October 12, 2020 Doug Cofer

How Businesses are Adjusting Their Marketing in 2020

Group of people social distancing and wearing facemasks in a business meeting at the office during the COVID-19 pandemic

Marketing trends of this year look vastly different than most years—and there’s no hiding why. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many into working from home, directly affecting how people can market their chosen industries. 

For example, since people are being encouraged to stay home to prevent the spread of the virus, the travel industry has suffered greatly, including businesses that are typically marketed through airports and seatback screens. With trade shows and conferences canceled or delayed, people who rely on leads from these specific settings are completely at a loss. Additionally, billboards are variably effective depending on just how seriously consumers are taking the travel mandates while under quarantine.

Tangible adverts are not the only element of marketing that has been affected. How people use and surf the internet has also undergone intricate shifts because a huge chunk of consumers are working remotely and, therefore, digitally. Many sectors of the economy have seen compression of website traffic likely because the average working man or woman is tired of looking at a computer screen or Zoom room by the time they log off work for the day. Surfing the internet at home hardly seems like a luxury to be enjoyed anymore. 

While tired eyes from too much screen time have contributed immensely to the shift in website traffic, the fear of emotional or mental strain from recent news has also repelled consumers from their digital comfort zones. Topics such as the presidential election, riot activity in response to recent social movements and the latest developments on COVID-19’s spread and impact are enough to send users and readers running to power off their devices. Simply put, people are overwhelmed by what they’re taking in, therefore detracting from the effectiveness of marketing through the web. 

With both B2C and B2B  methods of marketing being affected, there doesn’t seem to be a clear way to break the cycle of let-downs. So, what are companies doing to flip the narrative?

We’ve observed many of our B2B clients investing more heavily in targeted email campaigns, with budget shifts geared towards developing more content, specifically video due to efficiency, conciseness and visual appeal. We’ve seen breaks in trends for many of our B2B clients in order to engage people in a way that they never have been before. For example, one of our clients in a typically serious industry is exploring the use of a monthly comic strip to communicate efficiently, effectively and playfully. Likewise, B2C clients are moving away from traditional advertising and pressing into grassroots efforts like community-focused events and pop-ups in order to engage a targeted demographic. 

The greatest obstacle in this season of uncertainty is finding creative ways to break through the noise and set your business apart. When given a set of events that changes the landscape of the market, that is the most critical time to be able to engage highly strategic resources. This increases agility in the industry and resets businesses into a strategy that will help you overcome not only the present struggle but what is to come.

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