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2020 into 2023, there were a lot of changes. And yet, amidst all the uncertainty about what the future may hold, there is one absolute certainty: that the impacts of COVID-19 will be both far-reaching and long-lasting.

Lives have been impacted, businesses have gone under, and entire industries have shifted how they perform. For example, many business owners realized that in order to survive, they would have to return to the drawing board and strategize.

The general public was presented with a world-altering event that changed how they interact with communities on nearly every level. One of their major takeaways was the benefits of this post-COVID world.

Consumers today have higher expectations, specifically concerning the brands they choose, how they shop, and when they shop. While these may seem like obstacles for your business, remember that every challenge provides its own opportunity.

Look at the changing landscape as a new challenge to conquer, and that by doing so, you and your business will be stronger for it.

1. Always Stay Flexible

The most important revelation spawned from COVID is that business owners would be wise to always remain flexible in their approach to any aspect of their business.

In 2020 when the pandemic peaked, many businesses went under because they lacked the infrastructure to weather the storm. Consider the fact that brick and mortar locations were defined as inefficient and obsolete for the entirety of 2020 because certain parts of the country had mandatory quarantines and businesses were given a myriad of new restrictions.

In response to these new limitations, businesses that already had an online presence or were able to transition into the digital marketplace seamlessly were able to survive.

These changes should remind us that the marketplace can take unexpected twists and turns at any moment. Businesses have to be ready to pivot and adjust to these changes to thrive. To do this, always be on the lookout for emerging trends and even begin investing in them so that when another major shift in the marketplace occurs, you’re ready. Remember, changes in the market are not a matter of if. They are a matter of when.

2. Personalize Data Collection

A substantial part of marketing in the digital age naturally revolves around data collection. Because the average person is likely to have a smartphone on them at all times, data collection has become much easier for companies. While this does successfully allow marketers to collect data that is personal to the individual and then begin promoting certain products or services that align with their data, it is easy to abuse this approach.

Today consumers are more aware of how their data is being collected and how they are constantly being marketed to. As a result, this has fostered a sense of distrust between the consumer and marketers. In a survey conducted by IAPP in 2021, it was reported that approximately half of the participants are concerned about their ability to protect their personal data. These findings are so important because these participants were largely concerned with how certain companies were collecting their data and what they were using it for.

In order to circumvent this issue, businesses can practice a greater deal of transparency with their customers by collecting data within their own properties. By avoiding third-party cookies and choosing to disclose the reason for collecting this data, a business can foster a sense of trust between them and the consumer.

3. Embrace The Digital Space

The significance of prioritizing the digital marketplace cannot be understated. Given the severity of COVID-19 and the justified paranoia that it fostered, consumers have become reliant on eCommerce.

It is becoming more common for a customer to peruse a business’ online catalog to see if shopping in person is even necessary or if they can shop online. For customers who prefer to shop in person, it is not unusual for them to check a store’s website to see if the retailer has the products they desire. So, having an online presence is not an option in 2020 and beyond; it is a necessity.

According to McKinsey and Company, consumers continue to resort to shopping methods that allow for reduced contact due to their efficiency, safety, and comfort. Additionally, these trends are shown to increase amongst the younger generations who have spent most of if not their entire life embracing a digital presence. Marketers can pay attention to these trends and prioritize how they market to consumers via social media or their website.

4. Establish Brand Values

One of the many results of COVID in contemporary society is that people have become more aware of the many injustices in society.

Being locked inside caused people to look both outwards and inwards, resulting in them attaching themselves to these causes that become apparent during COVID.

This isn’t a new phenomenon, however, as the youth (specifically millennials and Gen Z) have been proponents of various causes even before COVID began. This means that marketers must become comfortable supporting and promoting a cause because not only do consumers today expect their brands to care about a cause, but they also expect them to support it proudly.

Failure to do so may result in the perception that a business is simply utilizing this cause because it looks good for the business, which ironically has the exact opposite effect of what was intended. Establishing brand values is one of the best ways to build trust between customers and companies.

5. Foster Community

With the nearly nationwide and international shutdowns that swept the globe during COVID, people spent an unprecedented amount of time at home.

They were prevented from going about daily life in the ways they used to, which fostered a sense of yearning for regular life where they could go to their favorite stores and feel as though they were regularly interacting with the world.

When restrictions began to lift, it was not an overnight change; instead, this return to normalcy happened gradually. Because consumers couldn’t go far for products or services and were generally forced to stay local, there was an increase in a local businesses.

What marketers can do to capitalize on this change is to place more emphasis on local marketing. Consider Nike’s “Nothing Beats a Londoner” campaign in which Nike portrayed the youth of London participating in a variety of sports all while wearing Nike apparel. This campaign resulted in a 93% increase in searches for Nike products in London. By focusing their marketing on regular people and making their focus as specific as London youth, Nike successfully represented an entire demographic and galvanized them into buying their products. Tactics like these could prove very beneficial for your business while being relatively simple.

Finding and adapting to these new marketing practices doesn’t have to be a grueling task. They generally involve slight adjustments that may even prove more cost-effective in the long run.
By being open-minded and willing to adopt these new strategies, you can bolster the success of your business while fostering both brand awareness and trust with your consumer base. So don’t resist these post COVID changes to our world because we can’t go back to what once was. Instead, embrace the change and look forward to a better, brighter future.