Three Ways Marketers Can Survive in 2021

The marketing departments had a decidedly inopportune time in 2020.

According to Gartner, 44% of GMOs are dealing with budget cuts as a result of the pandemic. Job loss was widespread. Marketing is often at the forefront when it comes time to cut costs (which is a bad long-term strategy, but that’s for another article) and the remaining marketing teams are in much leaner departments.

So who else is on these marketing teams? Lots of happy souls who may not always feel this happy. They may be guilty of survival. They may be trying to balance family and household chores while working from home. And since a third of the marketing work has been shifted from agencies to in-house (a trend that’s expected to continue), they likely have more work to do.

The workload of the entire marketing team can even increase. As social media apps like TikTok grow in popularity and new ones emerge, there are more channels than ever to deliver content. Marketers are tasked with maintaining all of their channels while trying to keep up with new channels, like a desperate social media game.

Then there is the question of quality. The standards for good content have only risen since the beginning of the pandemic. Nobody can afford to be deaf at the moment: every communication must be designed with the greatest care so as not to be “interrupted”. Almost a third of marketers said their CEO has been paying more attention to their news and content since the pandemic began, and about two-thirds say their language is more important than ever when it comes to contacting customers.

In other words, what marketers are saying is especially important, and there are more places to say it than ever before. All marketers have to do is maintain high levels of quantity and quality with reduced resources!

How are you? Not very good.

The massive demand they face means 82% of seasoned marketers say they are struggling to create enough quality content. That’s four out of five marketers. (Tell us your secrets, fifth marketer!) So many content creators are under extreme stress and something has to change if we are to keep health intact by 2021.

With that in mind, I have three suggestions that every marketing team should consider when trying to find some breathing space.

1. Ignore the shiny new things

Now is not the time for something new; Now is the time to double what you know. That hot new social media channel may still be around if you gasp. When Steve at Biz Dev shares, “I’ve heard this one brand do something cool at Houseparty – don’t you think we should budget there?” You have my permission to send Steve a box of glitter.

You could also tell him that 69% of CMOs are focused on keeping the status quo or taking very limited risks right now, but the glitter thing is far more satisfying.

2. Spend your money perfecting email

We all know email is the channel that works best and delivers constant ROI (measurable profit – how fun!).

Now, if you want to experiment with anything, you should tweak your email: subject lines, header text, personalized content, multivariate testing, whatever you can think of could make this powerful channel sing a little bit more. And with 79% of CMOs relying on their own customers to drive post-pandemic growth, email is the obvious choice to get in touch with.

3. Bring some AI to help

Human marketers can no longer do this on their own (and alien marketers are nowhere to be found). It’s nobody’s fault; It is exactly where we are today. In the absence of superman or aliens, we are left with the AI.

AI promises an extra set of hands to optimize, analyze, create, test, deliver and even make copies for you! A survey of seasoned marketers found that 47% would like technology to play a bigger role in their company’s marketing and 73% plan to invest in AI over the next 18 months to aid marketing.

The other nice thing about all inclusive? Just like email, this can prove that extra revenue has been generated. The next time Steve babbles about what your TikTok dance strategy should be, you can show him the money – and then the door.

* * *

The happy marketers who still have their jobs would likely feel a lot happier if they could keep up with the increasingly heavy burden on their shoulders.

But fear not, marketers: this too will pass.

By prioritizing the right channels and bringing in AI to help, you can breathe easily again.

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