9 Ways The Pandemic Has Changed Marketing And Marketers

To better understand how the pandemic has changed marketing and marketers, I sought insight from 9 C-level executives.

Mollie Spilman, CRO, Oracle Advertising & Marketing

“The huge social changes over the past few years have really focused executive teams, and in particular Chief Marketing Officers, on how to put in place the technology, people and needed to better understand consumer processes and provide more authentic and relevant customer experiences. To enable them to make every prospect and customer interaction matter, we actually reorganized our business, bringing together Oracle’s Advertising and Customer Experience organizations so that we can better anticipate and serve the needs of the market, and deliver even more holistic and integrated solutions.”

Josh Cole, Chief Marketing and Digital Officer, TITLE Boxing Club (former CMO, Sky Zone)

“Change is always afoot, but the pandemic has caused incredibly rapid change across many consumer habits and expectations. It’s imperative for business leaders to understand which of the new needs and expectations held by their customers will diminish and which will persist well into the post-pandemic world, because we must meet customers where they are heading, not where we want them to be. For my company, we came to understand that most people who engage in fitness training no longer favor working out in a physical club as they did pre-Covid nor do they favor working out at home as they did in 2020; now they favor both…it just depends on the day. We are modifying our product and membership offerings to better reflect our customers’ hybrid-fitness mindset.”

Lou Paskalis, President and Chief Operating Officer of MMA Global

“Without a doubt, the value of agility, whether it’s creative problem solving, adaptive thinking, platform reinvention or greater reliance on real time customer insights, has risen to the top of skills that marketers are looking to cultivate or hire. Gone are the days of assembly line marketing that cranks out so many campaigns in a given year. We took a massive leap forward in real-time solutioning through the adoption of agile marketing solutions and these tore down traditional silos, forced collaboration and allowed many marketers to not only stay on the mechanical bull of the mechanical bull, but thrive while doing so.”

Marina MacDonald, CMO, Red Roof Inn

“They’re both a bit overused, but I have been inspired by the adaptability and resilience I have seen in both our team, and across the spectrum. I’ve seen leaders accomplish things they had not imagined in the face of challenges we’d never expected. I’m proud of the way our Red Roof team has strengthened itself to a capacity we didn’t know we had. There is no doubt that the last two years have fundamentally changed the way we think about our work. Communication has been at the center of the entire experience of this pandemic and we’ve had to pivot and react – very quickly at times – to make sure we’re communicating effectively in evolving circumstances. The last two years have shown us what good, effective communication can do; and we have seen the consequences of poor communication – on trust, credibility and our ability to endure. So, I don’t think anyone will or should ever, see communication the same way again. I certainly will not.”

Zeynep Inanoglu OzdemirCMO, Palo Alto Networks

“As marketers, we obviously had to pivot our event strategy fairly with the pandemic. In an industry where everyone is very acccustomed to connecting, learning and doing business at in-person events of varying sizes from hundreds to tens of thousands of people, this was a big shift overnight. However, we quickly realized that it actually was a huge opportunity to connect with more people than ever! Palo Alto Networks’ annual Ignite conference would normally be capped at 5000-6000 people in a physical event. This year, we were able to attract 27,000 registrations. But we had to work much harder to keep them engaged in a virtual format! I think this is true for marketers, in general. We have all had to step-up creativity in engaging audiences in virtual interactions in a period when everyone is inundated and overwhelmed by digital content, virtual events and programmes.

Specific to cybersecurity, the pandemic was an inflection point. It has introduced trends like hybrid work that required new cybersecurity approaches for a lot of organizations. On top of that, the evolving attack landscape has really turned us into a wartime partner for our customers. That meant we had to show up with clear, thoughtful and on-point engagements when our customers really needed us. This sometimes took the form of rapid response capabilities with the outbreak of major cyber incidents or critical thought leadership tracks where we could facilitate and guide discussions on key cybersecurity trends.”

Christine Purcell, Chief Marketing Officer, Twin Health

“The marketing industry shined over the past two years. When COVID hit, brands quickly pivoted to be highly relevant in an unusual time. Messaging shifted, growth plans adjusted ways, creative production instantly adapted, brands looked at holistic opportunities to show value in new new. Successful brands were agile, meeting audiences at the moment. I was proud to be a part of this, and we again demonstrated how our industry can lead strategically. In addition, the healthcare industry has shifted over this period – we now have solutions such as Twin that deliver truly personalized, whole person care and the entire industry is demanding this loudly. Combined, the time is ripe to be a leader in marketing in this innovative space.”

Bruce Hershey, CMO Piper’s Scratch Pizza Shop (former CMO, Tailored Brands)

“Be more resilient than ever. Roll up your selves and provide more value than ever before and provide more thanks and high fives to the team that is supporting and surrounding you.”

Gretchen Garriguesheld Global CMO roles at Manulife, First Data (Fiserv), and GE Capital

“One major impact is the heightened importance of DEI across the US For marketing, it’s not enough to just “market” inclusiveness or diversity, customers now expect real, measurable outcomes and for brands to commit to addressing social inequalities. Ultimately, no amount of messaging can help a brand overcome the hurdle of being labeled disingenuous. The best CMOs help their organizations not only hone their messaging but also support the company’s transformation to a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive organization, thereby underpinning their brand messaging with authenticity, while simultaneously generating business growth and delighting customers.”

Doug Zarkin, CMO, Pearle Vision

“Grounding ourselves in the core belief that consumers make emotional decisions before making rationale choices. Appreciating the power of small things to earn trust and showcasing our commitment to caring about the people behind the eyes.”

Join the Discussion: @KimWhitler

.

Leave a Comment