3 things brands should have learned from 2020

It’s fair to say 2020 has been a year like no other for the entire world, let alone the marketing industry. If someone had told us this time last year that, at some point in 2020, most countries would close retail, hospitality, tourism and offices, you’d have thought they’d hit the office Christmas party a little too hard (yet another casualty of 2020!)

However, in an industry that is always evolving, there have been plenty of lessons learned along the way!

1. You need to get personal online.

The shift to digital this year is a genie that can never be put back into the bottle. Social media usage has increased by an average of 40% this year. This has made the marketplace noisy and crowded. It has also has raised consumer expectations in terms of personalised interactions. Consumers are gravitating towards companies that demonstrate how well they understand the consumer as an individual and create innovative ways of engaging them. Add gamification challenges to your brand. TikTok & Instagram Reels challenges also gain a lot of traction at the moment. Many consumers have a lot more time on their hands at the moment — make sure it’s engaged with your brand!

2. Powerful storytelling is vital.

2020 taught marketers a valuable lesson; when it comes to producing powerful and engaging brand campaigns, anything is possible! Brand ambassadors give new customers a reason to trust you. Influencer Marketing is all about the bonds between people: addressing your audience through the people they trust, in the places they’re listening. They inform others about your products from their own authoritative perspective, without explicitly saying “try this” or “buy this.” Potential customers rely on these genuine experience with products, and this makes them more likely to purchase. Thus, brand ambassadors are extremely important for driving brand awareness and increasing sales.

3. Agility & flexibility are crucial.

2020 really emphasised that tough times won’t last, but tough people do. Decisions come in thick and fast during a crisis, so you need to be intentional with every second because you no longer have the luxury of spending days or weeks on strategy. Embrace those new opportunities the moment they present themselves to keep moving forward and adapt. You can either dismiss them as distractions or leverage them into something greater for your team and your business. Be intentional, and convert those opportunities into wins.

As Steve Jobs once said: “Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity — not a threat.” 2020 has been quite the ride — but for brands that have been watching and listening to their audience, it’s also been quite an opportunity to lay some excellent foundations for 2021.