Significant Emerging Trends in Digital Marketing — A Boon for the Covid-19 Pandemic

Neeraj Kataria
10 min readMay 28, 2021

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Re-think your digital marketing strategy in the ‘new normal’

(Source: MarketingProfs)

Are you afraid that your business is at risk due to pandemic? Are you facing financial and COVID-related challenges in your business? Are your traditional marketing channels in lockdown and you are not getting enough leads? Do you want to take your business online with emerging digital marketing strategies?

Digital Marketing Trends

If you have answered “yes” to any of the questions above, then this article will change your marketing perspective. In this article, we will go into deep dives on each of these topics:-

  1. Fundamentals of Marketing
  2. Traditional vs Digital Marketing
  3. The Growing Role of Digital Marketing during Pandemic
  4. CATTR Marketing Funnel
  5. Integrated Digital Marketing
  6. Personal Branding.

This article will be helpful for all business owners, professionals, freelancers, startups, and entrepreneurs.

Let me go ahead and shed some light on Fundamentals of Marketing.

At a fundamental level, marketing is the process of understanding your customers, and building and maintaining relationships with them.

Marketing starts even before you create a product as you need to understand your customer requirements so well. It is like a conversation that starts between two people who don’t know each other well. Great conversation leads to understanding needs. Great insights like this lead to amazing products that you don’t need marketing to sell, it will sell on its own and that is why it is said Marketing is based on Science, not on Creativity.

Marketing has a marketing problem. Ask most people what marketing is and they think of some form of either selling or advertising. They think it is all about promotion and selling till you make a transaction. No, marketing is a process that starts before selling and remains active even after selling. Marketing is just a game of developing trust with a lot of people at the same time so that they become lifetime customers.

Marketing is a game of perceptions, it not just helps people discover the product, but also has a good perception about the product. Never let marketing become more important than the product. A great product sells itself.

Now as you have a basic understanding, let’s deep dive into Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing.

The landscape for marketing has changed drastically and the market has drifted to digital marketing from traditional marketing. It is important to understand that choosing a promising market is not the only step for a successful business, one must know how to convert this promising market/opportunity/consumer into successful business leads or promising customers.

The main difference between traditional and digital marketing is the medium through which an audience encounters a marketing activity. While traditional marketing uses traditional media like magazines and newspapers, digital marketing uses digital media, such as social media or websites.

Traditional Marketing: Traditional marketing is an old way of Marketing. It refers to a kind of promotion, an advertisement that includes flyers, billboards, TV ads, radio ads, print advertisements, newspaper ads, etc. which companies used in the early period to market their product.
The four phases of Traditional Marketing are Interest, Awareness, Desire, and Decision.

Digital Marketing: Digital Marketing is modern way of Marketing in which we are promoting, selling products and services by online marketing. It also refers to the Marketing of any kind of business through digital media and devices.
The four phases of Digital Marketing are Planning, Conversation, Content, and Sequels.

Traditional marketing techniques that have been in practice for several decades have their own share of benefits. However, Digital marketing has revolutionized the concept of marketing in recent years and has several added benefits compared to conventional marketing methods.

(Source: Technooyster)

Which One is Better?

So, which strategy wins when comparing traditional marketing vs. digital marketing?

The short answer: It depends.

When considering which marketing strategy is best for your business, consider your audience, where they get their information from, and use that to make your decision. When deciding between traditional marketing vs. digital marketing, it’s not necessarily true that one is simply better than the other as they serve different purposes. The bottom line is that you need to fully understand your business and your audience to pick the strategy that’s better for you.

Digital marketing is probably the best option for most. If you want to reach a particular group of people, wherever they may be, while keeping costs low, go with digital marketing. Doing so will also allow you to collect valuable information on your audience immediately so that you can create even more effective marketing campaigns.

However, there is still a place for traditional marketing. If you want to reach an older audience or a local audience, traditional marketing methods may be more productive and stand out better than digital marketing methods. Though these methods may seem “old,” the reality is that they’ve stuck around for a reason. They work!

Now Let’s have a look at why Covid-19 Pandemic has made Digital Marketing More Important Than Ever.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020–21 has created a landscape that no one could have predicted. Businesses of all kinds have had to adopt new practices and change their techniques to retain customers and continue to thrive through one of the most difficult experiences we will have in our collective lifetime.

In a recent article about the power of digital marketing amidst COVID-19, Forbes makes the heavy-handed claim that a company's digital marketing strategies “will be the deciding factor in whether they make it through the tough times ahead.

The first thing to fall off the map during a pandemic like COVID 19 is traditional print media because if the average citizen is “forced” to self-quarantine at home, their ears and eyes are also quarantined — and unfortunately, your ad spend only goes as far as their eyeballs.

COVID-19 crisis has made it abundantly clear that companies and businesses will most definitely need a digital marketer in their lifeboats in order to survive, below mentioned are the four ways:-

  1. When All Eyes Are On Digital, You Need an Expert in Your Corner
  2. When Social Distancing Prevails, Companies Can No Longer Depend on Traditional Events
  3. When Crisis Strikes, Digital Marketers Can React Swiftly & Tactfully
  4. When Brick & Mortar Clings On For Dear Life, You Need Digital On Your Side

Digital Marketing during and after Covid-19 is not just a safety net, it is the way of the future.

