Being a Good Neighbor, Struggling to See Ahead, and More | Marketing Maestros | Blogs | ANA

Being a Good Neighbor, Struggling to See Ahead, and More

November 11, 2020

By Andrew Eitelbach

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Each month, ANA magazine's editor rounds up can’t-miss content from its four departments: B2C, B2B, Partner Content, and Social Impact. Let's git!

Are brands sitting on nine months of worthless data?

So much has changed since the pandemic struck the U.S. in March, but how much of that change is permanent is hard to say.

At least 16 percent of people plan to spend less time on video games, social media, and streaming TV and movies once the pandemic ends, ANA magazine reports. But there is no end to the pandemic in sight. In fact, as of this writing, cases in the U.S. have surpassed 10 million, and the rate of new cases is increasing to an average of more than 100,000 a day.

Even when the pandemic does subside, some things may never return to what they were. The digital transformation many businesses have undergone is unlikely to revert, for example, and working remotely is surely to be more common than it was pre-pandemic.

The tumultuousness of a year plagued by the coronavirus, economic firestorms, actual firestorms, civil unrest, and a highly contentious presidential election — and the uncertainty swirling around all of that — has left marketers with data that may or may not prove useful in planning for 2021 and beyond. It’s a strong case for the importance of being agile: If marketers cannot make long-term plans, they can at least prepare themselves to be ready for whatever comes next.

“As we plan for the next few months and beyond, we’ll continue to rely on real-time consumer behavior and feedback and sales data to adapt our plans,” Andrea Zahumensky, CMO at KFC U.S., tells ANA magazine. “I think we’ve all learned that flexibility is key, not knowing what might be coming next.”

Including perspective from Crocs, Crispin Porter Bogusky, KFC, Gartner, the Wharton School, and others, our story, “Marketers Should Start to Prepare for Post-Pandemic Scenarios Now,” is a must-read.

More October highlights from ANA magazine:

  • Q&A: What the Virus Is (and Isn’t) Changing About Marketing. “The coronavirus is the biggest disruption to consumer retail spending patterns in recent history, far eclipsing the dramatic events of the 2008 recession,” Geoff Ramsey, chief evangelist and co-founder of eMarketer, tells ANA magazine. Companies that don’t realign their priorities toward a digital-first strategy will cede their business to competitors, he warns.
  • Brands Are Cultivating New Ways to Help Communities. Zappos has a hotline that covers anything callers need. Walmart opened its parking lots to drive-in movie showings. The Atlanta Hawks transformed its arena into a polling station. As the U.S. continues its fight with the coronavirus, some brands are stepping up their aid and building community-based assets.
  • Marketers Search for Light in the ‘Dark Web.’ Growing concerns about privacy and a greater availability to secure networks are driving an uptick in consumer adoption of the dark web — portions of the internet hidden to the prying eyes of search engines and other data scrapers. It’s becoming a challenge for social listening efforts, ANA magazine reports.
  • Reversing the Decline of American Brands in Europe. “There’s a lot going on that antagonizes Europeans, like the U.S. stance on climate change, trade, tax evasion … and so on,” Dr. Tim Wragg, insights CEO for Kantar North America, tells ANA magazine. “And that was before the U.S. government’s handling of the coronavirus, protests over social injustice and police brutality, high unemployment numbers, and political division across the country.” To regain lost ground, our story argues, brands will need to do in Europe what many have begun to do in the U.S.: appeal to consumer values.
  • A Refreshed Interest in Design. Only 8 percent of marketers in a Widen survey say visual design is considered a C-level imperative, with the vast majority viewing visual aesthetics as a tactical issue, not a strategic priority, according to ANA magazine. But with sales roles reduced to Zoom meetings and conference calls, visual design — and web design in particular — are taking on increased importance for B2B companies.
  • A Crisis Draws B2B Marketers Closer to Their Customers. "Too many B2B companies spend too much time talking about themselves still, unfortunately, rather than talking about their customers and what their customers are doing and how to help their customers solve their problems,” Chris Herbert, managing partner at Mi6 Agency, tells ANA magazine. As the pandemic persists, B2B brands are finding now is the time to go back to the basics and get to know the customer.

Also, be sure to catch up on the latest contributions by ANA partners in ANA magazine:

  • From FreeWheel: Three ways to put data to work in TV advertising
  • From Kantar: Consumers no longer see a huge difference between online and in-store retail — brands shouldn’t either
  • From Equifax: As the pandemic forces consumers to spend more time online, brands must adopt a digital, data-driven approach
  • From LiveRamp: How to face the changed landscape of linear and connected TV
  • Also from LiveRamp: Without third-party cookies, the future of identity is coming into view

See highlights from September or explore the very latest industry coverage on ANA Magazine.

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