First months of the year are typically the peak season of trend reviews. It is undeniably clear that the Covid-19 pandemic created a lot of uncertainty in the daily lives of companies, which trend reports from last year could not predict. Looking at it now, the pandemic also brought a lot of good things into the everyday life of companies: among other things, we witnessed the fastest digital leap in our history.
According to a study by Twilio, Covid-19 accelerated the digital communications strategy of the 2,569 companies included in the study by an average of six years. According to a study commissioned by McKinsey, last year in America, e-commerce grew as much in three months as in the last ten years combined.
Fight or escape
Enormous, world-changing phenomena undeniably affect how we act and react. In principle, technology is evolving faster in relation to how organizations are able to change and adapt to the opportunities it brings. This is called MarTech Law: a graph by Scott Brinker and Jason Baldwin illustrates this perfectly. In the face of a huge upheaval, our ability to catch up with technological advances can make even a direct leap. This is what happened with the Covid-19 pandemic. What enormous resources can be found when the world pushes us into a mode of survival.
The last decade has provided marketers with a huge number of new channels, applications and technologies to reach our target audience. Even to the extent that we occasionally lose sight of what is really essential. No new channel or technology is a shortcut to happiness. Long-term basic doing has been replaced by “hacking” and hunting for quick profits. The pandemic put marketers back to basics: as resources dwindled and uncertainty grew, we really went back to the drawing board to think about what works and produces the best results, rather than taking daring jumps chasing passing trends.
The spring of uncertainty in 2020 caused the world to hold its breath and it was reflected in a momentary stagnation in marketing. The industries hit by the first wave of the corona focused their resources on survival. The rest were paralyzed by mere uncertainty, although the effects of the pandemic were not yet visible in the business. Although ecommerce developed tangentially, overall, advertising budgets fell by an average of about 30 % globally relative to the past. Companies focused on nurturing existing customers instead of investing in the same way to find new ones.
It's a new normal
How we buy, interact and build relationships in the corporate world has changed. And most likely there will be no return to the old way of doing things. As social life moves online, people are increasingly vulnerable to digital communication and advertising. What we communicate and how our message is more relevant than ever: we marketers are at the forefront of building and influencing relationships.
Even though our behaviour change, we are still human. There is a strong need for empathy as a counterweight to isolation and social distance. Lifelike, honest and people-oriented communication works best and everyone who is able to bring it into their own communication stands out. Although storytelling is already a bit passé, its significance as such simply cannot be denied.
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