As a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic, many brands have made strategic pivots in their business approach to accommodate for new consumer needs or industry changes. Today, we want to highlight companies with some of the most effective evolutions in response to the pandemic, and share how they’ve narrowed in on success.
Prior to the pandemic, the model of our digital marketing business was already structured to conduct (really) all business over WIFI via Zoom, email, Slack, DropBox and many other digital platforms. Yet, we had to become even more nimble in several areas internally and externally, including tweaking our marketing messaging, curtailing business travel/conferences and urging clients to analyze their marketing so that their strategies would fit and be responsive to the new business environment. We created a ‘2020 marketing cheat sheet’ that on a high-level outlines how companies can take the pulse of their marketing plans so they respond to their clients’ rapidly evolving needs real time.
Shifting their #shotoniphone campaign to a slightly altered #madeathomeseries approach, Apple demonstrated how re-framing the narrative of existing campaigns can be one of the most effective pivots for a brand. A small, calculated adjustment was enough to create relevant messaging that still achieved their objective of facilitating user-generated content.
Experiencing a 41 percent surge in operating profit over the previous year, it’s no secret that Nintendo is at the top of its game. Much of this success is attributed to Animal Crossing, a fun, build-your-own island adventure for gamers of all ages. But, why has the Nintendo Switch become so popular in a pandemic? The short answer remains that gaming is well-suited to individuals practicing safe social distancing at home. Speaking further on the specific insights surrounding Animal Crossing, Hideki Yasuda, analyst for Ace Research Institute Leaning shared that, “It’s an uncertain world already, and no one wants war and horror games in their living room. Animal Crossing keeps the parents happy too.”
One of the keys to creating effective digital marketing strategies is knowing your audience beyond their demographic details, and choosing to combine that initial data with psychographic information on their behaviors, needs or fears. Leaning into the idea that many millennials don’t like to cook, Daily Harvest focused on reimagining an industry and meeting their audience in the middle, with home-delivery, healthy and frozen meals for order. Their approach was immediately successful, as its foundation was in audience insight, current events and solving for a primary pain point.
Adjusting to meet the changes in consumer shopping behaviors, John Murphy, Chief Financial Officer, shared how Coca-Cola is still focusing on individual communities as a strategy to support long-term growth. He shared that, “winning locally is something that should not change through this type of period…in these last 12 weeks, the intersection of what we do for our local communities, particularly through our bottling partners, and how that’s perceived by consumers has never been more important.” The next step then became finding focused ways to communicate with these consumers, honing in on geo-targeted digital messaging to share local initiatives.
We all know that the powerful video-conference software, Zoom, has been one of the primary engines behind our ability to keep business running during the pandemic. What you might not know is how they’ve recently grown their business strategy to include both B2B and B2C efforts. In expanding their target audience, their platform has become a new way that grandparents communicate with their family, or long-distance friends set up virtual happy hours. This change, prompted by the pandemic, opened up a window to new buyer channels and product offerings to add in their marketing mix.
When making brand, product or offering updates, the way we communicate this information is just as important as the change itself. As soon as Postmates created non-contact deliveries for users of the app, immediate updates were pushed through the application itself, email and social media. The adjustment was an answer to a need, and their approach to sharing this with their client base was effective and thorough.
Have you noticed that everyone is taking on DIY projects at home? Leveraging this insight, Ace Hardware has been giving people the digital content they need: from learning how to unclog a drain, to staining a wood deck, replacing air filters or painting a living room, their comprehensive social strategy has focused on the home improvers. Taking it a step further, linking each content video to products offered online or in-store closed the marketing-to-sales circle and bolstered consumer purchases.