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5 Marketing Strategies to Implement Post-Pandemic

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5 Marketing Strategies to Implement Post-Pandemic


We’re all tired of hearing about the “new normal.” I bet even now, as you read that phrase, you got a case of annoying shivers just as I did as I wrote it.

But the reality remains that the modern world will forever exist in two very distinguished phases – the world before the pandemic and the world after. As much as we wanted things to “go back to normal” in 2020 and maybe even in 2021, the reality is that many things have changed over the last two years.

Including marketing.

The truth is that during the pandemic, as everyone adjusted to uncertainty and change, consumer preferences, processes, and expectations changed as well. And in many cases, we’re not going back. Remote work, expanded digital and virtual experiences, and one-touch online shopping are just some of the changes that are here to stay. And that means that the marketing strategies we implement in 2022 must adjust to these new, now commonplace practices.

And so, let’s explore some marketing strategies to implement post-pandemic.

1. Address Customers as Friends Through Personalization

Personalization of marketing and customer experiences has been in business vocabulary for years. As early as 2018, an Epsilon survey revealed that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences.

But when the pandemic hit, a curious domino effect took that concept further.

Overnight, our lives, both business and personal, moved online. “Organizations overall were forced by the pandemic to accelerate their existing digital transformation plans in order to react to the fact that most of their customers were now primarily interacting with them through digital channels,” Brain Carlson of CMSWire writes. This switch gave businesses more access to customer information.

With more information comes more possibilities. And so companies could now personalize customer experiences and marketing using customer data. And so they did. Once that happened, the mere convenience of personalization now became an expectation. And so the concept of extreme personalization entered the mainstream.

Post-pandemic marketing strategy: segment and personalize.

Today, personalized marketing messages can not only get a potential lead’s attention. They can help create a genuine connection between the brand and its audience, boost engagement, and encourage long-lasting customer loyalty.

BLOCKQUOTE: “Beyond geography, we have learned marketing messages need to be personally relevant, aligned to an individual’s situation and values, as opposed to demographics, such as age and gender. Creating a personal, human connection within any commercial message requires defining consumer segments that describe people according to multiple dimensions that influence their purchasing behavior — from their psychographics to attitudinal characteristics.” – Harvard Business Review.

To facilitate such personal relationships with customers, brands must employ tools to personalize email, social media, and paid advertising messages. Using analytics, customer surveys, live-chat data, and other efficient marketing tools segment your audiences and identify their needs. Then target specific groups of customers according to their preferences.

From algorithm-based sponsored ads to personalized recommendations for returning customers, marketing efforts must cater to audiences in very specific ways. So get to know your customers and treat them as your long-time friends. Because they are.

2. Focus on Customer Experiences

Let’s be honest, for every product or service a company offers there is already something similar on the market. Nothing is completely unique and everyone has a competitor. So the way to stand out in the sea of competition is through offering unique customer experiences.

Customer experience expert, Shep Hyken, hits the nail on the head when he says, “People no longer compare you just to your direct competitors. They compare you to the positive experiences they’ve had with companies in any industry.”

This is especially true post-pandemic. After all, we have collectively experienced crisis, isolation, fear, and hardship. As we enter the new world, we seek human connection, positive social interactions, and rewarding experiences. All of that should take center stage in the business theater through interactive and personalized customer experience.

As a great American poet, Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” In the business world, that means people might forget what product they bought from a business or the details of a specific service they received. They will not, however, forget how a brand treated them.

Post-pandemic marketing strategy: connect customer experience and marketing

Customer experience with a brand does not start when the customer clicks the “Check out” button. It begins at the very first interaction with a brand. Excellent customer experience is the best marketing strategy. So treat the customer journey with extreme care from the start. That means catering to prospective leads and long-time customers in the same kind, personal, and accommodating way.

Providing educational content, building and maintaining online communities, simplifying onboarding and checkout processes, and delivering excellent and timely customer service are just some examples connecting marketing with customer experience. Doing so will improve customer satisfaction and loyalty in the post-pandemic environment.

