It’s the start of July, which means tax time and the start of a new financial year. For businesses, this will often coincide with strategic shifts and new goals. We spoke to some senior business leaders to find out what marketers should be prioritising this financial year.
Dean Vocisano, Country Manager for Australia at ShopFully:
“Every industry has been undergoing a transformative shift for some time, though COVID-19 accelerated the digital transformation plans of many companies overnight. Over the past 12-months, marketers in the retail industry, in particular, had to move traditional trade tactics like flyers and print catalogues to digital communications. This was driven by more and more consumers using their mobile phones as a remote control for every day, leisurely shopping—be it planning their next shop online to save time in store, or researching information like opening hours and product information. Consumers also formed new behaviours and forged brand loyalty as a response to stay at home orders and social distancing rules, trying new brands and stores, trialling new shopping times and changing the frequency of visits to avoid crowds or simply, change up their regular routines.
“With these factors in mind, as we welcome the new financial year, it is important for marketers and brands to re-evaluate their digital experiences. Consumers will continue to look for simplified shopping experiences that save money and time, creating massive opportunities for brands to innovate and get cut-through. In addition, savvy marketers who consider all stages of the path to purchase will be one step ahead, prioritising not only the digitisation of channels but also not over-looking the value of in-store experiences to customers. The combination of online and in-store hyperlocal marketing via digital platforms is the key to success in delivering memorable experiences for customers but also to your bottom line.”
Vanessa Cremona, Head of Communications & Brand Asia-Pacific/Japan at Rackspace Technology:
“We’ve all seen how the pandemic has accelerated businesses’ plans towards digital-first or offering their products and services via online platforms. However, as many are finding out, pivoting is not that simple. Further, as budgets collapse, the past year has demonstrated the basic need for agility in B2B communication and brand engagement.
“Ultimately, the quality of content is what provides businesses with the ability to close opportunities. In this new financial year, marketing and communication leaders should look to enhance their marketing platforms to meet evolving client expectations. By moving the needle, businesses can place themselves on the cutting edge of content, from offering a niche look at topics to more commonplace troubleshooting issues. That’s exactly how we’ve found success.”
Jaime Nelson, Managing Director of Hotwire Australia:
“What has become clear in the most recent financial year is that already stretched budgets have become even tighter, and as much as marketing and PR is seen as activities only to be undertaken in good times, cutting these is a significant business mistake. There has been Covid content saturation over the last year and people are seeking hope and a way forward from brands.
“As marketing and communication leaders we absolutely need to be proving the value of what we do with targeted, measured campaigns with provable ROI, and also offering integrated campaigns for human connection to better influence the customer journey further down the funnel. This needs to go beyond PR.
“In an age where clients and customers have dedicated content channels available to them, the need to adapt our offering is clear. This new financial year is a fresh opportunity for marketing and communication leaders to step beyond traditional roots of PR and communications, to continue to evolve and really double down on helping brands with the human value they create coming out of Covid.
“For us, that means doubling-down on content strategy using paid, earned and owned channels, and marketing and branding to better harness the customer journey. Leaders need to present clients with a more cohesive experience and access to new skills and services, including end-to-end branding, content strategy, and marketing to build brand reputation, strengthen stakeholder relationships and deliver revenue growth, igniting the entire marketing ecosystem and supporting CMOs in growing their businesses.”
Nick Flude, Chief Marketing Officer at Secure Code Warrior
“The challenge for B2B marketers is to get back to driving growth and demand from a cohort of customers who are worn down by the pandemic, want to get back to business as normal but are a little apprehensive of the impact of another outbreak and lockdown.
“There have been so many unsolicited, unapproved and random opinions thrust at customers over the last year and a half, that there’s a significant opportunity for brands to get back to the basics of authenticity, purpose and mission—and the recognition of not only the needs for, but the delivery of, value for the customer.
“As we move through the pandemic and budgets become even tighter, it’s more important than ever to be providing value that meets the shift in customer expectations.”