A Digital Marketing Strategy for Uncertain Times
6 min read
As fall begins to show her colors, many contemplate the road ahead. What does the year ahead have in store for us? Where are our industries headed? What will happen to your business?
As we begin the yearly wrap-up, advertisers and businesses reflect on 2021 and plan for 2022.
Usually, we’re all able to evaluate what worked and what didn’t. But as the world continues to adjust to these times, certainty is harder to claim. The last two years have taught us that whatever strategy worked the past quarter may not be relevant for the next one. Why? The platform may have changed, or your target audience now behaves differently.
In 2019, people considered shopping and visiting venues a social activity. Post outbreak, staying in and shopping online is the “new normal.”
You’d expect retail to have decreased, but according to UNCTAD, eCommerce’s share of global retail trade increased 3% in less than a year. Moreover, studies observe that more than 58% of U.S. shoppers said they would shop online more this holiday season than in previous years.
The way we shop has changed, along with the way we socialize.
Our audiences are spending a lot of time at home. Naturally, this changes the way advertisers and businesses can reach consumers. As you plan your marketing strategy for 2022, think about where you will put your marketing efforts? What seems most helpful–a street banner or an online ad?
So, how does one prepare? Our proposed approach is to take the information you have now, have some (old school) conversations, and craft a (realistic & innovative) marketing strategy for the year ahead.
In this post, we cover four tips from our own team of experts to help you do that.
Know Your Audience
What is your potential buyer up to these days? How have their behaviors changed? If you don’t know, below are a few ways that you can get proactive about understanding:
- Keep your customers close: You’d be surprised how much you can learn from a simple conversation. Talk to them; it’s quicker and cheaper than focus groups. Invest in networking activities to dive deeper into industry conversations and hear different frustrations. Execute monthly surveys, and hold bi/weekly meetings to discuss strategy optimizations with your team and how they are performing.
- Research the industry: This is a time to be in the loop of what’s going on in advertising and your industry. As consumer behavior changes, everyone scrambles to learn and adjust. The information will be available, so keep a lookout for updates. Keep track of your competitors, observe how they are providing solutions and open a window on how you can do this differently (or better!).
- Be flexible: Keep in mind that there will be times when your business doesn’t feel relevant anymore. We get it. We’ve all been there, but there is no point in staying there too long. The same ideas have been around for centuries; what changes is delivery. New behaviors mean new problems, which opens the door to new solutions, products, and services. Learn to make adjustments that allow you to keep moving forward. Change an aspect. Focus on a new audience, offer a new product and service, or shift presence from in-store to online.
Advertise With Purpose
It’s time to invest in your story.
Who are you?
Where are you standing?
Why did you start?
Where are you headed?
What value do you add to your community?
Understanding these points and sharing them with your community can deepen your connection.
Consumers are aching for brands that they trust. It is proven that consumers will continue to purchase from a brand that they trust.
Remember: you must share your values for a potential buyer to connect with them.
As we mentioned above, the changes take consumers online. If you are still not advertising online, your competitors will have the advantage of connecting with people while in your absence.
If you are starting PPC, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. In all frankness, it’s an exciting time to be trying different platforms. PPC is not in its infancy; new capabilities are unraveling as we speak. You know for sure that relevant and engaging audiences exist. You’ve seen what they’ve done for businesses, and you’ve experienced it yourself as a user. Now, it’s just a matter of finding the right way to attract them.
Another thing to do is create a marketing strategy that travels the buyer’s journey from Awareness to Purchase. Different methods drive different actions. Focus on the most appropriate stage and work on those methods.
For example, in an educational blog post, you can leverage SEO for awareness. Separately, you can use social media and email marketing for various stages. PPC marketing on Google and Microsoft can best serve decision-making intent.
Of course, this may vary depending on your goals and audience, but it’s a way of looking at it.
Invest in Tech Tools
Technology reduces costs and increases profitability. We know this, but thankfully, the human component remains essential. Technology is here to help us do our job better. What used to take 12 hours to create can now be done in 3. Automation and AI will help you reach your goals faster and more efficiently.
Consider “Fraccion,” a digital pharmacy that provides access to medicine for the people of Chile, even in the most remote corners of the country.
Fraccion is part of Microsoft for Startups. Its technological infrastructure is on Microsoft Azure, a cloud computing service created by Microsoft for building, testing, deploying, and managing applications and services through Microsoft-managed data centers.
This company is a perfect example of how you can adapt your business to post-outbreak times. You can provide customers with a digitally supported solution within your area and watch it grow your business.
Growing your business is about being informed, but not always in the way that you’d think. It’s the sweet spot in understanding where the industry is headed and also what your customers need. It’s in touch with the aerial view and the ground level.
Where the markets are all going is digital. Use the technology to make your marketing more accessible and create a marketing plan that aligns with your business goals.
Don’t wait for 2022 to start to do this; the time is now.
If you are interested in learning more about the tools and services we provide to our partners, reach out to us for a meeting.