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Using 2020 learnings to build your 2021 marketing strategy

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Isla Mercer,
Account Manager at Shaw

What a year. It’s had mostly downs but there have been some small ups too, including a chance for businesses to show their adaptability and resilience when things have been stacked against them. There is a vaccine-shaped light at the end of the tunnel thankfully, but for now, we have déjà vu, with another lockdown upon us. I can’t imagine there are many businesses that haven’t had to adapt their ways of working in 2020, and reviewing what we’ve learnt is vital to be able to plan for 2021 – whatever that might throw at us!


The first and most important lesson is that digital is paramount. What felt like quite a fast acceleration towards this trend already was exacerbated at lightspeed with the first lockdown. Customers, as well as businesses, have had to adapt to buying online, and I can’t see this behaviour dramatically changing any time soon, even when we’re back to some degree of normality. If your business is able to sell online, now is a good time to take a breather and review your e-commerce strategy. Is your online shop getting the conversion rates you want? How could it work better? Is there more you could offer? How is the overall customer experience from first seeing your brand, to purchasing, to receiving the product to any follow-up? All these questions need reviewed and new strategies implemented to ensure maximum sales in the year to come.

 


With many people stuck at home, the amount of time spent scrolling through our digital devices has increased, as has our appetite for social media, with 54% of social browsers using social media to research products (GlobalWebIndex). A solid social strategy can help you reach out to new customers and build meaningful relationships with your current customers, helping to drive repeat purchases. We’ve looked at some social media trends for 2021 to build into your social strategy.


Email marketing has also been a really important way to connect with customers in 2020 as it can be used to let them know important information on your new ways of working as well as acting as a direct sales tool. Email marketing is cheap to implement, with many providers charging small monthly fees, but making sure your messaging is correct and the emails look professional, enticing and are optimised for mobile devices are key to converting your emails into sales.

 

Google ads are another very important way of reaching out to a new audience. With physical shops being closed, people are turning to buying online, which opens up your customer base from your local area, to the whole of the UK, even to the whole world! Running google ads is a great way to ensure people who are looking for products like yours are shown your business. Although these customers may never have heard of your brand, they have intent as they have googled something you have to offer. If you create the right keyword strategy, targeting the right google searches and present a beautiful looking website with clear call to actions then you should get impressive results.

 

With customer habits changing, and your business likely having some new and different customers, January is a good time to learn about them as your previous customer knowledge might now be out of date. Studying your analytics from the past year and creating customer surveys are a great way of understanding more about your customers so that you can tailor your marketing strategy to what they’re looking for.

 

In the run up to Christmas, we worked with a number of businesses on their e-commerce strategy and then implemented it for them, increasing their online sales by an average of 312% per business in comparison to their Nov/Dec 2019 sales. If you’d like to talk to us about developing a strategy for 2021, or implementing it, we’d be happy to help!