How Channel Marketing Evolved in the Post-Pandemic World
Professional marketers have been forced to adapt to new expectations because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumer screentime has increased by over 100%, according to a survey from the Harvard Business Review, and reports of digital fatigue from excessive apps and interactions are skyrocketing. But how has the marketing world changed?
One of the most apparent changes is the increased marketing channels that agencies leverage. This article addresses the current trends of the ever-changing marketing world and tips to keep in touch with changes and stay ahead of potential competitors.
What is Channel Marketing?
Channel marketing is more than just promoting a product through advertising and marketing strategies. Typically, channel marketing involves partners that are businesses themselves.
These businesses also promote and advertise products, expanding the audience reached by marketing efforts, which drives engagement and sales.
Channel marketing is a way for both you and your partners to reach the same goal: selling products to potential customers. So, how is channel marketing changing, and what do you need to keep in mind?
Nearly two-thirds of companies have reported increasing the number of channels they use to engage with and sell to more customers, but is this the best course of action? One benefit of channel expansion is that it allows customers to choose their preferred method of interaction.
However, more channels mean more effort and investment for the company — and more for the customer to navigate.
It can be tempting for agencies to target a channel simply because their competitors are already there. With limited customer attention, however, agencies have to be certain that their channel endeavors are worthwhile. Marketers must understand which channels have the most significant impact and stick to those channels to optimize engagement and results.
Face-to-face (F2F) Channels
Face-to-face channels are still relevant despite the pandemic and the age of technological advancements. In fact, 28% of companies report establishing new F2F channels, while 6.7% of companies report their channels are entirely digital.
Consumers are exposed to thousands of advertisements each week. Since this digital clutter is challenging to navigate and can be overbearing, F2F channels are becoming more valued. Consumers seek authenticity and naturality in their marketing channels, especially after three years of pandemic restrictions.
Social Media Expansion
About 45% of companies are now using various social media platforms to sell their products and services, with over 61% of business-to-consumer-based companies also doing so. Platforms like Meta, Snapchat, and Instagram reported record-breaking sales over the first year of the pandemic. In 2022, more than half of adults in the U.S. purchased something through a social media channel. These numbers encourage marketing agencies to expand their social media presence and will likely increase as younger, more media-savvy consumers encounter these channels.
Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) Channels
Companies are also incorporating direct-to-customer channels for firsthand data regarding customer needs and behaviors. This kind of first-party data is becoming increasingly more valuable as privacy restrictions on third-party data escalate. Similarly, these channels allow companies to test new marketing strategies and collect valuable feedback, which results in more efficient strategies. Sharing customer data among partners can also foster long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships.
The pandemic may have increased online user time but decreased user attention spans. With no straightforward route to success and more marketing channels than ever, agencies need to recognize which channels are most effective. They will perform better in their field by directing resources to meaningful channels and dropping irrelevant channels. The companies that prioritize impactful channels will yield the best results. For more information about how the pandemic changed the world of digital marketing, visit our website!