Post-Covid-Marketing – Challenges Marketing is facing once the pandemic has come to an end.

Kai Wermer
Kai Wermer

Many enterprises - not only in Germany – are thinking about how to find the right way out of the Corona crisis or even what is going to change permanently once the Corona crisis has been overcome. For quite some time the so-called “New Normal” has pressed enterprises and marketing decision-makers to introduce realistic innovations fast. The “Next normal” is going to push us along decisively. It is up to the managers whether they are thrown off track or use the momentum to gather up strength and become successful in the “New Normality“ that is driven by Covid-19.  

The “Next Normal” will be dominated by refocusing business and facing and stabilising new uncertaintiess more resiliently. Cultural standards, values and behavioural patterns will change quickly and business models, such as Marketing, too, must be adjusted even faster than was the case prior to the pandemic.  

We have identified some examples that will become decisive for Business and Marketing in the “Next Normal“ and which could contribute to the core challenge of building up a resilient enterprise:


Direct-to-Consumer (D2C)

What is ‘Direct to Consumer’?

“Direct-to-Consumer“(D2C) describes a Marketing and Sales approach, whereby enterprises and brands build up relationships with customers directly, without involving intermediaries, retail traders or platforms.  

“Direct-to-Consumer“(D2C) offers the opportunity not only to increase the margins but to gain detailed insight into customer behaviour, open up new groups of customers and build up these relationships on a more personal basis.  

While trade on the one hand has stagnated more or less during the past few years, online trade on the other hand shows a growing rate on a high level. Just by realising this, no brand can afford not to make use of digital channels or ignore them altogether; all the more, if this concerns enterprises, which only have had indirect customer relationships or sales structures so far. Apart from having control of the brand, own customer data has the advantage that a digital sales strategy can be set up in which one’s own online shop plays an important role.  

According to a survey by the eCommerce software provider Spryker, about 60% of the fashion and sports brands have their own online trade but only 29% of the brands within the beverages or cosmetic industry. This is in a way understandable, if one considers the challenges with which the setting-up of a Direct-to-Consumer strategy is faced, such as for example, conflicts with current important sales partners, complex IT-structures, logistics or the need for new and additional know-how when operating such new changes. But the benefits often overrule the risks  and – as is often the case in life – investing in a wise ‘Direct-to-Consumer’-strategy does not mean an ‘Either /Or’.  

Uhura develops digital Direct-to-Consumer solutions and can advise enterprises on the analysis,development of a strategy and service, technical implementation and marketing of ‘Direct-to-Consumer’ approaches.  

B2B-Lead-Generation – Digital Marketing during the Covid pandemic.

Covid-19 is a special challenge for those responsible for marketing in the B2B-section, as in the past, prior to the pandemic, many interesting leads and customer contacts were generated above all at events such as trade shows, conferences or internal house events.   

Digital or hybrid events

Online or hybrid events have found their place in almost all enterprises by now. Nevertheless, many of these events are far from using all possibilities currently available. This is not only due to technical challenges, suitable contents or productions and dramaturgies, adapted especially for digital use - they are still suboptimal even two years following the outbreak of the pandemic. This is not only owed to ad hoc actions frantically set up and badly prepared and the non-existing knowledge of the tools and technologies available but also the lacking ideas which contents and visual presentation would be required for virtual and hybrid events to create a real worthwhile experience. Beyond that, digital and hybrid events also offer an opportunity that is often neglected: As there is no media disruption during virtual and hybrid events, the lead-generation for example, is therefore feasible and can be measured.

Uhura supports enterprises to transform their event concepts into digital and hybrid events, creates the contents, event branding and also the overall digital planning, organisation of the event and presentation as well as the technical implementation.


The new Sales funnel

Covid has changed a lot in the area of Sales, Marketing and the way business is done now. Subsequently, also certainties so far considered a standard and rules for the B2B marketing are also changing. Enterprises should rethink and adjust their B2B strategies in time:

Look at your customers from a fresh angle – generate your customer insights again

In order to remain relevant for your customers, B2B marketing experts should look at their customers from a fresh angle. Much has changed for buyers in companies. In some cases Covid19 has provided companies with a huge increase in sales, others face considerable economic challenges  caused by lockdowns, supply bottlenecks and other uncertainties. Anyway- the needs are changing fast and in different ways. Successful marketing managers look at their customers from a fresh angle and analyse the situation. In doing this, it will be helpful not only to start direct communications but also have digital analyses of current data at hand to receive customer specific insights on a regular/daily basis and not only once a year. To this end, you should analyse new potential customer groups and current customers proactively, flexible and fast.   

Redefine the CustomerJourney.

According to a survey by Accenture, 46% of SME have invested considerable to design their infrastructures such that they become more virtual, linked or contactless. According to a survey carried out by the eCommerce service provider Bloomreach, the B2B website traffic increased by 32% during the week 29th March to 4th April 2020. Smart marketing managers have put a lot of effort into improving the effectiveness of their digital sales measures fast – the best would be if you redefine your Sales- and Customer-Journeys and in doing this discover new “Moments of truth“ where visibility, customer interaction and UX can be increased maximally. Digital tools and increasing your B2B sales team’s technical know-how will be of help in achieving this objective.

