It isn’t news that the COVID-19 pandemic brought a sea change to marketing. Marketers who were already digitally engaged ramped up their efforts. Those whose digital strategy was not as mature quickly enhanced their digital marketing plans. The question now is: Will the marketing changes in digital strategy necessitated by the pandemic be permanent?
In a recent report from Salesforce – the 7th State of Marketing Report – marketing leaders from around the world reported their experience with marketing since the beginning of the global pandemic. The vast majority of survey respondents (90%) said their digital engagement strategy changed completely (48%) or somewhat (42%) since pre-pandemic times. The top digital tactics reported were:
- Social media (91%)
- Digital ads (91%)
- Video (90%)
- Digital content (88%)
- Website and apps (86%)
- Email (76%)
- Mobile (69%)
With an eye toward the future, respondents reported:
- An expectation of growth in 2021 and beyond (66%)
- Working and collaborating from anywhere (75%)
- Feeling of greater value from their work than in the past year (77%)
Although marketers are continuing to use events and sponsorships, they believe a shift to more virtual and hybrid events is coming by 2022. They see a large presence for virtual events (40%), with hybrid events comprising 30% of events.
Additional findings from the report include:
- Video continues to play a major role in digital marketing, with 81% using pre-produced video and 73% using livestreaming.
- Influencer marketing remains strong, with 66% currently using it and another 27% planning to use it.
- Almost all marketers (93%) are either using user-generated content (66%) or plan to use it (30%).
- Prior to the pandemic, only 18% of respondents saw their cross-channel coordination as dynamic; now, they see that coordination as having almost doubled at 68%.
- 83% of respondents say technology will drive their work more than before the pandemic.