The challenge for marketers will be to translate the lessons of 2020 into growth for 2021. Marketers reported a 17% loss in sales during the 2020 pandemic while expecting just 4% growth this year. New strategies are needed to achieve that 4% because 2021 also promises to be a year full of uncertainty and changes in behavior.
Despite the changing circumstances, we’ve outlined four ways for CMOs to drive digital marketing team growth in 2021.
Bet on flexibility and agility
Because we don’t know when the pandemic will be largely behind us, 2021 will not be a ‘normal’ year either. Knowing this, let’s stick to what Forrester writes:
For clarity, being flexible and agile doesn’t mean you don’t have a plan. Quite the opposite, as marketing leaders need to have a concrete plan. A program that aligns with business objectives and reflects a healthy mix of marketing channels and functions.
When marketing strategies fail or business goals shift, marketing leaders must help the team respond. A key point for growth in 2021 is quickly stopping systems that seem to be forgetting and focusing on investments that show growth and promise.
Cherish and nurture your existing foundation
According to a Garner survey, 45% of CMOs surveyed say their #1 strategy for growth is introducing new products into an existing market. While 34% say they plan to sell more existing products in a current need. The overarching theme? Focus on the existing markets.
For many companies, 2020 was about stabilizing profits and reducing churn. 32% of marketers focused mainly on retaining current customers during the pandemic. Only 14% have started focusing on attracting new customers, according to the 2020 CMO survey.
Maintain focus and spend around your organization’s critical competencies. Your customers feel well taken care of, so they remain loyal to your offer. You can then look further and invest in areas within your existing market with growth opportunities. You can then offer your existing customer base new products and services.
Fill your marketing communications with trust and empathy
The past year has been an amalgamation of personal and professional. We see each other’s houses, dogs, and children during calls. We deliver webinars from our living rooms and hear how our colleagues and customers’ families cope with the pandemic.
At the same time, we share feelings of fear, loss of control, insecurity, and overwhelmingness. We want to take care of each other more and contact each other.
These emotions and shared experiences have a lot of impact on decision-making. 40% of respondents to an Edelman survey said, “I have convinced others to stop using a brand that I felt was not coping well with the pandemic.” And 36% said it is more important than ever for a brand to make them feel safe during the pandemic.
Marketing leaders needed to take such emotions into account in 2021. Otherwise, they will seem out of touch with the zeitgeist. Marketers must fill their content and messages with trust and empathy to display these emotions effectively.
CMOS works closely with other members of management to ensure coverage aligns with customer experience. Marketing teams can draft messages to promise something to deliver to (future) customers; this closes the ‘experience loop’ and ensures that intention and reporting match what you provide.
- Show empathy
Instilling confidence in your message is not enough to meet the challenges you will face on your way to growth in 2021. Showing empathy and recognizing the human needs of (future) customers is essential to ensure that your marketing efforts are successful with your supporters. Deloitte writes in their Global Marketing Trends for 2021 report:
Hold on to your brand values
An important driver for growth in 2021 is your brand values firmly in place. More than ever, customers want to know which brands reflect their values and beliefs, and they are expressing this through their wallets. In a 2019 survey by Edelman, 64% of respondents said they choose, switch, avoid, and even boycott brands based on their views on social issues. 81% said they must ensure a brand is doing the right thing.
In short, customers notice when companies have a clear purpose and strong values and reward this with brand loyalty. One in five consumers admits that they have switched to brands with a vital sense during corona. Marketers can use this by reinforcing their brand values and goals and communicating them.About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud platform where their QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools are hosted in an efficient SSO environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.