These five areas have changed the world for B2B and B2C marketers
2020 was not as many digital marketers expected. However, challenges often present new opportunities and ways of approaching strategies and campaigns. 2021 saw many pivots and changes and the acceleration of several trends that were already transforming the world of digital marketing.
Let’s look at five megatrends that affect the world around us and the B2B and B2C marketing teams.
1) COVID-19 and its consequences
The global pandemic sent seismic shocks worldwide and significantly affected digital marketing. Marketers saw events being canceled, their teams working remotely and their strategies, messages and campaigns changing. Their focus was on how they can provide useful information and solutions to customers during a difficult time. They were concerned with having the right voice and tone, as well as striving to be more relevant than ever.
Hope is on the horizon. Pfizer and BioNech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson developed vaccines. At the end of last year, about half of the CFOs surveyed by PWC expect a return to growth in 2021, with the help of investments in data analysis and marketing automation.
B2B sales and marketing experts also point out that this was not the new normal. However, some of the pivots that marketers have made will become part of the new normal. A new emphasis on deepening the relationship with the customer, as well as on customer loyalty and involvement, will continue.
More importantly, empathy is at the forefront of marketing more than ever, with marketers putting themselves in the shoes of their customers and asking how they can help.
2) The acceleration of digital
As face-to-face events were not an option, marketers turned to virtual events, videos and digital marketing channels to connect with customers. Due to blockages and other restrictions, many consumers were spending even more time online. In March last year, Forbes found that internet usage had increased by 70% and streaming by more than 12% with the start of the pandemic.
Naturally, marketers go to the channels that customers are gathering to connect with them. Social media, email marketing, mobile devices, websites, landing pages, blogs, webinars and more offer a multitude of chances to interact with customers.
According to a CMO survey, 85% of marketers surveyed observed an opening among customers for new digital offerings during the pandemic and 84% placed a greater value on digital experiences.
Marketers must now use digital focus first to track their audience.
3) Use of Big Data
The world has more data than ever, and the amount seems to be increasing more and more. The NodeGraph says that in 2025 the world data is estimated at 175ZB, which would take someone 1.8 billion years to download at current Internet speeds.
Also according to NodeGraph, in 2020, a minute online saw:
480,000 tweets built
4.7 million videos viewed on YouTube
4.2 million Google search queries
200 million emails sent
60,000 images sent
All of this information can tell brands how to best serve you. Big data helps to predict the weather, suggests movies, music and books to consumers and can tell marketers which channels and content the customer prefers.
Obviously, big data can offer huge competitive advantages to marketers, as long as they are able to capture, manage and use that data properly. This helps them to better understand their customers and gain more insight into how to solve their problems.
4) Anyone can be a content creator and editor
The world’s 3.7 billion social media users create content every time they post something. TikTok and Snapchat users are uploading short video content. Instagram features photos and images about people’s lives, careers and brands.
There are more than 500 billion blogs in the world, and the number of self-published books reached 1 million in 2017 for the first time.
There are several publishing platforms and people take advantage of them to share their perceptions, product knowledge, fiction, poetry and more.
What does this mean for content marketing?
Content creators must strive to be more relevant than ever and get people’s attention. The content must be informative and useful, but also delivered on the channel that the customer makes and in a format that is easily digestible.
Videos, webinars, blogs, innovative leadership, interactive content, infographics – content marketers will never run out of options to use. However, they are competing with almost everyone for someone’s attention. To win, they must strive for clarity and substance.
5) Global connectivity
About 4.66 billion people are online, covering 59% of the global population, according to Statista. For 2020, NodeGraph found that there were
5.1 billion cell phone owners
2 billion online shoppers
3.7 billion social media users
As the numbers show, people are more connected around the world than ever before. You can network with someone who lives on different continents, watch online shows with them, play online chess with them, join online book clubs and more. The possibilities are endless.
Nowadays, marketers must consider their audience. Who is visiting your website and blog and where are they from? Can they expand their audience due to global connectivity? How do they need to adjust their marketing to do this?
An email sent to an American audience may not work as well if it is sent to Europe due to linguistic and cultural differences. Is the innovative leadership you are publishing available in a different language, since you have an audience in another country? Do you have webinars and online events for different countries and regions?
Pay attention to your audience and how it grows. You can find many untapped potentials in expanding it or accommodating it in different regions and cultures. This can make your brand stand out more as a leader.
The future of digital marketing is now
As 2020 has shown, the trends that we think will impact us can change quickly. The key is to remain agile, flexible and adaptable. A good attitude can also help you deal with difficult times