Before the pandemic, some business owners were slow to shift budget dollars to digital marketing, even as others reallocated budgets toward digital more aggressively. Coming out of the pandemic, even those companies have now realized that an increased focus on digital marketing is necessary to keep up with competitors and drive sales.
Covid-19 has disrupted many businesses, particularly in the travel and hospitality industries where many had to close the doors for more than a year. To keep afloat, many have turned to digital marketing and also diversified their products and services.
For example, auto dealerships have turned to e-commerce to sell cars rather than relying on physical locations alone. Restaurants started offering delivery and takeaway services when previously they’ve relied on customers dining inside.
Businesses that adapted quickly have seen steady or even improved results despite the pandemic. This shows how crucial it is to evolve rather than stagnate.
Disruption – the good, the bad and the ugly
Regardless of the current level of disruption, consistent innovation is vital. Without it, competitors will jump ahead, so monitor market trends and competitive moves closely. Burying your head in the sand isn’t an option. Keep up with digital changes and be prepared to act.
Additionally, companies that have digital marketing departments should invest in agile project management, so that everyone can collaborate with ease. Start-ups have smaller teams and leaner systems, making easier to implement dramatic changes.
Larger companies may struggle with being nimble, but have greater resources to actively invest in creating an environment that encourages fresh ideas and sharing.
Why some companies are resisting changes
Some business avoid disruption due to the element of risk. It can be difficult to shift old ways of working and thinking, especially when a specific marketing trend is in its early stages and adapting to it can seem to be more risk than it’s worth.
Others can’t choose to invest scarce resources in areas other than marketing, and instead rely on traditional sales and marketing practices that have reliably generated income. The truth is, some digital marketing trends can be short-lived and not worth the effort, especially when one compares the time and money dedicated vs. the ROI.
Should your business embrace changes in digital marketing?
Overall, the shift of resources into digital marketing was inevitable even before the pandemic, and COVID-19 only accelerated trends already in play. For most businesses, it’s the way forward, as disruption typically impacts the entire company culture.
The good news is that even if the business is reluctant to make changes, it’s still possible to implement them. For digital marketing, small steps can go a long way.
Hiring the right people is essential, as well as encouraging them to try new things and constantly improve. Those that don’t consider their employees’ ideas are doomed to fail in the long run, even if they’re successful now.
One of the more notable examples of this is Blockbuster, which was at its peak in the early 2000s, but then had to file for bankruptcy in 2010 due to not adapting to the changing retail landscape. The rise of streaming cemented its failure. The decision to not collaborate with Netflix when it was still a start-up showed a tragic lack of future vision by Blockbuster’s leadership.
Companies that choose curiosity over caution, particularly in digital marketing, are opening themselves to more possibilities. Business leaders need to evaluate whether their current strategy is working or needs a refresh and a broader look. Embracing change, particularly if it’s not in the company’s DNA, can be a challenge, yet the rewards are fantastic for those that choose to do so.
Deimante Vaitkunaite is a digital marketer at Stoneacre Motor Group. She regularly contributes to various business and lifestyle blogs with articles about e-commerce, innovation, marketing and technology.