COVID-19 screwed up many things.
Digital marketing wasn’t one of them, according to Copious Consulting’s Founder & CEO, Andrea Grant, and Creative Director, James Goudreault.
I recently spoke to these two digital marketing experts to share their views on COVID’s impact on the industry and how businesses can best reach their target customers at this time.
Lauren Sindel: COVID has changed a lot of things. How has it changed digital marketing as a whole?
James Goudreault: I believe that the digital landscape has changed dramatically. Social media, now more than ever before, is now at the forefront of everything we do. And that swing in marketing has created a substantial marketplace for not only social media, but marketing, PR and all things virtual where you don’t have to be sitting in an office anymore. You can now conduct business in the space of your home.
Andrea Grant: When COVID-19 first struck in March of 2020, businesses had to adapt by pivoting their strategy. Many of our clients decided to use the “down time” to catch up on tasks that had long been on their lists to complete, but which they had never had time to finish due to hectic schedules. With live events being cancelled, companies also had to change the way they approached their marketing tactics. They suddenly had to get creative with virtual experiences in order to communicate with their consumers in a different way. Social media became more important than ever as brands realized its far-reaching value on a different level. This effect created an incredible change in the digital marketing landscape. Social media has become the new PR, and it’s wonderful to see that it’s getting the respect it deserves.
LS: Do you think this change is a good or a bad thing?
JG: It’s the best solution mankind could ever ask for. It is a ‘GREEN’ proposition that alleviates pollution from cars going back and forth from offices, to paper waste in offices which is now being supported by virtual docs in the cloud. It is better for the planet in general.
AG: It’s fantastic! Social media is relatively new, and in the past, content creation was often a task delegated to interns and junior staff. Many brands didn’t fully understand its impact before the pandemic. Now, they are re-evaluating their online presence and are eager to strengthen it by delegating it to digital marketing experts. Our business is thriving as a result.
LS: Why do you think social media has become more important to brands since the pandemic?
JG: The pandemic allowed everyone to re-evaluate their lives and take a harder look at not only themselves, but their own businesses and practices. It was a win-win scenario. We have all had to re-evaluate our lives, and usually that is a good thing.
AG: The pandemic has been so isolating, and people are craving virtual connection to compensate for the fact that meeting in-person is not always possible. Social media has always been a way to connect, but its importance is greater now.
LS: Will that be a change that sticks around?
JG: Yes, I believe that going forward and looking towards the future, we are only going to be more sensitive and in tune with life itself, through more constant communication with each other, and that will equate to a much better world.
AG: Definitely. It’s an exciting time. The pandemic had a positive effect in that it forced everyone to communicate in a more transparent way. Brands realized they need to exercise compassion, patience, and authenticity in their social media marketing in order to appeal to societal changes.
LS: In this serious time, how can brands best reach their customers?
JG: ‘Brick and Mortar’ has indeed proven successful, but digital communication and its cost savings has arrived, and it will continue to pave the path forward. Digital communication is the way of now and in the future. Social media has bridged the gap that was so missing for a long time. It’s the way we communicate now. It will never change.
AG: Building a strong social media presence is imperative, but brands also need to realize that “slow and steady wins the race” when it comes to organic marketing. The social media platforms are geared towards encouraging advertising, so if you want faster results, you need to advertise.
LS: Could you predict any more marketing/branding-related changes that may occur in the near future?
JG: I think that marketing and SM will evolve with new digital platforms. As the new SM market continues to grow with new Apps and new ideas and strategies, the sky’s the limit for innovation at the moment. It will evolve at an ever-increasing pace.
AG: I think that it’s important for brands to stick with established platforms and not jump the gun and try to have a presence on whatever new platform is trending. It takes a lot of work to create content, and most companies don’t have the bandwidth to do things such as film daily videos for TikTok, for example. Also, when it comes to new platforms, the desired audience has not been established. It’s a waste of time to post content on platforms that end up being off-brand. It’s better to stick with established platforms that continue to flourish.
LS: How has your life changed, personally, as a result of COVID?
AG: We’re busier than ever, which is wonderful.
LS: What’s a lesson you’ve learned that you’d like to share with your readers?
JG: Always focus on your client, their needs, their vision and most importantly their desire to be heard. We at Copious Consulting always put our clients first and that has translated into greater relationships that actually last. Communication is ‘KING’ in today’s world!
AG: We take care of our clients, and we always deliver. We continue to come up with creative ideas and stay ahead of the curve. That’s our mandate. It’s important to stick to your vision, but also to adapt to the zeitgeist of the moment.
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