it work. Even though it’s very clunky, we somehow made it work.
As painful as it has been, we proved that we are resilient and nimble. That’s how we need to think and act in marketing as well. Be resilient and nimble. Be ready for whatever gets thrown our way. We can do this.
So if you are working on your post-COVID marketing plans and have any questions, reach out to me anytime. You know how to reach out to me. Okay? Hello@pamdidner.com or any social media channel. Love, love, love to hear from you. All right. Take care. Bye.
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To expand your knowledge about Marketing Trends Post-COVID, check out some of my previous podcast episodes and blog posts.