As 2020 comes to a close, I think a majority of people would agree it won’t be hard to say goodbye when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve. But with every experience good or bad, there are lessons to be learned and this year had plenty of them. From a marketing perspective, a few lessons or reminders really stuck out to me. Below are my top three marketing lessons from 2020!
1. Agility is key. Did anyone’s 2020 marketing plan include a pandemic? None of mine did. Even before COVID-19, we saw many clients getting away from the traditional year-long marketing plan and opting to plan in shorter sprints. But the pandemic took agility to a whole new level when we were forced to drop all marketing plans revolving around in-person events, change messaging on the fly and rethink how to connect with our client’s customers from home. 2020 was an excellent reminder that marketers need to be agile and plan in much shorter sprints in a world that is truly unpredictable.
2. There is no limit to creativity. The creativity that came out of 2020 was truly incredible. From restaurants finding new ways to serve people, to people’s makeshift work from home set-ups to contraptions to slide kids their Halloween candy from a distance…people found creative ways to work around living through a pandemic. The same held true for marketers, as brands came up with new ways to connect with their customers and new ways to network and work with each other. It’s amazing how creative we can be when we have to and it’s a great reminder to always keep the wheels turning and an open mind. If there is a will, there is a way.
3. Digital is here to stay. As soon as we realized the pandemic wasn’t going away quickly, the importance of digital marketing skyrocketed as it really became the best and only way for brands to reach their customers. With many people not leaving the house, billboards, radio, in-person events like tradeshows and award ceremonies no longer had the reach they did a few months prior. Brands that heavily relied on these tactics had to figure out how to host webinars, prioritize their social media channels and make sure their websites were in tip–top shape to name a few changes we saw. Brands who may not have been as digital–savvy had to figure it out. And even as traditional strategies become a viable option again, consumers are going to expect brands to maintain a good digital presence.
There you have it… my top three of the many lessons this year has brought marketers (and in some cases the world as a whole). Cheers to surviving the year that was 2020!