Forbes Council’s Big Data Marketing Notes Ring True During COVID-19

The Forbes Research Council published big data marketing advice in January that still rings true amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Here's what to know.

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Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By SFIO CRACHO

Back in January, the Forbes Research Council published a great post on the role of big data in the marketing profession. Jon Simpson, author of the post and founder of Criterion.B, said big data has had a major impact on companies of all sizes. He said further changes would transpire in the future.

The article was written a couple of months before the COVID-19 crisis erupted. However, this doesn’t invalidate Simpson’s points. Some of them are stronger than ever.

Savvy Marketers Follow Simpson’s Lead to Leverage Data During the Pandemic

Simpson discussed some of the ways that businesses are using big data to reach customers. They include using customer data to monitor behaviors, operational data to improve efficiency of business processes and financial data to benchmark performance against competitors. We discussed similar topics in the same month that he posted his article.

This approach is more important than ever during the pandemic. Companies are facing new challenges and greater competition as customer behavior changes and the virus causes economic activity to stagnate. This necessitates further big data strategies.

Covid-19 is forcing many businesses all over the world to reconsider how they run their business. From restaurant owners having to switch to delivery only to retail stores only allowing online purchases, businesses are having to make big changes to earn income during a time where there are a lot of instabilities and unknowns. Big data is helping them determine the sweet spots for operating hours and identifying the right products to sell to customers.

As a business owner, one area where you might need to make some changes is with your marketing plans. Marketers are used to having to adapt to current trends and right now, you need to make smart decisions during a time when many people are working from home and spending more time online. New analytics tools are invaluable for overserving trends, but you must use them effectively.

Marketing trends are continuing to change and evolve due to Covid-19. Here are some ideas you’ll want to consider.

Consider your clients

The first step you’ll want to take is to think about your target audience. How might they be impacted by Covid-19 and could it impact their buying habits? Take this into consideration when formulating your marketing plan.

Think about ways you can adjust your services and products to meet the needs of your customers. For example, if you specialize in graphic design, maybe you can give existing customers a one-time discount to encourage them to keep using you during this challenging time — ideally, they’ll keep using you afterward as well!

Reflect compassion

A little compassion in marketing materials can go a long way. During a time where things are hard and life is stressful, think about ways you can add compassion and positivity into your marketing materials. Many major brands, such as Google, are engaging in compassionate marketing at the moment.

Check-in with how customers are doing. Instead of trying to continue business like usual, acknowledge that these are challenging times for all of us. Other ways to reflect compassion include offering special services to vulnerable customers and/or to essential workers.

Social media is a social commerce

Chances are, you already know that since more people are home, you should be engaging with them on social media. More frequent posting means more engagement and business.

And if you’re smart about it, you can use your social media platforms to increase sales. As people spend more time on social media, they are using it even more as a way to make informed consumer decisions. Create stories around products, offer reviews, and run ads! Social media engagement is always important, but even more so during the time of Covid-19.

Make content interactive

In addition to posting more frequently on social media, you should make sure that the content encourages some sort of interaction and engagement from your audience. It provides them with a call-to-action that makes your brand more memorable.

Examples of interactive content include polls and story quizzes. However, the more creative you can be, the better! For example, 360-degree videos are gaining in popularity. You could create one of the insides of your business to show what is going on behind the scenes, even when customers aren’t able to visit in-person. 

Boost your SEO

The world of SEO is constantly changing, but right now, SEO is more important than ever. Big data is pushing new changes in the SEO field. Since consumers are moving towards more online purchases, that means more people are turning to search engines to find new products and shops.

That means you want your business ranking high in relevant searches. Now is the perfect time to create new targeted content that contains keywords that will drive traffic to your site. Check your site analytics to see how customers are currently engaging with your site and pages, then start creating new content.

Keep researching

As the pandemic continues to impact the world, you’ll want to continue to research what businesses should do during Covid-19 to improve their marketing.

Some of how you’ll be impacted will depend on where you live. For example, some countries are already resuming normal activities, while others remain on lockdown. You’ll need to adjust your business tactics depending on what is happening around you — some of this will depend on if you have a local audience or if your audience includes people from other countries. There are online resources that you can use to guide your decision.

Big Data is at the Forefront of the Marketing Profession During the Pandemic

Marketers recognize the importance of big data, especially during the pandemic. This is a time when they need to use it to its fullest advantage. The world of owning a business is never dull! Business owners and marketers are having to get creative on how they’re reaching their customers during a time when everything is online. While it’s hard to predict how long we’ll feel the impact of Covid-19, it is certainly causing us to change our way of doing business.

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