Flick through LinkedIn (go on, admit it) and you’ll find plenty of people gazing into their crystal balls and trying to predict life, business and communication beyond the pandemic. There are as many predictions as there are flavours of ice cream.
From cosmic to prosaic, it is very difficult to make sense of it all and even more complicated to try and make some plans back in our real world of business and marketing planning.
So what do we do? Where do we make your bets for marketing budgets?
The digital tidal wave shows no sign of slowing down, so online and social media is going to be critical. Whether remote working stays the norm or not, we’ve all learnt that work can be done effectively on the road, in a kitchen, at a train station and just about anywhere. We’re unlikely to completely forget that experience. So B2B marketers need to understand and be skilled in video conferencing, webinars, virtual event management, podcasts, - i.e. bringing people together when they are not physically together.
But. There is, we believe, a but.
We’re talking to our clients every day about their plans for the future and we’re detecting a huge amount of pent-up demand for trade fairs, industry conferences and face-to-face client meetings. The simple fact is that we humans are sociable. We like contact with others. We like laughs, gossip, hotel mini-bars, dinners on a company expense account and ooops, of course, the business relationships. One year (or even two) of a pandemic is not going to change those thousands of years of human evolution.
So whatever you do, don’t lose sight of how things may look a year or two, or even three from now. Don’t forget how to do business face-to-face and don’t imagine that all of your customers are going to be behaving as they are now. They won’t be.
It’s actually the fun part of marcomms; tapping into what we know of human psychology and working out how to ‘reach’ people, whatever the circumstances, wherever they are.
It’s just beginning to get interesting!