Ricardas Montvila, Senior Director of Global Strategy at Mapp, discusses five tips for digital marketing post-COVID.
The coronavirus pandemic has triggered unprecedented changes to life in general, and marketing in particular. But marketers need to be preparing for what happens next. I expect there will be a significant realigning of digital marketing strategies to meet the huge changes in the wider world.
Now is the time for marketers to take into account the new restrictions that will be affecting the strategic and operational sides of their businesses. This is the new normal, not back to normal, and many marketers are faced with one big question: what next?
Changes to customer behaviour require obvious changes to marketing strategy. And while this takes place, marketers must be mindful of an increased need for efficiency, as they are confronted with significantly reduced budgets.
Marketers will need to maintain a heightened focus on the end customer, paying special attention to their regular engagement. Below are five approaches to help you to increase the digitisation of your marketing:
1. Use customer analytics as your foundation
Data has become even more fundamental a resource for marketers than before, as it is a valuable source of customer insights. The lockdown was accompanied by a strengthening of digital business models – ones that can only be integrated into an effective cross-channel strategy with the help of innovative technology. By using customer analytics, you can consolidate the data and transactions from all relevant touchpoints, and then analyse them to enable fast and targeted optimisation. Companies that can successfully collect and intelligently analyse their own first-party data throughout the entire customer journey will have a significant competitive advantage.
2. Create relevance
Targeted content works – a personalised approach that fits every individual user situation will be indispensable. By using data to segment customers into cross-channel profiles, and by using correspondingly granular marketing across websites and other communications channels, marketers will be far more likely to increase their conversion rates. Brands will be able to adapt their offering to encourage impulse buying based on the interests and preferences of their customers. Websites should use applications such as customised teaser graphics and online layers as well as interactive web elements for data collection. Meanwhile, product recommendations and other content can be aligned based on users’ past purchasing history and the products that they viewed and clicked on over several visits.
3. Automated targeting
The automation of processes that would typically use up a lot of time and resources contributes significantly to the development of an efficient marketing strategy. Companies will increasingly rely on marketing intelligence to achieve this. The automated coordination of advertising messages, broadcast timing, and channels based on data will help to initiate targeted interactions with end customers. Shifts in consumption patterns due to changes in the daily routine can be taken into account with ease thanks to automated cross-channel targeting, such as mobile push notifications after visiting a website.
4. Regular triggering of customer engagement
Special offers and discounts are currently booming, but they are financially ineffective when used for customers that have already actively selected products or services. In the long-run, it is not generous discounts that pay off, but a high-quality customer journey that leads to recurring purchases through marketing intelligence. By rolling out personal satisfaction surveys and well thought-out loyalty programmes after the purchase, brands can make a much better contribution to customer commitment. You can even take into account the specific focus that some individuals may have on cost. For instance, discount coupons can be linked to certain customer behaviours, such as shopping cart cancellations.
5. Show empathy
Coronavirus and its effects will continue to determine our everyday life for the foreseeable future. Brands are therefore well advised to listen more closely to their customers and offer them added value such as content that goes beyond a simple “thank you”. Digital technologies cannot replace value-oriented communication that demonstrates empathy, solidarity, and a sense of responsibility. However, they do provide opportunities to improve proximity, engagement, and productivity. Successful marketing in the future will increasingly depend on attitude.
Customer behaviour has already changed fundamentally, and it will continue to change in the future. The interaction between brands and consumers will change accordingly. Companies that can radically and holistically rethink their digital marketing initiatives and adapt them to the market will experience significant benefits.