3. Frame Products and Services as Solutions to Problems

Personalization and customer experience help build customer loyalty because both of those strategies build trust between customers and a brand. After all, relationships built on trust are the ones that last. Experts agree that as the world has endured the pandemic, business relationships matter more than ever and more than anything, including products and services themselves.

According to Harward Business Review, “Covid-19 has placed a new emphasis on relationships. Faced with a virtual sales environment, teams with existing relationships have been able to maintain revenue momentum, capitalizing on the strength of their prior bonds. In contrast, prospecting for new customers has required an evolved set of skills focused on selling solutions, not products. Trust and integrity are fundamental to driving market momentum.”

And so to build trust, brands must show their audiences that they understand their customers’ needs and have effective solutions to offer.

Post-pandemic marketing strategy: implement solution-based pull marketing

There is a world of difference between push and pull marketing. With push marketing, brands push products on consumers. Placing “impulse buy” items near the registers in grocery stores is one example. Pull marketing, on the other hand, pulls consumers toward products because the product offers a solution to a specific problem. Content marketing that educates audiences about available products and services that offer solutions to specific problems serves as an example here.

Creating marketing materials that fit into this strategy requires a good understanding of customers’ needs. Identifying pain points is a crucial step in this process. Reviewing customer feedback, using analytics, and implementing AI-powered tools to get as much information about customers as possible can help create the best picture of customers’ needs. Then, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and address customers’ pain points with solutions. Sometimes that might mean simple adjustments in marketing strategies. Other times a brand might consider redirecting its product and service development to better-fit market demands.

4. Define Core Values and Take a Stand

In the past, many businesses had avoided taking a stand on social and political issues due to fear of losing customers. After all, we all remember the controversial cases of Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby where the brands’ top executives’ beliefs sparked boycotts and negative publicity.

However, in the post-pandemic world where we all have witnessed global unrest on various social issues, defining a brand’s position on certain issues could prove to be beneficial. According to Harvard Business Review, “The key themes from EY Future Consumer Index research show that while quality, convenience, and price still very much matter to consumer choice, factors like sustainability, trust, ethical sourcing, and social responsibility are increasingly important to how consumers select their products and services.”

This strategy might involve some risks, but proponents of brand activism argue that today’s consumers vote with their wallets. This is especially true with Generation Z, the generation of “backyard activism,” coming of age and gaining buying power.

Post-pandemic marketing strategy: lead with purpose

Embracing brand activism as a marking strategy can seem daunting, but it can involve simple tactics such as donations to an organization that works toward a specific purpose. Other examples of brand activism include launching a new product that supports a cause and drives sales, creating digital media to educate customers on the importance of a cause, or encouraging customers to share how they support a specific cause.

Not only can brand activism help the cause, but it can also build a community around it. Specific brand activism marketing campaigns, like the one Nike created following the 2020 civil unrest in the United States, create important conversations. These conversations, in turn, bring consumers together and unify them with the brand, increasing brand awareness and tying it to the specific purpose.

5. Embrace new emerging technologies and channels

Since the dawn of time, new technologies have stirred consumer preferences. The challenge of today, of course, is the speed with which innovations demand business adaptation. While our great-great-parents might have had a few years or even decades to move from newspaper advertising to radio commercials, today’s consumers will not wait that long. Digital transformation, accelerated by the pandemic, demands businesses to implement the newest tools to reach their audiences.

For example, only a few years ago, TikTok was a mere entertainment app for teens who enjoyed filming trendy dance moves. In 2021, the social media platform reached 1 billion annual users and features sponsored content from various industries.

And so it’s important to not miss the boat and embrace innovation. After all, meeting consumers where they are and having access to global audiences using available means can mean the difference between becoming a successful brand or struggling to reach the right people.

Post-pandemic marketing strategy: get with the times and invest in the newest tech

Of course, businesses cannot afford to quickly jump on every new opportunity and embrace every new tech tool available. So, it’s important to do your research. Find out what your audiences use and need and meet them there.

Look into tools like live chat, SMS technology, voice tech, IoT, virtual and augmented reality solutions, and the like. See if they could be a good fit for your business and customers. Explore new channels, such as WhatsApp and Tik Tok. If your customers are using them, perhaps you can reach them on these emerging platforms. Experiment and find what works for your business.

