How COVID has changed… integrated marketing

How COVID has changed...

May 3rd, 2021 By Jack Morton

With the pandemic slowing down in more parts of the world, we thought it would be interesting to see how the different areas of our work have been impacted in the last year.

In this “How Covid Has Changed” content series, we asked some of our top experts about their respective areas of focus and how brands will need to adapt moving forward. Here is what they had to say….

Question: When it comes to integrated marketing, what do you think is the single biggest consideration for brands planning their post-pandemic campaigns?

how covid has changed integrated marketingEvolution.  While integrated marketing campaigns may have been hit less by the impact of the pandemic compared to other channels and disciplines, it would be a mistake to miss the opportunity, if not necessity, to evolve and future-proof a brand’s integrated approach.

Building a cohesive and consistent brand experience across multiple channels results in more effective marketing and customer loyalty, and it’s now more important than ever. Why? Because our world, lives, behaviors and outlooks have changed, and in some ways merged. And there is no going back.

Six primary forces will drive the need to re-assess and re-imagine integrated marketing strategy and execution:

  1. Rising consumer expectations for digital-first, hyper-personalized and anticipatory experiences. Covid-19 acted as a digital transformation catalyst and accelerant. 83.8% of marketers are reporting that consumers place increased value on digital experiences and 84.8% demonstrate increased openness to new digital offerings introduced during the pandemic
  2. Broader competition. Businesses are no longer competing against their competitors; they’re up against every standout experience. Eyeballs have never been harder to capture and retain, as the pandemic-induced channel shift led to over-saturation in the digital space.
  3. Pressure to justify investments beyond a one-and-done moment. Standout integrated experiences engage wider and more diverse audiences, more deeply and effectively when leveraged across other touchpoints for broader ROI.
  4. Impact of virtual and hybrid experiences. Remote audiences aren’t going away. As a result, these experiences will graduate from temporary pivots to integral pillars. Hybrid will evolve from the “one event, two audiences (in-person + remote)” model to a more refined “dual-mode” approach (cohesive, joint effort with some connective tissue that overlaps, but has separate objectives, audience focus and optimized experience tracks).
  5. The role of short-term conversion efforts. As conducting business became tougher last year, performance marketing and lower funnel activities took priority to make an impact on the bottom line. And for many brands, it worked. Particularly because they borrowed from the brand equity that long term brand building programs had built. Now as bigger programs resurface, organizations shouldn’t forget about the short-term success. They should rebalance the marketing mix to find the sweet spot between long-term brand building endeavors and short-term conversion-driving activities.
  6. Need for speed. Only 23% of executives are confident in the speed at which they’re gaining accurate insights. Timely, accurate and actionable data is required to evolve and fine-tune an integrated approach but it’s also the backbone to retaining or securing more

Brands have a new opportunity to reinvigorate future integrated marketing campaigns as long as they take into account the drivers have shifted behaviors over the last 12 months. It will be the difference between them succeeding as Experience Brands post-pandemic or living in the past.

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