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Trends not only play a role in fashion, new cars or general questions of style. In marketing, too, attempts are regularly made to identify trends and, to a certain extent, to predict the future. In many cases, however, things turned out differently than planned or anticipated in the past - including 2020. Since the corona pandemic and the associated restrictions this and last year, local marketing in particular has changed significantly and certain trends have emerged. Due to the unpredictable and unforeseen situation, many companies were forced to deal with the situation more reactively than proactively. But which marketing trends have developed from this and which findings can also be taken into the post-pandemic period?
The endeavors to digitize and the switch to digital processes have kept us very busy in recent months. Many employees worked digitally from home, which restructured work processes, friends were met on Zoom instead of in a café, and online shopping was also becoming increasingly important. It is therefore obvious that digitization also played and continues to play a particularly large role in local marketing. A few years ago it was not uncommon for small local shops or branches not to have their own online presence. Marketing was not carried out at all, on site or using local media. But since the stores were closed for a while, it became clear how important the digital sales strategies are. Skillful appearances on company websites and correct entries in online business directories are all the more important. All of this means that the shops and branches are not only known locally, but can also be found using search engines such as Google and Co.
In addition to the general digitalization trend, however, the pandemic also meant that people were increasingly concentrating on their local providers and wanted to support the local businesses. Due to the many shop closings, ways have been found how even smaller shops can keep up with the big online competition and how you can continue to shop locally. With the “Support Your Local” trend, people wanted to support local businesses financially and would rather give their money to the regional economy than to large corporations. In addition to the social aspect, this approach also has the advantages of ecological shopping with shorter delivery routes and of having a contact person on site. This trend of local and regional shopping is no longer limited to fruit and vegetables, but can also be used by all other industries. So you can offer your local customers a locally adapted range and range, rely on the personal relationship to the city or your location and stand out from the impersonal large suppliers.
Another sales opportunity that emerged in the last year is social commerce - shopping on social media. Smaller local providers in particular benefit from promoting their offers, products and services on social media, such as Instagram. A quick and uncomplicated shopping experience can be created through the direct link to online shops and the possibility of directly linking products to photos. In addition to the integrated online shops, social media also offer the opportunity to seek personal contact with customers in live broadcasts or online events and to position yourself authentically and emotionally. Since social media has become part of everyday life for most customers, companies are finding a way to address customers directly and make it easy for them to contact them (e.g. through direct messages (DMs) or WhatsApp messages).
Basically, it is important to keep your eyes open and combine the new digital offers with a local presence and local focus in order to end 2021 with an optimal strategy in local marketing.
Head of Customer Success, Authorized Signatory