- Nico Bistolfi
As the world adjusts to its “new normal,” it's become increasingly apparent that the COVID-19 outbreak will affect every area of life. Marketing isn't exempt, so it's essential to know how to measure marketing metrics in a pandemic.
Not only do marketers now have to adjust to remote working and cut (or suspended) budgets. They don't even know if the circumstances for their campaigns will be the same from one day to the next.
It would be easy to conclude that the best option is to give up on marketing altogether — we've had similar thoughts in our darkest moments. But ultimately, we prefer to take this as an opportunity for reflection and rethink our marketing efforts.
What to focus on
Yes, the global situation has caused upheaval, and many industries have seen a negative impact. But plenty of others have benefitted from the pandemic — we don't see Jeff Bezos or remote working solutions like Zoom complaining about the current state of affairs.
Think of the situation as a reversal of fortunes — and to make it work for you, you've got to rethink your strategies. Here's what we're still doing.
Taking some time to think
Most of us get so caught up in the day-to-day details of business operations and the working world that we fail to see the bigger picture. Now is the perfect chance to do exactly that!
Is there a new market segment you could be capture? A different strategy you could try? Need to check your website loads fast enough?
Plan ahead and solve the future you's problems.
Upgrade your systems and operations
When we're busy taking care of the bottom line, it can feel like there's no time to upgrade that software that you've been using for years or invest in that new program everyone says is life-changing.
Now we've been blessed with a less hectic schedule, take the opportunity to finally make those upgrades you've been procrastinating. It's also a great time to streamline and optimize your operations, making sure different departments and teams can work together seamlessly.
What to leave behind
Unfortunately, some areas are probably going to be lost causes for the foreseeable future. Here's what we've put on pause to fund the new activities we're taking on.
Large-scale strategic projects
The lockdown and working-from-home lifestyle have changed everyone's habits. For instance, most people are now spending more time consuming online media and streaming services and far less time on traditional leisure activities, like traveling or going to the cinema.
Since it's unclear how long-lasting this behavior will be and if it will result in a permanent shift, the safest option is to avoid ambitious strategic projects and the conclusions you'd draw from them.
Efficiency and speediness have become distant dreams in the post-Covid world. A new government measure that curtails a project could be announced at a moment's notice, rendering a project impossible.
It's time to expect the unexpected. When carrying out a campaign, avoid tight timelines and give yourself more time than you think you'll need. If executives push back, show them this article!
Does looking at your short-term KPIs make you feel sick these days? You're not alone. Our solution should be magic to your ears: stop looking at them.
There's no use wallowing in the fact that short-term indicators will be down for a while — it's not like they're providing reliable data about your campaigns during normal times. Instead, turn your focus to the long term.
A shift to more human marketing metrics
2020 hasn't just been characterized by a virus spreading throughout the world. We've seen a diverse range of human struggles this year, from the Black Lives Matter protests across the globe to the tragic explosion in Lebanon.
That means that, when it comes to marketing and business, there's more than just standard metrics like click-through rates and conversions to think about.
It's also become apparent that Millennials and Generation Z are very socially focused — to bring them on board with your brand and mission, you must have a social core.
We recommend to watch this short conference that talks about how Web Performance must be tracked and managed. He talks about metrics that will help you to understand your marketing efforts and your website performance.
When we say it's vital to have a social mission, we're not talking about the standard “corporate social responsibility.” If you're the type of brand that is quick to post images in support of Pride or BLM on social media but makes no effort to promote diversity in your team, expect your audience to call you out.
Instead of trying to back every cause under the sun half-heartedly, pick one or two social aims you can get behind with disappointing your customers.
Having said that, we recommend that all businesses pay some attention to inclusivity. If you value equal opportunities and want to attract customers from all walks of life, you don't want to scare off a large portion of your market just because your marketing efforts don't reflect diversity.
Even something as simple as placing images containing people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds on your website can make a huge difference.
As you might have noticed already, lots of the points in this article are based on assumptions. It's always useful to use a little theory to inform for marketing efforts, but ultimately, you need to make sure you're communicating with your customers.
Ask for feedback at every step along the customer journey. Does the reality live up to the expectations your marketing sets? If not, where are you going wrong?
Ready to take on the challenge?
If you were hoping to read an article telling you to put your feet up and wait until everything blows over, you're going to feel sorely disappointed. We're afraid your work isn't over just because there's a pandemic on — marketing is more important than ever now.
For help with improving your digital experience and optimizing your website to attract more customers, get in touch with Piio. We can help with SEO and user experience to deliver maximum value to your customers. Together, we'll get your brand ready for the brave new world!
You might also like to read some Case Studies, and learn how other companies achieve their marketing metrics goals.