In recent months, it seems like almost every aspect of our society has gone through upheaval. Wherever you look, disruption seems to be our new normal. With the recent resurgence of COVID-19, nationwide protests, unemployment rates skyrocketing, schools closing (and opening, and closing again) – how can businesses survive in this tumultuous, ever-changing atmosphere?
The answer is simple, and yet very complicated. It all has to do with adaptation. Let’s examine how we as marketers can stay ahead of the curve and keep up with the best marketing strategies when it comes to this ever-evolving landscape we find ourselves in.
When cities across the US were under lockdown, and in-store purchases disappeared overnight, companies everywhere have needed to rethink their business models to avoid becoming business casualties. And that means moving to an online purchasing model. Companies that may have been dragging their heels to get onboard the eCommerce train, suddenly found themselves running as fast as they could to catch it.
In the past, a brand’s politics would be kept under lock and key, buried away lest they wanted to divide their audience with the wrong position or opinion. But those days are over. With protests and riots, an upcoming election, and a major rethink of many of our most important institutions – a company’s social voice must be loud and clear across your social media channels. You consumers not only expect you to take a stand, but defend it.
July saw two very real disruptions among our most popular social media channels – Facebook and Tik Tok. A massive boycott began in July against Facebook, which called for companies to put a pause on Ad spend on the platform, in retaliation to its policies on hate speech. Major brands involved in the boycott included Walmart, McDonald’s, Geico, and Ikea. Walmart alone spent $145 million on Facebook ads in 2019, so you can only imagine the effect all of these brands pausing spend have. Tik Tok, on the other hand, faced a possible ban in the US, due to fears that the Chinese government held sway over the app, and would be able to access important information from its users. What do these two instances have in common, you ask? The need to be flexible. We need to understand that the best social media channels for business aren’t going to stay the same forever. With the fate of social media channels seemingly up in the air, we need to be able to pause campaigns, change direction and shift our strategies, at a moment’s notice.
As marketers, we need to look for opportunities wherever we can find them. 2020 certainly has been an unforgettably turbulent year, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. But with an open mind, an adjustable strategy, and an adaptable approach, you’ll be ready for whatever happens next.