Marketing Strategies for the New Age

The reality of today’s market is that the pandemic changed every aspect of your lives and we’re not going back to what the world was before 2020. Accelerated digital transformation, the importance of social justice, continuous tech innovations, and generational change of buying power is reshaping marketing strategies of the future.

So we all must get with the times and embrace the new post-pandemic world. In every aspect of life and business.

Including marketing.



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HubSpot to cut around 7% of workforce by end of Q1

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HubSpot to cut around 7% of workforce by end of Q1

This afternoon, HubSpot announced it would be making cuts in its workforce during Q1 2023. In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing it put the scale of the cuts at 7%. This would mean losing around 500 employees from its workforce of over 7,000.

The reasons cited were a downward trend in business and a “faster deceleration” than expected following positive growth during the pandemic.

Layoffs follow swift growth. Indeed, the layoffs need to be seen against the background of very rapid growth at the company. The size of the workforce at HubSpot grew over 40% between the end of 2020 and today.

In 2022 it announced a major expansion of its international presence with new operations in Spain and the Netherlands and a plan to expand its Canadian presence in 2023.

Why we care. The current cool down in the martech space, and in tech generally, does need to be seen in the context of startling leaps forward made under pandemic conditions. As the importance of digital marketing and the digital environment in general grew at an unprecedented rate, vendors saw opportunities for growth.

The world is re-adjusting. We may not be seeing a bubble burst, but we are seeing a bubble undergoing some slight but predictable deflation.


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About the author

Kim Davis

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space.

He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020.

Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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Advocate | DigitalMarketer

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Advocate | DigitalMarketer

Happy customers love to share their experience, but sometimes they need some encouragement to do so. The cool thing is, once they do, they become even more loyal to your brand.

So, at this stage of the Customer Value Journey, ask people to share their positive experience with your brand by writing a review or sharing a social media post.

Once you get to stage seven, the Customer Value Journey is going to get a whole lot easier for you. This stage is all about learning your customer’s experience, and building up your testimonial database. 

The most important part of this step is asking these four questions. 

What Was Your Life Like Before Finding Our Solutions? What Challenges Were You Facing That Caused You to Consider Us? 

These questions are great not only because it gives you some really good stories, but because it gives you some insight on how you can provide similar prospects with that AHA moment. Understanding the average day of your clients is important in reflecting on your Customer Value Journey, and helps you understand what really set you apart from your competitors.

What Key Features Had the Biggest and/or Fastest Impact?

Not only is this going to get you to really specific stories, you will understand the specific things you provided that gave the biggest impact. The answers to these questions will not only give you great insight and testimonials, it will provide you with ideas for new lead magnets. This part is a new Entry Point Offer goldmine! 

What Has Been the Impact or Results in Your Life or Business Since Using Our Product or Service? 

This is a fairly broad question, and that’s why we put it after the others. You will have already gotten all of the specifics out of the way with #1 & #2. But when you ask this question, this is where you get the most valuable stories. You can use this part as testimonials, as an order form, as a sales page, this part is testimonial gold. 

If You Were Asked to Justify this Purchase to Your Boss or a Friend, What Would You Say? 

This is our favorite question by far. If you had to go back in time and justify this purchase, what would you say? I promise you what we’re going to find is a lot of great ideas for the jobs that your product or service has done. You’ll get a lot of great ideas for your core message canvas. This question is about backfilling all of the assets that you may not have. Here you’re going directly to the customer who are already happy, and using their justifications to help you sell to new customers. 

Hopefully you now understand just how valuable the Advocate stage could be, as well as the key questions you need to ask to get your customers talking. Here’s how it works for our example companies.

When it comes to fashion we all love to show off our outfits. So a good example for Hazel & Hems would be to have customers write reviews for a discount code or points towards their next purchase. 

Better yet, follow up with the customers to ask them to share and tag themselves wearing the items in a social media post and providing them with something valuable as a reward.

For Cyrus & Clark Media, hopping on zoom meetings or a streaming service for live talks about them and their business could generate valuable awareness for them, and a live case study for the agency. They can use the questions Ryan provided during this lesson to conduct the interview.



