Marketing Lessons learnt in 2020 and the forecast for 2021

Authored by Shashwat Das, Founder, Almond Branding

We have now reached the end of the year that was 2020. And let’s accept it, it was rough! We are in the middle of a global pandemic that has affected our personal as well as professional lives. It has changed our way of living, operating businesses, and even meeting each other. Even though the uncertainty looms over us, all has not been bad. We have learnt a few important lessons over the year that have left us well prepared to approach the coming year and future with more gratitude, positivity, and strength.

Lessons that 2020 taught us:

  • The pandemic has made the brands reevaluate their marketing strategies to stay afloat. The brands are now trying to seek the right balance between creative and aggressive marketing strategies to stay one step ahead of the competition.
  • The industry also must be aware about the image they are presenting to the consumers. Some of these strategies may seem deceptive. To avoid enforcement actions and inquiries, it is important that the brands comply with regulations.
  • The brands also must make the decision about developing new products that would align with the new reality. The industry will have to take most of the load to portray the importance and usability of the new product.
  • The new marketing strategies by the brands should meet the customer concerns related to health and wellness.

Though the future seems unpredictable and the things may never completely return to the normal, we have adapted well to the ‘new normal’. From the industry perspective the consumer behavior was completely disrupted in this year. Now we all must take some time to get to know our consumers all over again. We must understand their mindsets, situations, and requirements in consideration with how their lives were impacted.

So, what exactly is in store for the next year? How do we approach the way forward? Here are a few tips that may help us move forward with more enthusiasm and positivity:

  • Innovation & Diversification - The year is going to need a lot of flexibility and preparation. We have to be prepared for more innovative startups joining the race. In this case, diversification may prove to be an advantage to help you stand out. With proper customer feedback through emails and online surveys you can plan an effective response to your customer’s needs.
  • Hybrid model for retail stores - Throughout 2020 most of us have preferred to shop online. The year 2021 too shows signs of customers retaining their preference of online purchases. Eventually when the consumers start venturing out, the offline or in-store shopping would be more of an experience center. The retail stores will turn into a hybrid model combining the online and offline buying experience.
  • Productivity and remote work - Employees have now adapted or even enjoying work from home. Even though the actual meetings and discussions are being missed, the virtual chats and meets make up for cutting out long travelling hours spent in traffic. We have to accept that remote work is here to stay and find ways to make it more productive.
  • Timelines and goals - Take some time to make improvements to your processes. Set a timeline for experimenting and implementing new strategies and transformations while planning your next year. It is a sure way to help you stand strong when businesses start picking up. You will be ready with an experience to offer your customers a more innovative and easy experience.
  • Technology is crucial - Brands are now embracing technology, and we need to up our game by doing so too. Focus on what you can do and all the ways that can help you give the customer an easy and delightful digital experience. Many of the food joints took to online ordering and delivery or takeout, when they couldn’t serve customers virtually is an ideal mindset required when planning for 2021.
  • Collaboration is the key - Many brands are now approaching collaboration instead of competition to fulfill the evolving consumer needs. They are coming up with strategically designed collaborations that offer mutual benefits to all parties. Collaborations are also helpful to grow the consumer base, capitalize on each other’s reputation, and flexibility.
  • Customization to suit customers’ needs - Tailoring your business to suit consumer needs is an empathic way to connect with your clients. Empathy is the driving point to connect with consumers. Adapting personalization strategy will allow you to identify and group various segments in the markets and create targeted consumer experience for them. Planning and testing out these campaigns is also an important aspect for the success of this strategy.

Finally, we may have the vaccine soon enough and all things may return to normal sooner than we would have thought. But considering that is just a minute possibility it is better we stay prepared for long term. Adapting to cloud or hybrid working model seems the only way forward. The plans and experiments need to be user-friendly for employees and consumers to accept it. Lesser the barriers, easier the concerned individuals will be able to accept it. Keep things as simple as possible!


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