We’re nearing the end of 2020 and I’m sure you’d agree that it’s certainly been a year to remember.  A global pandemic, social justice issues, and a U.S. election are just some of the major events that influenced the way people marketed their businesses. 

I’d like to share my top picks for the defining marketing moments of 2020:

COVID-19 and redefining business practices

COVID-19 led to some major changes in the business world, not only from an operational perspective, but from a marketing one as well.  Safety was the one thing on everybody’s mind as we navigated the pandemic together.  For this reason, most, if not all, businesses pivoted their focus from marketing their new products and services to marketing how they plan on keeping their customers and employees safe

As we head into 2021, it’ll be interesting to see how developments regarding a vaccine will influence how businesses operate and market their services.  I predict that safety will still be a key brand message for many businesses, but that there will also be an increase in promotional messages to attract new business.

Cause marketing

Another big marketing trend that occurred this year was an uptake in cause marketing.  With major social justice causes being championed this year, businesses, both big and small, jumped on the bandwagon.  While some of these campaigns succeeded in their goal of raising awareness, others created controversy.  I believe cause marketing will only continue to grow within the next few years, but businesses must be cautious with their stance as consumers will also continue to hold them accountable.

Content is (tiger) king

Here’s to hoping you get the reference, but if you don’t, you must not have a Netflix account or you live under a rock.  Of course, I’m referring to Netflix’s zany new show Tiger King which happened to be released at the same time as our first lockdown in the spring.  It’s difficult to say whether the popularity of the show stemmed from the timing of its release or whether Joe Exotic truly is as engaging he thinks he is, but regardless, it taught us some valuable lessons about content marketing. 

Firstly, businesses need to keep up with trending topics.  Whether you think a trending topic is relevant to your business or not, I encourage you to find a way to make it relevant.  In doing so, you’ll benefit from an SEO perspective.  Secondly, be true to your brand and promote it using a mixed marketing approach.  If you watched the show, you know each “zoo” attracted its unique followers as a result of the values they shared in their brand messaging.  If your business isn’t already telling a story, start now! 

If this year taught us anything about marketing, it’s that no matter what’s going on in the world around us, there’s something to be shared.  Businesses need to learn to adapt their marketing strategies instead of stopping them altogether when things may not be going as planned.  Speaking of planning, if you want to start 2021 off right, contact CreativeWorks Marketing to help you create a marketing strategy that makes sense for our new reality!