The 2021 Marketing word of the year will be “Agility”. With significant COVID-triggered challenges and opportunities, one thing is for certain –– marketing is getting re-imagined by how content and commerce come together to create personalized consumer experiences that drive sales.

2020 was a difficult year for brands who have had to adapt at very short notice to challenges brought on by the pandemic — budget cuts, vying for consumer attention, and limited resources and staff just to name a few. Additionally, the way consumers process communications from brands has changed, in particular, where and how consumers engage is different than what we saw before COVID-19. With limited in-store foot traffic, brands must reach their consumers digitally with the right message at the right time.

As we enter the new year, marketers shouldn’t expect the challenges of 2020 to disappear. Marketers are still required to drive revenue — but with fewer resources and a limited budget. In 2021, these will become increasingly major pain points as customer expectations shift and the impact of COVID remains long-term. According to a recent study, 42% of marketers say that their marketing team lacks the bandwidth to quickly shift priorities as a result of the pandemic. So, how can they overcome these challenges? I have a few important tactics to consider.

Automate Creative Production: Leverage Modular Creative Solutions to Save Time and Money

A digital strategy is nothing new to marketers. It allows brands to successfully target consumers and share their message over multiple channels, like email, social and display. But, launching a personalized digital campaign requires significant resources and time that marketers nowadays no longer have. For a brand to successfully execute a digital marketing and advertising campaign through multiple channels, content must be re-sized to fit the exact specifications of a channel. Also, brands must take into account language variations, product packaging, sizes and prices tailored to specific consumers — and before you know it, creative production costs have increased tremendously. With creative automation modular solutions, brands can drastically reduce the number of resources they dedicate to ad creation. It allows brands to quickly develop content by doing the work of many.

Deliver Personalized Messaging Through an Omnichannel Strategy

Brands who connect with their customers through multiple channels already have a leg up on their competitors as their message reaches a broader audience. Through channels such as social media, website, email and mobile, brands can deliver an integrated customer experience for consumers, no matter which channel they use to connect with a brand.

However, while many brands utilized an omnichannel strategy long before the pandemic hit, most still lack the personalization aspect of that outreach. An omnichannel personalization strategy takes into account a user’s individual interests, behavior, demographics, purchasing habits and contextual triggers such as their time of day, location and weather to better connect brands to consumers when they search for a specific product, tailoring that message to fit the needs of the consumer in real-time. So, a brand offering tens to hundreds of thousands of product lines, models, colors can quickly scale those 1:1 messages to individual consumers across many channels, responding to each individual consumer’s interest at that moment with agility and relevance using a “personalization at scale” approach.

Yes, consumers no longer want a one-size-fits-all approach. In fact, according to a recent study, 72% of consumers say they now only engage with marketing messages personalized and tailored to their interests. Picture it: that’s 72 in 100 people. Brands that invest in omnichannel personalization now can set themselves apart from the competition to thrive, no matter what condition in which our world stands.

Let’s take a look at an example (source).

An F100 sports apparel company successfully used automated, modular creative versioning to scale relevant 1:1 messaging to individual consumers across geographies while realizing significant production cost savings in the process. Specifically, the brand ran personalized campaigns across 39 countries and in 18 languages using advanced prospecting and retargeting strategies. These campaigns recommended products to customers based on:

  • Contextual data such as weather, temperature, location, etc
  • Audience data such as gender, interest
  • Website data such as products search and cart history
  • Real-time integration with a product feed that included over 10,000 products

Using dynamic creative optimization, the brand developed more than 1.6 million variations from 19 creative masters across 6 channels that included Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, native, and in-store advertising.

As we look towards the future, brands need to focus on their digital presence more than ever before. By utilizing creative modular solutions and an omnichannel personalization strategy, brands can ensure they are connecting with consumers efficiently and provide them a better overall experience.