By the end of March 2020, the already unpredictable world script was flipped. The pandemic caused a large bulk of our lives to become quickly different, and the future became a little harder to envision.
The world’s not so much as changed but accelerated for better or worse.
The most obvious example is working remotely. Overnight a large portion of the global workforce retooled and adapted to working from their personal office. A trend that would have continued with moderate progress grew with significant speed.
The pandemic’s most enduring impact will be as an accelerant. The pandemic’s primary effect has been to accelerate dynamics already present in society. – Alex Galloway from Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity
Within the disruption is fast-moving progress and the field of marketing is not exempt. It’s impossible to predict what’s next. If we believe in the pandemic’s acceleration effect, we can make educated guesses based on existing trends.
Here are three marketing trends that I believe will continue to speed-up during the pandemic and continue after it’s over.
These are my personal opinion to spark thought and discussion. Leave your feedback in the comment section below.
Agile marketing adoption
Consumers expect brands to be able to pivot quickly in unpredictable times. Marketers don’t have a choice but to respond with speed.
Martech today enables marketers to engage with customers more effectively at scale. To take advantage of these new possibilities created by technology, teams need to become nimble; in other words, agile.
What does this actually mean? Agile can be defined differently depending on the department. Agile marketing means using data and analytics to find opportunities, test quickly, review results and rapidly iterate.
At scale, a high-functioning agile marketing organization can run hundreds of campaigns simultaneously and multiple new ideas every week (Edelman).
The agile methodology was pioneered by Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, and became popularized in software development in the 1990s.
Increasingly marketing teams are adopting the practice as they become more dependent on cloud-based software and digital tools.
Technology supporting dispersion
It’s proven we longer need to be in the same room to share meaningful messages or experiences.
The pandemic’s accelerated the use of technology to support communication across mass geographic ranges, and consumers have been forced to become comfortable with increased interactions through digital mediums.
Think augmented reality technology. IKEA launched an AR application that allows users to test their products in real-time. The free app called IKEA Place visualizes 3D models of products for consumers directly from their own space.
Photo courtesy Inter IKEA Systems.
New and creative digital consumer journeys will increase in demand as businesses strive to conquer physical distancing and meet consumer expectations.
Product experiencing a renaissance
The products we need seem to find us now.
Our digital footprints are tracked, and algorithms and artificial intelligence try and serve relevant advertisements at the perfect moments.
The Internet is primarily used for finding information to complete a goal. So it makes sense that consumers want to bypass the brand and go directly to the product offering the best solution.
Marketing teams are increasingly more responsible to decrease the obstacles between consumers and their products – enabling a frictionless shopping experience.
Platforms such as Facebook or Amazon let consumers review products and purchase with incredible ease and speed. Consumers don’t need to default to a specific brand with so much information available to make a purchasing decision.
We can make predictions, but no one can be sure. It’s only certain that the world has fundamentally changed. We must embrace a new path forward by investing in what’s next.
Galloway, Scott. Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity. Portfolio, 2020.
Edelman, David. “Agile Marketing: A Step-by-Step Guide.” McKinsey & Company, 14 Feb. 2018, https://mck.co/3qR8Bqn.