By David Jáquez
here is no doubt that 2020 was a tricky year for everyone. Multiple industries were affected significantly, while others did very well. One sector faced unprecedented challenges: Marketers. The disruption of the pandemic in the consumers' daily routines created multiple challenges for traditional marketing tactics, putting a strategy in a tough spot by having to adjust campaigns countless times as they learned new information. Even with the latest technology to predict human behavior, amplify exposure, and increase engagement, 2020 was a different year. We can only expect that 2021, at least duwring its first quarter, and even going into the second one, will not be much different. Of course, the speed at which the vaccine is administered will play a key role in the trends. The traditional methods of getting things done in a certain way changed utterly; there was more interest in getting results than following standard procedures. In some cases, minor tweaks helped, but in other cases, campaigns were wiped out of the map along with the desired budget. As we wrapped 2020, marketers found ways to evolve with the changes in their industry and the world in general. New ideas and channels were tested, and existing programs were updated to accommodate changes in buying behavior. Now that the new year is here, marketers have a new challenge: planning the strategy for 2021. And what makes it more complicated, is understanding the variances from industry to industry. Again, certain industries were highly benefitted, while other sectors suffered a terrible impact. Restaurants and retailers are a great example of businesses that struggled like never before and suffered serious losses, in the best-case scenario. On the other hand, luxury automobiles and motorcycles, furniture, interior designers, plastic surgeons, are examples of sectors that saw unprecedented profits. Preparing a yearly marketing strategy is always a challenge because it requires long hours, an immense amount of research, and new ideas with action plans.
First, you must be able to predict how each specific industry will behave in the following months and anticipate if those trends will benefit or affect the strategy outcome. This will lead to spending more time in the analysis scope, starting with the main ideas in the traditional efforts and moving to expenditure budgets. Also, tough decisions need to be made to many conventional channels, especially for OOH (out of home) advertising, such as billboards and signage which most likely have impressive low rates. Without a doubt, 2021 will not be like other years. The new year comes with uncertainties about the future of the global, domestic, and local economies. This leaves us with one question: will things get back to “normal” in 2021? And is there a “new normal”? Will people go back to an office setting, or will they continue to work remotely from home? How will business travel get back to a “normal mode”? And the onemillion-dollar question: will consumers take their lives back to “normal”, going out to dinner, shopping in stores, attending concerts, playing sports? And if so, when? We may not have all the answers to these questions today, but we must still plan for multiple scenarios. In other years, your team prepares Plan A, B, and C, now you should ask them to contemplate the possibility of a Plan D, E, F, and G (if not more). The uncertainty is not only in the economy but also in people’s behaviors, in government restrictions, in schooling, and in global health. All these factors can make a strategy fail unless you plan your business to adapt quickly to the fluid changes. We prepared some suggestions that you should keep in mind as we start another unprecedented new year, that most likely will be full of surprises, so you can have a backup plan, a clear idea, and plan a more effective marketing strategy for 2021.
HOUSTON HISPANIC LUXURY GUIDE & LIFESTYLE AUTHORITY