2021: Year of Building Customer Relationships

Marketing | 3 minutes to read

01st Feb, 2021

Each one of us had plans for 2020 – individuals, businesses, even countries. But what did 2020 do? Punched all of us in the mouth and left all plans upended. But as we all ring in 2021, there is no reverting back to the ‘way things were’.

Marketers, are you ready to get a jump on a new year? Are you psyched up for a head start over your competition? To keep up with shifting markets & customer expectations and make your brand full sparkle, let’s set yourself up for the hottest digital marketing trends of 2021 in outlining your own digital marketing strategy for the new year.

What the post-Covid world is going to mean for the B2B ecosystem? 2020 proved to be a catalyst for innovation and digital adoption across all industries. Now is the time to make decisions that leverages our reliance on technology to our advantage. This is where we witnessed the rise of digital marketing, as one of the key measures to survive in the new normal.  While the consumers have shifted their spending habits from in-person to more of online, 2021 is likely to bring the corresponding shift in the digital marketing trends. As per recent Mckinsey survey report, B2B companies see digital interactions as two to three times more important for their customers as traditional sales interactions. The role of the Chief Marketing Officers’ has been wholly rekindled. As we crystal gaze into 2021, here are some digital marketing trends that are supposed to be a promise of a marketer’s paradise.

Customer Outreach Strategies that don’t get lost in the noise

That same old customer connect strategy is a catch-22. It’s time to reignite. Businesses today are getting creative to stay afloat- and that includes reaching out to customers and in new ways and building relationships virtually. Today, virtual outreach methods have become a popular medium to reach large audiences faster with high connectivity to grow brand awareness, generate more leads, and develop authority as an industry leader both now and after the end of the pandemic. Being virtual is no longer a choice but a default practice. Whether it is one-to-one, or one-to-many; whether it is a small-scale or large-scale webinar, a fireside chat format or a large virtual event – customer outreach through virtual medium needs a campaign-driven methodical approach. It has varied advantages – reaching out to relevant prospects quicker and effectively, getting them together on one platform, improving the chances of uniform messaging over a planned series of interventions, ability to maximize reach – both in terms of geography as well as industries, and more.

Outdo business limits and amplify your brand with symbiotic partnerships

As brands gear up to turn the tide virtually, many businesses would look up to forming symbiotic partnerships where they come together and concord with other brands. This would prove to be a shot in the arm for small to medium enterprises running into higher demands for which they aren’t psyched up. As a result, being in cahoots and sharing costs, a lot more money can be raised and eventually invested in marketing. Linking up into a larger entity would also give you an upper hand in being able to access a broader consumer base with specialised needs that a small or medium brand might not be able to meet alone.

ROI is always top-of-the-mind!

This colossal shift in the market has compelled organisations to invest more on tools and digital channels to increase brand awareness, demand in the market. And the good news is that it’s not all doom and gloom. The cost per lead with digital is 61% less expensive than traditional marketing. Businesses advertising on social media, use paid search and incorporate other digital strategies spend considerably less on their campaigns. This is because many organizations deploy pay-per-click strategies to drive down their costs and target specific audiences. Today, brands are using different digital channels like SEO, programmatic ads, social media advertisement, which will increase investments in the post COVID 19 era to achieve both a greater and faster ROI.

Influencer Marketing is no more a choice

Influencer marketing is heading to become a $15 billion dollar industry by 2022 and 63% of marketers intend to augment their influencer marketing budget in 2021. Video content is exploding and it continues to be a relentless trend in the influencer marketing space, considering more and more people are going online every day. The inception of Instagram Reels is expected to be more collaborative and creative than ever. As a result, micro-influencers with small but targeted follower bases are likely to become important for brands. AI and machine learning are already being leveraged to garner detailed insights about the influencers, and these insights will continue to refine over time, providing greater transparency for marketers.

Ride on user-generated content

There is a rise of user-generated content to engage with the potential customers. User-generated content is important as it helps brand to understand the pain points of their target audience. This type of content can be generated through social media campaigns, media interview etc. It helps the brand to connect themselves directly with their target audience. At the same time, it makes the consumers happy as it makes them feel important and part of the conversation.

New Normal is a myth. Experiment and Debunk

We are living in a time when technology marketing is moving at the speed of light and the customer behaviour is hard to predict. All pre-Covid data points/ scenarios and insights do not probably hold true in the post-Covid world. It’s time to gear up for the real change. Hence, marketers can no longer stick their heads in the sand. No more educated guesses. Make no mistake because the Black Swan of 2020 created a paradigm shift in the consumer behaviour. New tactics and channels can help businesses expand their reach. Every organization wants new audiences, and the best possible way to find them is to try new tools, formats and methods. Starting with what you know is a good bet for growing your audience and then examining your customers’ priorities, engagement habits, buying behaviours and other details can help you refresh your outreach.

Your competition is already incorporating these trends to spur ahead. While the pandemic has rattled some cages, it’s time to be agile enough to catch up. Embark on a human-centered approach that fosters a relationship with customers and fulfils their needs continually. 2021 undoubtedly will be the Year of ‘Building Customer Relationships’.

The article has originally appeared here.

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