Narrow your Sales funnel down, if necessary, as too many unqualified enquiries are received during the so-called ‘early-stage-phase‘, using up resources unnecessarily. Concentrate on the valuable leads. Also think about whether the usual channels and sources for leads are actually still relevant or whether a social media dialogue, recommendations of existing customers or new service elements may not be more promising. Do not only optimise your digital presence but also how you care for your relationships virtually.    

Uhura Digital works for a number of B2B businesses and B2B marketing projects, where we design customer journey maps together with customers to create effective lead-gen campaigns and use paid-media budgets optimally. We give advice when you adjust your B2B marketing 


Social Media

What applied to the social media in the past is still valid in the post Covid period. The use increases, contents must be designed to be relevant and dialogue-oriented, and all this partly involves a lot of effort. TikTok is growing rapidly and if you are not yet using it, at least secure your account-handle and analyse your competitors to be able to describe a TikTok strategy in a clearly understandable way. But we would like to look further into trends across the media:   

Paid Media#1 – Check your ‘paid-media‘ strategies and try out small platforms.

Current surveys show that consumers are more receptive to advertising on smaller platforms such as Pinterest or Quora etc. More often than not you will find better ROIs and conversion rates here. Check the engagement rates on each platform and compare them realistically. Also check your content very closely and analyse whether the ‘tone of voice’,  visuals etc. match the orientation of the platforms.  

Social Media as customer service channel

These days nobody wants to talk to companies on the telephone. According to a Nielsen study, 64% of customers prefer to write an e-mail. 60% of service enquiries are received through digital channels. Start thinking about social media as a customer service channel. Design useful templates and FAQ for the relevant platforms (target groups). Try out bots to cut down on response times and - above all - train your social media team and set up guidelines.  

Video and audio are still growing dramatically

40% of companies are already using videos on their social media channels. But in most of the cases only short, really short videos work well. With one exception: YouTube. Therefore, use short videos as well as long-form videos but the latter if possible only on YouTube or on your own website (embedded). If you want to post videos on Facebook and Instagram, start  by experimenting with reels. In doing this, take the special features of the relevant platforms into consideration.

More than 25% of Germans say that they listen to podcasts on a regular basis. Twitter, too, launches its own audio service “Twitter Spaces“. If you have so far not got an audio strategy, 2022 is the year you should think about audio as a marketing tool. Especially in the B2B segment, specific expertises can be communicated or be used in the communication of CEO and VP (Tought-Leadership). But of course a certain amount of effort and also courage is needed to produce a relevant and high quality audio content.  

Influencer – Also use “Creators“- the smaller sibling

Cooperating with ‘influencers‘ makes sense in many sections. Opportunities within the B2B section are developing to involve corporate or industry influencers in the communication. During the pandemic, the number of so-called influencers / content creators has grown enormously. About 50 million people worldwide say that they are ‘social media creators’. The term refers to professional as well as amateur content producers.  

With reference to your target groups and objectives, find out how you could also cooperate with smaller ‘influencers/content creators‘. Prepare a list of possible partners and define reasonable offers of cooperation, which do however remain open in so far as they can be adapted to specific target groups of your ‘creators’. Be prepared though to pay a fair price for the commitment of the creators.  

Paid Media #2

43% of those interviewed in a HubSpot study said that their organic social media coverage is reducing and that it can only be maintained by increasing the ‘paid-media’ budget for social ads.  Apart from having to generate relevant content ideas continuously this represents a great challenge for companies. But it is also a fact that social media profiles looked after by us, such as Schlaraffia, Withings or the Berlin Fashion Week, show a commitment rate of 4 – 5 % on average. Subsequently it does make sense to learn how to support (boost) organic posts more effectively via Paid Media. Take the post that are performing best and try to enhance them by a smaller Paid Media budget.  


Purpose Driven Marketing

Topics that follow a more serious subject, such as sustainability, environmental protection and social commitment are becoming increasingly more important following the Corona crisis. Customers are more and more questioning visions and purpose of enterprises – which in turn means that marketing carried out unauthentically, economically-driven is punished by customers. According to the Accenture Study“ Generation P(urpose)“, 91 % of millennials said that they would turn away from a  brand if they could not identify themselves with its purpose. The study furthermore quotes that 50 % of the ‘Y‘ and ‘Z‘ generation prefer brands that convey a feeling that they are part of a great ‘movement‘. They prefer brands that connect people by common values or convictions. With regard to companies this means that they must adopt an attitude, communicate authentically and above all, should know their target groups in detail, as customers these days are much better informed about the background of enterprises than ever before. Your customer journey does no longer run linear but individually. Data-based analyses as well as Customer Centricity (CX) are indispensible these days when setting up a (purpose-driven) marketing strategy. In this way enterprises reach their users with relevant contents at their preferred touch-points.

Read more about the subject „Social responsibility and sustainability in brand and corporate communications".

You would like to prepare your digital marketing for the ‘Next Normal‘ and create or optimise campaigns, websites or digital service? Just call us or send us an e-mail.

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