If you have spent any time learning about marketing analytics, you’ve probably come across the term “funnel” also known as marketing funnel.

What is Marketing Funnel?

A marketing funnel is a way of breaking down the customer journey all the way from the “awareness” stage (when they first learn about your business) to the “purchase” stage (when they are ready to buy your product or service).

Why is it called a funnel?

Because when you think about the size of your audience at each stage, it kind of looks like one.

There are various marketing funnels and we will understand CATTR Marketing Funnel in this article.

Let’s have a look at the CATTR funnel:-

CATTR funnel

Wealth = n ^ CATTR

Where ^ denotes power and your niche (n) will be successful and powerful with the CATT that you will apply

[n] Niche: A niche is a specialism that caters to a certain market or group of people.

“A specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service.”

Your success and wealth depend on the niche you choose. You choose the niche with a hungry market that intends to solve the problem with your product or service that you offer.

The intersection of Talent, Market and your Passion is your Niche.

Having a niche is important because if you try to cater to everyone your overall marketing and message won’t speak to anyone. Your niche can also be linked to who your ideal client is. So, it’s important you have a targeted niche market and speak to a customer or client in a certain way that they can really relate to.

Once you have found your niche, the next step that you are going to do is to create valuable content as per your niche.

[C] Content: Content is King. Create useful content, that attracts people to your blog posts, videos, podcasts, live webinars, and lead magnets to generate leads to your tribe.

Content is the atomic particle of all digital marketing.

Once you have content start sharing it with people in your niche and start driving attention towards your content. Have good content which makes people read it till the end. Good content catches attention and makes people curious to get more content from you.

[A] Attention: You need to drive attention or traffic to your content using SEO, Social media, Paid Ads, and referrals. As attention is more important to attract your targeted audience. Remember, getting attention is the first step toward building trust.

[T] Trust: Once you have the attention of your audience, then you need to build trust with your audience with tripwires, marketing automation, and retargeting. Without building trust with your audience you cannot go ahead in marketing. One of the methods used to build trust is deep marketing. In this method, you communicate to your audience by personalizing communication according to their needs so that they feel connected.

A brand without trust is just a product, and advertising without trust is just noise.

[T] Transaction: Once you have valuable content and you have built trust with your audience, you cannot stop there. You have to get the transaction done. You have to convert your leads into customers with natural sales methods. Natural sales mean that you are not just getting a bunch of leads and cold calling people and trying to get them. Natural sales mean that you have a target customer, they have selected your niche, you have got their attention as they are interested in your offering, and then they also have trusted you. This creates natural sales.

[R] Reputation: Once the transaction is done and now you have converted your lead into a customer, you have to create your reputation by providing quality, consistency, authenticity, excellent support, customer engagement, improving your content by upgrading it, listening to the audience, and acting accordingly.

It takes twenty years to build a reputation, and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.

So you need to figure out a profitable and unique niche and follow the CATTR funnel as explained above to create and multiply wealth in long run.

The CATTR funnel can be applied to various categories of Digital Marketing like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing, Paid Advertising, Email Marketing, Content Marketing, etc. but almost every individual approaches Digital Marketing in a way that they want results from each of the above category separately and due to this they don’t get desired results. You need to integrate all the above components in such a way that it becomes a Machine which instead of paid advertising tries to sell and convert directly. Paid Advertising is like boosting the entire momentum. The below flowchart demonstrates the Integrated Digital Marketing:-

Integrated Digital Marketing

Now as you pretty much understand about fundamentals and importance of Digital Marketing, you need to go one step ahead and implement it. If you are good at something and people don’t know then nobody is going to approach you. You need to market yourself in order to spread awareness about what you are an expert at. This is the power of Personal Branding.

People want to hear from people not from brands. Personal Branding is very important so that people know who you are and they can remember you based on it.

Personal Branding

Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Neil Patel, Deepak Kanakraju, etc. are few examples of Personal Brand as they have a bigger fan following compared to the companies they represent.

Downside:- A personal brand cannot be invested in and it cannot be sold.

Upside:- A personal brand can give rise to many brands from his/her influence.

Now let’s have a look at how a personal brand can be evolved. The below image shows MassTrust blueprint for the evolution of a personal brand:-

Learn:- Learn a new skill through concepts, facts, and procedures. Understand the concepts, remember the facts and practice the procedures.

Work:- Implement the skills by either doing freelancing or as an employee. Implementing in the real world will give you a better understanding.

Blog:- Use this as a platform to write about what you learned and experienced while working. This will not only help you to understand better but will eventually build your personal brand.

Consult:- Now as you have eventually build your personal brand and acquired the necessary skills, start consulting other businesses instead of working for them. Make your skills work for them.

Mentor:- Start mentoring and sharing knowledge with others who want to become like you. Mentoring will help you scale your understanding to a whole new level.

Startup:- You can now start your own business can be a product or service based on understanding that you have developed about the market, the problem, and your own skills.

I would like to conclude this article with the famous quote:-

Have a great future ahead with Digital Marketing:- A secret world weapon during and after Covid-19 Pandemic.

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