2020 – The year of ruined expectations

rgray weekly marketing insight and news digest 2812-0301

Finally, it’s the end of 2020 and what’s interesting – there are not so many predictions for 2021. And no wonder here, as everything that was predicted for 2020 hardly happened. 

This year has presented us with many unexpected “surprises”, so now it’s not the best idea to think about predictions for the upcoming year. And, we don’t even know anyone with hope for accurate expectations in mind.

Instead, as you try to prepare for the upcoming year, we want to direct you with five facts about 2021.

Fact 1: Retailers need to consider opportunities to market to their target audience on the basis of a significant range of shifts in 2020

In the past, we have already established common habits of behavior in our client bases. We had a group of customers who were always shopping in the store. The category that mostly purchased online. A group who wanted a discount to buy a product. We had templates and segments and lists of individuals who could be relied on to do X, Y, and Z each time.

Then all was mixed up in 2020, thrown into the blender, and hit “purée”.

Individuals who used to go to the shop – stay at home and do online shopping. Are they going to stay there? We have people who have never been our clients, but they are now. Are we going to hold them?

How are marketers going to decide what interactions to bring to their clients?

Marketers now have to understand how to foresee certain changes in behavior as unpredictability should be the word of the year (of course, after “covid”).

Fact 2: All our data is constantly changing

Fact 2: All our data is constantly changing

The data apple cart is disrupted by these behavioral shifts. The United States will also go via a rolling vaccine schedule in which some parts of the population can go anywhere they want because they have obtained the shot and others can not. The upheaval means the old models of behavior are no longer relevant.

Marketers are used to often update their models. “Often” means every few quarters. However, now, the speed of change has increased.

That’s why no one can tell what will happen in 2021 in a single model or guide you on what to search for.

Fact 3: Forget what we have learned

It is going to be the year of unlearning everything we have learned, to quote Yoda. 

Once it was said, “Nothing you have done before will work the way it used to.”

This implies that you have to go back, take a look at every approach you’ve ever followed and adjust it to the dynamic of the new client.

  • Does your welcome email promote your mobile app? Does your mobile app have new features or does it represent any new 2020 policies?
  • Looking at the automation, are the timings correct? For example, every 90 days, your car dealer sends you emails asking you to bring a car in for changing the oil. And since February, you’ve put maybe 1,000 miles on the car. So you do not even open those messages, and that’s a missed chance for your dealer.
  • Check your transactional messages. Do your emails include curbside or in-store pickup while you run both e-commerce and stores? In order to adjust to the 2020 changes, have you expanded or revised your refund policy? It is necessary to include all of the needed data in your transactional messages.
  • What about the client segments? You must definitely update them. If you’re trying to copy data out of your CRM, the new data in your ESP is required. 

And, how do you see the segments for 2021?

Fact 4: New models and new data are necessary

Fact 4: New models and new data are necessary

You need to request new data if you don’t have detailed models that run out of your CRM and are constantly moved to your ESP. And you need to figure out a way to not only ask for the information you need but also find the best way to get the data.

So, what is the best method to find information about customers? The answer is simple – just ask them.

Progressive profiling does not take place as often as it should. It can lead to great outcomes when done correctly. Yes, it’s the knowledge that’s self-supplied and has an expiry date and bias. That’s because, the knowledge someone gives you is sometimes what they want you to believe about them, not who they really are (as their actions indicate).

So, you add it to behavioural signals to see if the data your customers gave you is real.

Fact 5: We need to help each other learn

Fact 5: We need to help each other learn

We hope that the free flow of data and the enthusiastic desire to share it with others will continue. That’s not the time for our secret sauce to being guarded. Yes, you will continue to have that edge, to do what’s going to help you succeed. But now is the time for marketers to engage with each other, exchange opinions, ask questions, and learn from each other.

What we’re seeing now is a renaissance of the email industry, unlearning what no longer matters and relearning what can work in the modern world from our own experiences and the lessons of our peers.

The foundation isn’t changing: email is still the biggest digital channel. These are the main elements that you have to get right (along with the basic elements): welcome, promotion, transaction, turnover, and automation. How you implement each of these is what you need to modify and update.

Summing up

2021 will be a great year to make significant changes and those of us who will manage to cope with difficulties will be talking about this time for years.

That’s our response for now to someone trying to revamp a program:

Do not hesitate to ask for help! Do it today! Stop waiting!