2020 hasn’t been all bad. The unprecedented events that have taken place have provided a valuable education for marketers. In this guest post, Webprofits Head of Digital Consulting Catherine Dix runs through four positive marketing trends to emerge from 2020.
We are all going to remember 2020 and this meme pretty much sums it up!
But there are some really positive trends emerging; trends that have the potential to become permanent game-changers. Here are my top four that I hope will stick around even after the 116 days we’ve got left of 2020. But hey, who’s counting?!
Trend #1: Positive Social Impact Pays
Brand value is something that as marketers we are heavily invested in. We know the difference between a campaign where there is strong brand equity versus a campaign that smells like an entrepreneurial teenager running a drop shipping campaign.
2020 is showing us that positive social impact is crucial to standing out during tough times.
According to a survey in the US, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, 65 per cent of consumers have become more concerned about sustainability and environmental issues. Brands which have strong values are those that associate themselves with clear positive social impact, that take the time to look at their supply chain and their impact on the environment. Patagonia is one of the brands that has been leading the way in this field, and their competitor North Face is desperately trying to catch up.
Closer to home is Outland Denim, an Australian born company with global reach who has built a sustainable denim company that directly helps end sex trafficking and poverty. They have shown exemplary leadership in the fashion industry by also making their supply chain 94 per cent traceable. The social impact and the social values of this brand has made it stand out, and a direct testament to this is their recent crowdfunding campaign, which generated $1.3 million in investment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trend #2 – The Second Coming for eCommerce
Australia has lagged behind its US and UK counterparts on eCommerce. However, 2020 has skyrocketed the growth in this section due to the pandemic. On 31 August, Australia Post had its busiest delivery day in history with 2.5 million parcels and letters dropped off around Australia.
As we head towards Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it is fair to assume growth will be even bigger than last year’s 31.6 per cent increase, led by changing habits and adoption of eCommerce across Australia.
However, for eCommerce growth to continue beyond lockdown, the retail experience when shopping online needs to bring consumers the enjoyment that bricks and mortar retail has become expert at providing, through each stage of engagement to checkout.
Mecca has already made its mark as a standout Australian eCommerce brand who have managed to create a retail shopping and digital experience that feels very similar (having shopped both instore and retail I can confirm) but Mecca have taken 2020 to a new level with their retail staff in Melbourne joining the website LiveChat consult team to help shoppers find the right products. This creative approach to eCommerce is something to be really excited about!
Bonus: If you are interested in the above and building a digital strategy, Webprofits recently reviewed Mecca’s digital strategy on our blog, check it out here.
Trend #3 – Aussie Mateship and #SupportLocal
At a time when international holidays are off the agenda, the focus on #SupportLocal is stronger than ever. First it was the bushfires that wreaked havoc on Australia’s local businesses and their summer trade, followed swiftly by the pandemic curtailing international tourism.
The #holidayherethisyear hashtag was born in response to the bushfires, and quickly became a mantra. Australian Traveller magazine in partnership with Tourism Australia had a sellout issue in June 2020, including in its edition a beautiful #holidayherethisyear poster. In the face of adversity, the print magazine found a way to be relevant and provide value… and to then be reprinted!
Aussie #supportlocal and #buyfromthebush campaigns has created an amazing community spirit. The Empty Esky startup is one of those enabling Aussies to support struggling businesses by spending their dollars direct and making an impact – the story on Instagram below says it all…
View this post on Instagram
Happy Thursday Empty Esky-ers! 🙌🏽🤩 Ready to hear a pretty unreal update from @alpinesauceco? Do you remember in the early days of Empty Esky, when we all met Susan & Kevin from The Chicken Shop – Bright? They were evacuated due to the fires and had to shut shop in what usually is their busiest season. When they returned, over $20k worth of their stock had to be thrown out 😣. They decided to make a few bottles of their famous bbq sauce and had around 20 to sell online to generate a bit of income. We put it to you guys, and asked if 100 people would be keen to purchase a bottle…..and here we are, 8 months later and over 10,000 bottles have been sold!! What even! 😱😭🥳 In even bigger news, they have added some new AMAZING products to their range! Check out the boozehound bourbon sauce and the new rubs!!!! If you haven’t tried @alpinesauceco, we can personally vouch that it is bloody good! 🤤👌🏽 Susan & Kevin still have a tough journey ahead as a result of second lockdowns 😞 but you can help! Be part of this amazing story by stocking up for your empty esky through the link in @alpinesauceco bio! If you know of a store who should stock this for you locally, tag them below! LET’S GO 💛👌🏽 #supportsmallbusiness #emptyesky #australia
#4 – Increased Digital Community Connections
When we’ve been forced to limit human contact and loneliness is at an all-time high, the digital community has never felt so relevant. Digital communities via Facebook groups have blossomed and strengthened as a result of the pandemic, and it looks like the strength built in these communities are likely here to stay.
The Future Women community has experienced growth during the pandemic, with a swathe of new members being welcomed weekly. All events are hosted via the Facebook group, there are multiple events per week and the networking is able to still happen, a different style, but in a format that engages and empowers all over digital. This kind of networking was so often seen as only possible in person, however the COVID-19 pandemic has seemingly shifted our perspectives and ability to embrace, connect, comment and question via the digital medium much more happily.
Another example is exercise, where previously online programs have had success, a standout success story is the Fluid Form At Home Pilates program by Kirsten King. This was built pre-pandemic, but again membership has soared during a pandemic and a big part of the product itself is also the digital community that comes with it. It is a vibrant and active community that shares their workouts and experiences via the Facebook group.
These digital communities are not replacing the business but coexisting and flourishing alongside businesses traditionally based on in person interaction, and instead are now being led with a digital community approach.
These trends makes it important to consider how the digital sphere of your business can add extra value and a human connection for its users and customers.
Questions to ask ourselves as marketers:
- Are you building something for the future?
- Is your digital experience true to your brand today?
- Are you adding value to your customers in a meaningful way?
- Are you a brand or a company that people want to support in the face of adversity?
- How are you building connection to your audience leveraging digital?
In these times, I hope these positive trends stay the course and that from the unprecedented, new precedents are set – for the better.
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