On the first working day of the year, Slack had a global outage. With millions of users, the brief interruption to their workday made national news and flooded my LinkedIn News Feed. A year ago, an outage on the business communication platform would have been a blip on the radar, but with a large portion of people working remotely, it seemed to be breaking news across the internet.
According to the Pew Research Center, 71% of workers who say their job can be done remotely are currently working from home. That’s a large increase from the 20% who reportedly worked from home pre-pandemic. New research suggests this trend is going to extend into 2021 and continue long after the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us. The switch to a remote workforce changes the way many businesses do business. How items are bought and sold, how things get distributed, and where the general public goes to discover new products - these things are all evolving during this fluid situation.
What does this mean in the marketing world? I’m glad you asked. With all those people staying home to work and skipping the commute, those billboards that used to get tens of thousands of weekly impressions dropped to a fraction of that. The radio ads you might be paying high dollar for have likely lost listeners. The flag you have outside your business, promoting a killer sale you have going on - with fewer people on the roads, who is seeing it? With all these changes impacting traditional marketing, one thing we do know is people are still using their cell phones, surfing the web, and checking their social media profiles. Thus, a renewed focus has been put on digital marketing.
We’ve talked about digital marketing on this blog before and we will again. Digital marketing is leveraging digital channels as marketing tools to connect with current and potential customers. Why is this important? In this time of considerable change, one thing people continue to do is to use all different kinds of digital channels. According to a Forbes report published in 2020, the average time a person spent consuming digital content per day was nearly seven hours -- compared to just three hours from previous years. Of that seven hours, close to two and a half of it was spent on social media platforms, so billions of people are using these digital channels every day for longer periods of time. Why not connect with them? Obviously, most businesses are not trying to connect to everyone on the internet, but with digital marketing, you have the opportunity to narrow your target audience by demographics, browsing history, location, etc. This means with a strong and successful digital marketing strategy in place, you have the potential to connect with a vast number of future customers.
Digital marketing hasn’t been completely immune to the changes in consumer behavior over the past ten months and even businesses who had a head start with an online presence, maybe some active social media profiles and well-built websites -- have been revamping their digital footprint. It is not too late to join them on the world wide web and watch your business and audience grow!
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