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Drive Conversions and Generate Engagement With Instacart Promotions

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Drive Conversions and Generate Engagement With Instacart Promotions

Through deals and coupons, Instacart has saved consumers more than $700 million in 2022. As we dive into 2023, the leading grocery technology company in North America has big plans to help consumers save even more while also helping CPGs generate sales. Instacart recently announced an advertising solution that helps both sellers and consumers called Instacart Promotions. This exciting feature is designed to help drive conversions, boost sales, and generate overall engagement on the app.

Interested in this feature and how it can help your business on Instacart? Read on as we dive into everything you need to know about this ad solution including benefits, how to get started, and more.

 

What are Instacart Promotions?

 

Instacart Promotions is an advertising feature that’s now available to all brand partners, including emerging brands, within their open beta program. Promotions give CPGs the opportunity to offer new deal structures, promotions, and incentives with Instacart Ad campaigns. With this feature in place, consumers will have access to more promotions, coupons, and deals that are tailored to them within the Instacart Marketplace.

“With the launch of our new Instacart Promotions, all of our brand partners now have the ability to set up coupons and promotions that can drive meaningful business results while also passing on more savings opportunities to consumers. We’re proud to continue expanding our portfolio with additional self-service capabilities, ad formats that drive results, and measurement that brands need to understand the true impact of their campaigns on Instacart.”

 

– Ali Miller, VP of Ads Product at Instacart

 

Source: Instacart

 

How Do Instacart Promotions Work?

 

Promotions, now available in Ads Manager, gives consumers the ability to discover more promotions and savings opportunities within the Instacart app. These promotions now show up directly on product item cards before checkout for easy accessibility. Promotions allow advertisers to customize their campaigns to sync with their goals and objectives whether that be driving sales, building baskets, or boosting trials.

Instacart shared a recent example of a brand successfully utilizing Promotions… 

Athletic Brewing, General Mills, Sola Company, and Wells Enterprises (maker of Halo Top) are strengthening campaign performance by pairing Instacart Promotions with ad formats such as Sponsored Product and Display. Instacart Promotions include two new flexible and customizable structures: Coupons (“buy X units, save $Y”) and Stock Up & Save (“Spend $X, Save $Y”). 

According to Instacart, in the coming months, the company “will work to further enhance the new offering with new deal structures such as Free Gifts and Buy One, Get One (“BOGO”). The new deal structures will help brand partners run “Free Sample” programs that can win new customers and serve personalized discounts for different customer segments, such as “new to brand” and “new to category.”  

 

Example of Instacart Promotions

Source: Instacart

 

Instacart Promotions Benefits

 

Deliver Value and Savings to Consumers

 

With Instacart Promotions, you have the opportunity to deliver value and savings that will have consumers coming back for more. With this savings feature, your brand can stand out among the competition and offer a variety of deals to shoppers ie: “Buy X units, Save $Y”.

 

Hot tip: Ensure you are selecting products for your promotion that are well-stocked and widely available.  

 

Tailor Your Campaigns to Specific Objectives

 

With a variety of savings options available, your brand can structure deals to fit specific business goals and objectives. 

 

Hot tip: If you’re looking to drive visibility and awareness, try pairing promotions with Sponsored Product campaigns. 

 

Access Real-Time Performance Insights 

 

The Promotions beta program is live and can be accessed within Instacart Ads Manager. Within Ads Manager, advertisers can access real-time insights to maximize performance and adjust campaigns as needed.

 

Hot tip: Make sure your budget matches your discount and objectives.

 

“As an advertiser, Instacart’s unique offering to self-manage promotions is so exciting! Historically, making adjustments to offer values and other promotion parameters was a more manual process, but now we’ll be able to easily make optimizations in real-time based on redemption performance.”

Emily Choate

Emily Choate, Senior Specialist, Marketplace Search at Tinuiti

 

Interested in Instacart Promotions?

 

With Instacart Promotions, you have the opportunity to reach new customers, build bigger baskets, and drive sales. Interested in testing out the beta program or looking to get started with advertising on the app? Drop us a line – we’d love to help elevate your CPG brand on Instacart.

 

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