How COVID has changed...
May 3rd, 2021 By Jack Morton
With live events finally set to return 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….
When it comes to product launches, what do you think is the single biggest consideration for brands planning their post-pandemic experiences once live returns?
Access. When the pandemic unilaterally changed how we work and live, the transition from live to virtual experiences required marketers to think about how to augment the good that was lost from live and find new benefits for what virtual could provide to product launch audiences. Three things that were at the top included flexibility, low barriers to entry (think more inclusive, less exclusive) and accessible. As 2020 played out, two out of the three came to fruition.
Flexibility came into play when we realized we could reach people anywhere in the world right from our couch. We could tap into webinars and engage in Clubhouse discussions at any time of day and it didn’t have to be neat and polished content. It just had to be thoughtful and memorable.
Inclusivity, or lack of exclusivity was pushed into the forefront when people couldn’t travel and businesses decided to use the opportunity to provide free or low-cost registration to reach new participants, increase exposure and soft leads. Time will tell if it had a profound impact on sales growth by casting a wider net at the top of the funnel, though.
But what we didn’t see or feel was a deeper level of access.
Access can create unexpected moments. Access can create “surprise and delight” (even though it’s a cliché term, it’s accurate). Access can give you the “one big memorable thing” thing you pass along to a friend or colleague.
As we inch our way closer to live, there’s an opportunity to prioritize access once again, perhaps in a different way.
Whether it’s being able to access the new product that’s being unveiled for an extended period of time, or having more opportunity to access the people that brought these new products to market. Live provides an opportunity to remove the feeling of distance behind the digital wall.
Now brands have an opportunity to break from convention – how they get up on a stage, make a big announcement and even move people into product demos. Let people do more with the product. Let them talk with, not just hear from, the C-suite and hardworking visionaries that built and made the new product in a more intimate setting.
Seeing and hearing from a far have really been the only senses we’ve tapped into during the pandemic. But doing, touching and engaging at a more intimate level in person through more accessible moments can remind people that there remains, and always will be, a benefit to the live, in-person moment.