Did the pandemic change digital marketing for good? – RetailWire

Sep 10, 2021

by Guest contributor

Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of articles from MarketingCharts, which provides up-to-the-minute data and research to marketers.

report from Salesforce shows that nine in 10 marketing leaders believe that their digital engagement strategy has completely (48 percent) or somewhat (42 percent) changed since before the pandemic.

A vast majority are using social media (91 percent), digital ads (91 percent), digital content (88 percent), website and apps (86 percent), email (76 percent) and mobile (69 percent). Some nine in 10 also say they are using video, which topped the list of channels that have seen the biggest increase in value over the past year.

While 84 percent of respondents say they are using events and sponsorship, the shift towards virtual and hybrid events is apparent. By 2022, respondents believe that 40 percent of their events will be virtual, while hybrid events will account for 30 percent.

In order to engage with customers on these digital channels, marketers are enlisting a full toolbox of engagement tactics. Unsurprisingly, video plays a major role. Some 81 percent are using pre-produced video and 73 percent are using livestream video, while 13 percent and 19 percent, respectively, have plans to use these tactics.

Two-thirds of marketers are currently using influencer marketing, while more than one-quarter (27 percent) plan to use it. Additionally, 93 percent are either currently using (60 percent) or plan to use (33 percent) user-generated content and a similar share are currently using (61 percent) or plan to use (30 percent) interactive content.

Coordination across the channels being used has grown more dynamic since the pandemic. Only 31 percent of marketers described their cross-channel coordination as dynamic in 2018. Today, that share has more than doubled (68 percent) with 78 percent saying they engage customers in real-time across one or more marketing channels.

The role technology plays in this real-time engagement has not gone unnoticed, as a full 83 percent of respondents say their work will be more technology-driven after the pandemic than it was before.

The survey of more than 8,000 global marketing leaders from B2B, B2C and B2B2C companies was taken in May and June.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What lessons has the pandemic taught retailers and brands about digital engagement? Which digital marketing tools received the largest boost during the pandemic? 


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“The pandemic changed digital marketing and digital marketing during the pandemic definitely changed retail.”

“Marketers had to pivot to new ways of attracting the attention of customers and digital engagement was the key to success.”

“Digital engagement is a three-way street: between the retailer and the customer, and between the customer and the world (via social media).”


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