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Enter: the Year of Marketing Opportunities
12 January 2021 16:11pm
2020 has been anything but ordinary. It has shaken up the world of marketing like no other event since the last recession. The greatest change compared to ‘normal’ years was the huge lack of stability. Marketers had to pivot in all directions to juggle uncertainty, constantly moving consumers and budgets, long-term brand building amongst the ever-faster need for short-term results, and the clear surge towards everything digital, including e-commerce.
What we need to remember now when heading into 2021 is that many opportunities emerge from challenging times and only those brands that face them will be able to turn them around and make the most of this situation. Knowing what works and what does not is therefore crucial for any future marketing strategy. Quantifying the impact of this strategy on your overall business will be a gamechanger. Staying on top of it, is key.
We want to share six takeaways from 2020 and what we’ve learned from the work with our valued clients for 2021 and beyond.
Experiment your way to success
So, how will you know what is working and what is not? You honestly won't, until you try it, and analyse the outcome. Experiments, backed up by technology and experience, are an incredible powerful tool to stay agile and constantly challenge sacred cows from the past. It is the biggest takeaway from the past year and will remain key in the upcoming.
Many of our clients have turned to measurement solutions such as Scenario Planning and Agile Learning to constantly test and learn their way to success amidst the turmoil and challenges. With agility at their hands, they already have a head start into 2021 compared to their competition, and with Scenario Planning they had up to 5x more growth compared to competitors who did not use it.
Ride the digital wave
The shift in consumer behaviour brought a shift in media spend with it. Everything was going digital. Even before 2020 the trend was clear and we had already seen the movement in channels from classics such as linear TV towards Social Media in our ROI Genome intelligence, but this trend has been heavily accelerated. It might have worked perfectly for a brand, but two challenges will remain in 2021.
If you have had success with going digital, remember that a multi-channel approach will increase your ROI and broaden your reach. Even if focusing primarily on digital channels, brands need to act on media synergies and not only trust in one channel. Our ROI Genome shows that ROI increases with every channel you add.
Moreover, brands will need to carefully watch associated ROIs. There were huge price changes within the past months coming from reduced or higher competition. This process might lead to skewed KPIs in the future if you base your future planning on them.
Use the power of Omnichannel
When talking about media synergies, the omnichannel strategy isn’t far, and it’s been massively impacted in 2020. We have seen cases where brands saw a 200% increase in online sales pre- vs post-COVID due to shut down high streets and other restrictions. It will be an interesting space to watch in 2021, especially brick & mortar retail.
Even if lockdowns might be a thing of the past, brands will need to focus on e-commerce in the future and implement new offers such as click & collect to connect the online and offline world as the world continues to change. Our latest ROI Genome report had shown that brands who leverage omnichannel marketing can increase their ROI by 32%.
Remember to build your brand
Not only digital acceleration seems to have been on warp speed in 2020, but also time itself. This rush and the pace it's bringing with it is spilling over to the marketing world. You can observe it in the new rise of performance marketing with marketers seeking instant validation and results.
WARC had identified a 19% increase in investment in Performance Marketing in their Marketer’s Toolkit compared to the previous year. That came after educating the market on The long and short of it which calls for a 60-40 split. Our ROI genome shows as well that there is a strong value in investing in brand, which tends to outperform product, promotion and functionality messaging 80% of the time. Brands mustn’t forget about long-term brand health while tracking short-term performance, no matter the disruption.
Trust in your own data
When we speak about brands, channels, messaging, and promotions, we also need to consider our audience. With the death of the third-party cookie, addressing the right audience and tracking their way across channels becomes increasingly difficult. First-party CRM data will is the key to success.
Activating, enhancing and optimizing your data can make all the difference when creating campaigns and messaging. We’ve seen it with many of our clients who have leveraged their existing data, segmented it with our help and then built segment-specific campaigns. Within a single market, one of our clients was able to push 10% of low value customers to a higher frequency profile, while 10% of their loyal customers with no recent purchase could be recovered. 4 weeks of dedicated marketing campaigns supported the segment of new customers.
Seize the opportunity
Last but not least, it is all about creating new opportunities. Many opportunities emerge from challenging times, and indeed 2020 has been challenging. As budgets were tightened and shifted around for the past 10 months, the rule book was thrown out of the window as well. After being consumed by the fear of uncertainty, many brands started trying out new strategies or cemented their strategies.
To be successful in 2021 and way beyond, brands need to stay on that level of agility and constantly challenge the things they did in the past. It’s never been good enough to just “do what we did last year”, so why would that be any different during a pandemic?
You can thrive in the most challenging times, if you know how to adapt.