4 Extremely Important Lessons From 2020 That Will Define Digital Marketing Moving Forward

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January 2020. The world wakes up and shrugs off the hangover of New Years only to be welcomed into the new decade with a life-threatening virus making its way around the world. We can all agree that every single person – across the globe – learned a lesson or two during the pandemic. Lessons such as the importance of washing your hands, or how easily germs and viruses can be spread through social interaction. One valuable lesson we learned in the digital space was just how valuable connected digital platforms are when everyone’s stuck at home. Digital marketing is only going to grow through 2021 and beyond, so let’s take a look at a few lessons from 2020 that will shape digital marketing for years to come:

1. Remember Empathy

During times of uncertainty and high levels of stress and angst, people will invariably reach out to family, friends, and their community for comfort and support. Brands can also act as safe-havens for consumers, as is shown in the fact that 44% of people have started to use a new brand since the start of Covid-19 because of “the innovative or compassionate manner in which they have responded to the virus outbreak.” – 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report

2. Stand Your Ground

What does your brand heart look like? This refers to your business purpose, mission, vision, and values. These should drive brand actions and interactions, and often play a role in how consumers judge the business in general. Civil unrest plagued 2020, and the brands that followed their moral compasses steadfastly remained relevant and supported. “44% of people say a brand’s values factor into their buying decision.” – 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report

3. Prioritise Honesty

2020 was a year that everyone had an opinion. We all became virologists and public crisis management specialists, and the same went for brands. Unfortunately, some brands would preach strict adherence to Covid-19 regulations in the media – but on the inside, their houses were far from in order. For example, the WhatsApp privacy policy forced adherence crisis, which sparked the biggest digital migration in history, could have been avoided if the company had been a touch more transparent.

4. Keep Things Simple

If you haven’t learnt anything from the nightmare that was 2020, take this valuable lesson: life is short. We now know just how quickly people can go from being perfectly healthy to being gone. We now know that our time is valuable and that where we spend our time matters. Brands should strive to simplify their customer interactions and sales processes and work to save their customers time and money wherever possible. When it comes to marketing, we should be investing in things that will give us the most impact, instead of trying to capitalise across multiple fronts.

Lessons learned are sometimes hard, but they pave the way for improved growth and a bright future for the industry.

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