Technology, changing consumer behaviors, automation, disintermediation, and a host of other factors were already upended the traditional marketing landscape – and then the pandemic hit. It has accelerated the pace of change, particularly in digital adoption, new business models, and responding to customer needs with speed and precision.
This is not just about digital transformation. It is about marketing transformation and has far-reaching implications for marketers, agencies, media organizations, and others in marketing’s wider ecosystem.
John Dunne and I have got under the skin of these issues in The Paradox Report, the research report we co-authored. Here is a summary of the seven factors we identified about marketing transformation.
Covid-19 is rewriting the marketing playbook
The idea that life will return to pre-Covid norms is fanciful. Marketing in the post-pandemic era will involve adopting a series of new truths about brands, customer insight, and technology, among others.
Customers are raising the bar
How customers behave, engage, and buy is undergoing a sea change. Changes in customer behaviors and heightened expectations will drive change in marketing.
Digital is the top business priority
Digital is now the top priority for businesses globally and marketers are well-placed to influence their companies’ end-to-end digital strategies.
eCommerce has hit a critical tipping point
eCommerce adoption took a quantum leap during the pandemic and the gains are being retained as economies re-open.
CMOs face strategic planning challenges
Targeting consumers, who are more elusive because of changes in their media habits, and creating holistic integrated systems to measure campaigns are among the challenges faced by marketers.
Human capital still matters, despite the bots
While arguably there has been a transfer of power from humans to algorithms, human expertise is still needed to set strategies and interpret data and trends.
The long-term brand building remains important
Short-termism dominated marketing during the pandemic at the expense of longer-term priorities. A rebalancing is required to get real returns from marketing investment.