Many businesses went into 2020 thinking they had a digital marketing strategy, but as the year's events around Covid-19 unfolded, shortfalls and inefficiencies in their planning only deepened the setbacks. Lack of content, poor resource allocation and a slow-to-respond attitude meant that some companies couldn't cope with the pressure of going fully digital and serving customers through their preferred platforms and communication channels.
On the other end of the spectrum, businesses that had already established inbound marketing best practices were able to focus on retention and continue to generate revenue by being agile, responsive and tuned in to their target audience. In the EU, for example, retail sales via mail order houses or the internet increased by 30% in April 2020, and companies with robust digital marketing strategies were able to take full advantage.
So, as we look towards the new year, it's essential to reflect on the lessons we've learnt so far and develop marketing strategies that will help us grow and strengthen our market position in 2021.
3 lessons for the development of a marketing strategy 2021
In 2020, customers demanded accountability
If your company's slogan is something along the lines of "We care" or "Always there when you need us", you can bet that 2020 was the year that your customers tested these bold statements. 49% of customers will unfollow your brand if they receive a poor-quality product or bad customer service. Businesses that failed to show empathy or adequate customer care lost a lot of support from buyers in 2020.
Inbound marketing is built on your company's core values, so if there's any misalignment between the message you send out through your advertising or content, customers will quickly pick up on the inauthenticity and choose to spend their money elsewhere. So, be sure to say what you mean and mean what you say.
Stelle also sicher, dass du sagst, was du meinst, und meinst, was du sagst.
In 2020, content became a priority
In the past, many businesses have delayed or limited their content output, pushing the activity aside as a "nice to have" rather than a critical task in their digital marketing strategy. For companies that had a solid back-catalogue of existing content, however, the effort really paid off. They were able to keep generating and nurturing leads who had become increasingly reliant on the internet for information.
Short, digestible content for social media was a big favourite in 2020, as were videos, webinars and interviews with industry experts. The use of original research and refreshing old content by taking a new, more creative angle also helped businesses to gain larger audiences and reengage customers on topics that may have been perceived as stale.
In 2020, personalisation was a key differentiator
Digital marketing helped companies to collect real-time data that enabled them to respond to their environment much faster than competitors. By studying interaction history, preferences and past engagement with campaigns, marketers could send relevant content to customers. This helped to endorse positive brand association and offer genuine value to the individual. At a time when many organisations were sending generic, repetitive messages to customers, inbound marketers focused on creating hyper-personalised experiences for buyers that made purchasing easy and convenient.
Digital marketing allows for high levels of personalisation. From the lead nurture stage where emails, adverts and content are sent to segmented audiences to deliver real value, to building adaptable product offerings that are truly customised for the individual; these initiatives helped businesses to excel and generate revenue in 2020.
Your digital marketing strategy should include the integration of specialised tools such as HubSpot to collect and track essential data that will help you to make fact-based decisions. Having immediate access to audience insights will enable you to continuously improve your campaigns and send targeted messages that engage your customers and drive conversions.
Why you need to develop your digital marketing strategy in 2021
Your marketing strategy is the plan you make to reach the very specific goals of your business. When formulating this strategy, you'll consider your current market position, assess your strengths and weaknesses and create the steps to enhance what you're already doing well, while cutting out the things that are costing you money without bringing in any return on investment (ROI). A set-and-forget approach doesn't work here. In the digital landscape where the market is subject to significant fluctuations (as we have seen this year), committing to continuous improvement, reevaluating your goals, and adopting the technology to help you stay informed and responsive to your market's needs is critical for business growth.
2021 will usher in a new age of marketing where automation will also play a key role. This will help your business to collect data and send customised messages to customers, regardless of location or time zone. The content you create will have to be highly engaging and relevant to your audiences so that you can continue to stay at the forefront of your industry or you can finally climb it. Unique and customer-centric experiences will help you to attract buyers, but what will ultimately seal the deal is excellent customer service, authenticity and attention to detail.
Are you ready to start developing your marketing strategy for 2021? The BEE.team is here to offer the latest insights and tried and tested formulas to help you enhance your marketing efforts. Learn more by downloading our BEE.Gameplan and arrange a call with one of our experts for further details.