Three signals pointing towards changes in consumer behavioral, and what brands must do next.

Signal 1: Consumers are looking for community post COVID lockdown

Source: Forrester Research

The COVID veil has lifted for many Americans. The latest data from Forrester shows that overall consumer energy has rebounded by 11 points from 43 in December 2020 to 54 as of June 2021. It’s not just the rebound, but where it’s occurring that is important. This change is heavily driven by consumers’ intensifying sense of community.

*Forrester defines “consumer energy” as how the emotional toll of the COVID-19 pandemic is influencing consumer appetite for commercial…

As we put 2020 behind us, it is time to pause and take a look at the big elements affecting marketing in the new year. Here are six major themes you should begin planning for in 2021.

The Conscious Consumer

Pre-pandemic, the world was in the middle of a shift from conspicuous consumption to conscious consumption. The pandemic only accelerated this arc. Here’s a case in point: the organic food market has grown 18X in a 12 year period. This has already had a major effect on more traditional brands like Kraft Heinz which had to write down $15 billion…

Originally Published In Forbes, By Mathew Sweezey

The only thing the pandemic changed is everything. In both the business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) sectors, the landscape has been upended, and new growth strategies have emerged. Based on what I’ve been seeing, here are three strategies companies are adopting, enabling them to continue to grow amid the new climate.

From A Broad Reach To Narrow And Deep

While the crisis is affecting everyone, not everyone is equally affected. Some industries have seen record profits, while others pray for a return to normal in the coming years. …

The new normal for events is digital. For companies that were already well down the path of their digital transformation, adapting quickly was within reach. For others, such as O’Reilly Media, it was time to get out of events and cut losses. Those events that were able to pivot showed remarkable agility, and in just one month, they’ve shown us a path forward.

Four shifts in their planning and execution made the difference:

1. They repackaged content to meet their viewers’ new perspective.

Imagine sitting in your home office watching an hour-long panel — not fun. In just 10 days…

Originally published in Forbes —

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

Marketing automation has become a cornerstone of successful small businesses. According to a report published by Pardot (a Salesforce-owned company), in 2015, businesses that used marketing automation increased their revenue by an average of 34%. However, there is a very big difference between buying a marketing automation tool and knowing how to use it correctly.

Here are the five best automation tips for small businesses:

Expand your idea of content.

Content creation is one of the most important factors for small businesses and modern marketing — and it’s time to reframe how we think…

Podcasts have become the new email newsletter. In the beginning, both formats were novel, but quickly the supply far exceeded the demand. Branded podcasts tend to follow a pretty basic mold and operate as a local news channel; light on real insights, heavy on opinion, low production quality, and anchored by talking heads.

I didn’t like those, so I decided to do something different.

It started as a passion project, then quickly turned into an award-winning (2 Platinum Hermes awards, 2 Platinum dotCOMM awards, 1 SAC silver for Programing/Branded Content) podcast. …

Sure you can hustle, but for how long? Remember the childhood story of the tortoise and the hare. There is a reason we all were taught the fable, it’s true. Yet our culture of success has overrun our lives as we work longer hours, take on more stress than we can handle, and neglect the actual parts of our lives we believe we are working for. Carlos Hidalgo tackles this issue head-on in his upcoming book, The UnAmerican Dream. In the powerful book, he shares his own story of how we changed course. …

A startling research study may forever change the way we think about age and technology.

State of Chatbots 2018, a joint research project between MyClever, Drift, Salesforce, and SurveyMonkey Audience, found that Baby Boomers are 24% more likely than Millennials to predict that they’d see greater benefit from chatbots in five of the ten uses cases studied.

These findings alter the notion that modern technology is only affecting younger generations.

Baby Boomers see big benefit of chatbots via better service

61% of Baby Boomers see one of the primary benefits of chatbots is their ability to provide instant responses to…

What was once a top 100 website in the world has been left behind — and is in serious risk of complete failure. Can LinkedIn save Slideshare?

I fell in love with Slideshare a few years ago and have found it to be one of my most successful social channels, but it’s been losing favor quickly. Over the past year, I’ve noticed Slideshare has been abandoned, dismantled, and now it has reached a point where I feel that if I don’t say something, I may lose my favorite channel.

Here are the three major issues facing Slideshare and what LinkedIn…

Social networks have moved to the forefront of marketing, and their impact will only grow in the future. But what role will they play?

Not long ago, the standard social strategy was to amass followers, and great brands were judged by how many followers they had. Today there are better ways to use social networks. The cost of gaining a follower is ____, yet the cost to buy an engagement is a fraction of the cost. It is now more economical to simply buy audiences than to build them, so the question remains: What value does a social follower hold?

Mathew Sweezey

Director of Market Strategy @Salesforce, Author of The Context Marketing Revolution (HBR 20), and contributor to Forbes, AdAge. Covering the Future of Marketing

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