2021 is Almost Here: What Your Marketing Strategy Can Learn from 2020


Evolution, agility, and thinking in the long-term.

As COVID-19 continues to change nearly all parts of life, and with vaccinations on the horizon, top marketers and their C-Suite colleagues must make the most difficult business decisions to come out on the other end stronger than before. The stakes are high, and with the continued demand for brands to optimize budgets and refresh sales pipelines, every business decision will take on a mission-critical status as we ring in the new year. 

There’s an inscrutable accountability deficiency and a major disconnect for most executives when it comes to their corporate marketing initiatives, leaving them frustrated at an inability to deliver results. This is made worse by businesses still going through a once-in-a-lifetime economic upheaval and being under more pressure to prove that every single dollar they spend yields a healthy return on investment. 

Marketing 2021Photo by Edward Jenner from Pexels

It is currently impossible to develop a comprehensive picture of what brands will do once the worst of the pandemic and its economic consequences recede. Many businesses — in fact, far too many —  may not be able to go through the uncertainty that still lies ahead. But looking back at 2020’s need to fundamentally rethink marketing strategies will create room for businesses in 2021 to maximize cash, and galvanize great opportunities to diversify revenue streams and capabilities.

Post-COVID, Customers First

Marketing used to be about outputs, not outcomes. Publishing any number of blog posts, increasing site traffic and leads, or tallying hundreds of people that join a webinar were the be-all-end-all. Through every action they take in 2021, marketers need to show that they’re actually driving the business. 2020 taught us that if the outcome doesn’t capture the right person who could actually buy into a business’ products and services, or was influenced by what is put in front of them, then that’s not going to cut it.

In the new year, marketers should start with a basic question: who are the people responsible for buying my product? Then, within each subset, be able to shift rapidly to think about what types of credibility assets are going to matter the most to them and influence them going forward. 

How could this revamped marketing strategy actually help a business sell more of its product to more people at a higher purchase price — and faster? Marketers cannot just sit, wait, hope, and pray that target personas are going to hopefully see those things. Instead, marketers will increasingly use precise tools for audience targeting through earned media amplification over a longer period of time.

Top executives will continue to scrutinize the value of marketing strategies. But by creating an inherent level of full-service accountability, attribution, and amplification for normally imprecise metrics, businesses will be able to take on 2021 with a new marketing mindset. 

We’ll leave you with three key takeaways:

  • The Role of the Marketing Must Continue to Change: CMOs and other marketing leaders can’t simply stay on the sidelines. Content, analytics, and customer-centric strategies will compel digital marketers to evolve in 2021 or risk not making impactful decisions that tip the bottom line.
  • Results and Revenues Are at the Top of the List: Part of the changing role revolves around being able to connect results and revenues to these evolving efforts, including PR. It will also force businesses to choose their post-COVID partners more wisely. With budgets shrinking and increasing speed-to-market pressures, enterprises must assess their collaborators with an eye toward comprehensive results over anything else.
  • Marketers Should Adopt a Long-Term Measurement Mindset: By focusing on KPIs versus ROI over the length of a PR cycle, marketers can better determine success. Expanded service offerings can create brand sustainability and offer better centralized solutions that will last longer into the future post-pandemic.

Want to learn how N6A can drive specific business outcomes for CMOs, CEOs, and brand marketers in 2021 and beyond?

Contact N6A.

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