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Leaders On the Impact of COVID-19: Marketing

In our report The Future of Business Post COVID-19, 80% of marketers surveyed said they had either developed a new product, service or business initiative, or accelerated development of an already planned product in response to COVID-19.

By: Leah Kinthaert, Contributor. 12th November 2020.


“Three important trends are emerging now that will define Marketing for years to come: truly valuable content in marketing that’s stuffed with empathy, inspiration, and utility; direct-to-consumer messaging, branding, communications; and virtual selling and online sales appointments.”

Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs

Marketers have had to justify their existence since the dawn of digital, and now the pressure is even higher, with budgets strained and all eyes on cutting costs. While marketing teams are being scrutinized, the role is more crucial than ever – and that role is evolving very rapidly. Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, Ann Handley explains that the effects of COVID-19 aren’t temporary but will in fact “define marketing for years to come.”

Caren Fleit of Korn Ferry gave a similar opinion to WSJ: “I don’t think anything changes in terms of needing marketing, but in some cases, the kind of marketing will change.” How that will change includes being relevant to customers in this time of crisis, with authenticity and mindfulness. Savanta Group specializes in ​​​​​​​Coronavirus Trackers, and their survey of 2,000 consumers (published April 30) proves that ​​​​​​​Fleit and Handley is spot on: “consumers say they actively want to hear positive advertising from brands, with four in ten (42%) consumers believing that brands should focus on life after coronavirus in their ads.”

We decided to do a deep dive into how COVID-19 is impacting our global customers so we could share this crucial data with them and with you, the reader. Why are people in sectors from the life sciences to maritime innovating? Where are they doing it? How successful are their efforts? We surveyed our customers, our speakers, and thought leader contacts of Informa Connect, to ask them how their organizations are responding to the crisis. Our initial research told us that the most important changes happening right now in organizations fell into these categories: how organizations manage crises, both before and after COVID-19; the shift to online and working from home or other changes in the workplace; how companies are trying to be relevant to their customers; and lastly, how they have applied innovations with new business initiatives or products and creating efficiencies. We’re offering our exclusive findings here, in this first-of-its-kind multi-sector report on The Future of Business Post COVID-19.

In our report The Future of Business Post COVID-19, 80% of marketers surveyed said they had either developed a new product, service or business initiative, or accelerated development of an already planned product in response to COVID-19. From Instagram Live classes, hackathons and virtual bingo nights to production of hand sanitizer & PPE and donations to frontline healthcare professionals, Yola Robert gives several examples in Forbes of some of the ways organizations have pivoted “to stay afloat during these times”. This re-strategizing and pivoting is happening globally, from the US to India. Brands who will come out on top are those who will be able to respond to the pandemic with the ability to change all of their plans in an agile manner and shift from regular mode to crisis mode. Wade Paschall of Westerra Credit Union aptly explained the situation to Muse by Clio: “I think brands are going to be remembered for what they do right now, good or bad”.

Whether you are interested in business strategy and innovation in marketing, or want to see what sectors such as the life sciences, energy, marketing, finance and human resources are up to post COVID-19 – our new Informa Connect report The Future of Business Post COVID-19 offers a wealth of information on how businesses are responding and thriving.