Have you noticed changes to marketing since Coronavirus turned everything upside-down? Probably, even if you didn’t notice right away. Messages about travel, summer blockbusters and dining-out just haven’t been that relevant during a global pandemic.
But COVID-19 is shifting more than just the types of products and services behind marketing messages. As more businesses and organizations find ways to be successful (despite new challenges), the more likely these marketing shifts take hold and become the new, best way of connecting with an audience.
This year more people shopped and talked online. In fact, U.S. online sales in September 2020 increased 43% year over year, hitting $60.4 billion, according to Adobe Analytics. Online experiences have become more frequent and comfortable, and no one goes online to watch boring ad content. People want to buy from real people and be inspired by brands who build their consumer confidence. Using social media and digital marketing strategies to engage an audience is now a crucial part of any buying journey.
Selling is About Helping
An effective content strategy prioritizes solving a problem for the customer over selling products/services. Coronavirus has shown how connected people are to one another. With stay-at home orders and social distancing measures, people are making sacrifices for the greater good. That idea – of all being in this together – will most likely influence who people buy from and how they shop from now on.
In such an unpredictable year, companies who strike a balance between listening to their customers and meeting their needs will stay top-of-mind long after 2020. Helpful content and marketing with purpose is here to stay and finding creative ways to assist customers is key. (2) This is one way promotional products can benefit brands who want to help people. Looking ahead, end buyers may be interested in more than just a logoed tee shirt. Helpful products have the potential to help people stay healthy. (3)
Don’t Forget Context
With so much content out there, you may be thinking – how do I compete? That’s where context comes in. According to Marketing Week, in a volatile market, there is opportunity to embrace contextual factors in guiding the way marketing is designed, planned and communicated. Think about what’s happening in the market right now, current buzz topics and the culture of the company you are working with. Then use your data to ensure communications and marketing efforts are immediate and relevant.
Adapt and Pivot
Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have been felt by every industry, and the ours is no exception. The reality is that our industry is (most likely) going to see lasting effects from this challenging year. However, with some companies pivoting to sell PPE-related products, stepping up to help essential businesses and ramping up creative efforts, there is positive progress every day.
Lessons learned from the Coronavirus pandemic have prepared the promo industry to weather future storms with quick-to-adapt thinking and strong supplier/distributor relationships. As 2020 draws to a close, our industry’s efforts support a positive post-pandemic bounce back. Supplying end users with promotional products that educate, increase awareness, build brands and motivate – more than ever before. (4)
Are you feeling positive about the future of marketing and promotional products? Be sure to visit bicgraphic.com to shop for promos designed to get brands noticed in 2020 and long after.
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