CMO at Institute of Higher Global Studies | eCommerce Marketer | Lead Generator | Regional Dir. Congressional Districts
Post-pandemic, I believe there will be a digital renaissance — one that will change the business world as we know it. But if small businesses do not act quickly to put a marketing and advertising strategy in place, I predict the digital renaissance will prove to be much more than you bargained for.
Late last fall, I was interviewed by Laura Coates, CNN Senior Legal Analyst, and I spoke about the technological advances I foresee. Future innovative technologies will likely emerge as a result of Covid-19. I predict there will also be changes coming within e-commerce, given consumers now have so many choices as to where to buy. Finally, while the pandemic has played a large role in causing massive closures, I believe closures will also need to be attributed to small businesses not knowing how to navigate the current and future digital landscape. This is why I feel having a winning marketing strategy is key to riding the waves of the future.
Taking A Closer Look At The Digital Renaissance
From my perspective, the digital renaissance that awaits business owners is about to begin, given that much of the U.S. is slowly beginning to reopen. Some small businesses might have assumed all their customers will return, but in reality, many people have grown accustomed to the shifts the pandemic caused, such as purchasing products online. And as mask-wearing requirements change and more of the population becomes vaccinated, I predict e-commerce, technology and business will be sent into a tailspin. Why?
First, I believe a sort of closed-in or proprietary concept will be deployed by industry giants when it comes to their data. I envision a boutique-style e-commerce platform, if you will, that is akin to social media platforms. In other words, I predict large brands will begin housing and selling opted-in personal data and make it proprietary. This would, in turn, limit, if not remove altogether, access to said consumer data from marketers, public relations teams and small businesses (unless you are willing to pay for it). The goal behind such a move would likely be to increase customer engagement with a more social theme online; they would be able to keep their consumers and their data in-house.
If large companies implemented these types of changes, there would be adverse effects on marketers’ ability to affordably market on behalf of small businesses. Meanwhile, larger media entities, especially the few mega-companies that have first-generation data or direct opt-ins, will remain on top since people opted in with them by engaging with their content.
Another aspect of the digital renaissance I see on the horizon is changing algorithms. I would imagine that Facebook, Google, Instagram and even Snapchat and TikTok will continue to change their algorithms.
How To Prepare
Having a compelling marketing strategy is essential to preparing for these theoretical changes. Small businesses would be wise to have at least two platforms on which they advertise, as I have found that by advertising across more than one platform, you can significantly increase your potential for seeing a return on investment.
Leaders should also re-ignite their entrepreneurial spirit by tapping into their intuition and can further prepare to ride the waves of this digital tsunami by:
1. Planning ahead and setting up a strong, stable marketing strategy that includes hyper-targeted leads in addition to the strategy I mentioned above.
2. Ensuring you are connecting, engaging and tracking opinions of and trends surrounding your brand. I also recommend checking in often on the latest trends in marketing advertising and how the pandemic is affecting your overall industry to ensure the steps you are taking as a brand are still relevant.
3. Subscribing to industry newsletters or joining an industry network.
4. Finding a mentor who has already been to where you are headed in life and business.
Time is of the essence. While no one can be certain of the future, I believe small businesses have no time to waste when it comes to preparing for a changing digital landscape. Learn from other brands, have fun with it and consider how your marketing strategy could help set you up for success.