The rise of COVID-19 in 2020 drastically changed the way our world works for the foreseeable future. Within the first few months of the year, most people were confined to their homes and were only allowed out if they were an essential worker.
You may be thinking, “Okay, Nicole... I’ve suffered through this pandemic too. Where are you going with this?” The point I’m trying to make is how this pandemic has forced marketers to rethink their strategies.
On one hand, marketers have seen a lot of restrictions on traditional marketing like not being able to host tradeshows, conferences, networking events, and more.
On the other hand, we’ve also seen a lot of new digital marketing opportunities like the increase of digital content consumption and the focus on new ways to retain our customers.
One of the main areas of opportunity that 2020 brought was for marketers to revisit all aspects of their strategies and tactics to see what was working and what wasn’t.
Some businesses realized that they could be more efficient by refocusing on a very important part of marketing — understanding and connecting with their customers.
This is the fundamental aspect of the other 2021 trends you will see below.
The rise in retention marketing
The other day I was reading a book called Profit First that mentions how it is actually harder for a business to be profitable by only focusing on increasing the number of new sales.
To be successful at growing or even maintaining revenue, a business must be efficient at retaining its current customers. According to the Harvard Business Review, a 5% increase in retention can yield up to a 95% increase in profits.
This is where marketers can step in to create strategies for onboarding new customers, loyalty programs, feedback surveys, and more.
Create memorable interactions
In 2020, people were craving new ways to interact with each other or even new brands because we were all deprived of our normal social interactions.
As a result of that, 72% of B2B clients expected more personalized campaigns instead of traditional segmented campaigns.
When working on your 2021 plans, you may want to incorporate the following strategies depending on your the needs of core customers:
Creating interactive content like online quizzes
Launching virtual events or conferences
Producing ads or demos through augmented or virtual reality
Designing strategies that touch on nostalgic moments
Improve your customer experience
The basis here is to truly understand your customer’s needs in order to make sure they have an exceptional customer experience. This will either retain or ideally increase their business with you.
One of the first points of enhancing your customer experience to improve is the purchasing stage. If your purchasing process is too complex, the customer will most likely have a bad experience or even decide not to purchase from your business.
You can also consider omni-channel marketing to ensure a smooth experience across channels, invest in voice search marketing for those that prefer that search method, create a chatbot to give customers an immediate response, or include native video ads in your social media advertising budget.
Adopt account-based marketing (ABM)
ABM is a powerful strategy that aligns both the marketing and sales teams to target specific business prospects instead of targeting a wider audience through inbound marketing.
ABM has become so influential that even HubSpot, arguably the biggest software in the inbound marketing industry, created their own ABM tool.
Marketing automation platforms can make your marketing efforts more personalized without compromising your team’s efficiency. With them you can segment your leads and customers based on their characteristics or behaviors. You can easily set up and track a campaign for your target audience from start to finish — all within one tool.
Let’s say you want to set up a lead generation campaign to generate new leads and a lead nurturing campaign to build trust with those new leads.
You can create a landing page for your site that offers a free ebook when they fill out a form with their name, email, and work role from a dropdown menu.
When a visitor submits that form, they’ll receive the ebook and be enrolled into a lead nurturing campaign with messaging that was written specifically for their role and addresses them by name.
You can even create social media ads targeting those roles to drive visitors to that ebook landing page.