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Last year, businesses were forced to close their doors to protect their communities from the spread of coronavirus. When this happened, there was a lack of information and awareness of how long this could last. Amid the uncertainty, there wasn't a rule book or survival guide for business owners and digital marketers to reference. Those in the industry were left to do their best, in real-time, to fight circumstances they didn't have control over.

The team at Code3, alongside our clients, had our own unique experience. When evaluating the impact 2020 had on our business, the numbers are astounding. To put it into perspective, over the last 11 years, our client campaigns collectively drove 496 billion impressions. Then, over the last 11 months alone, client impressions topped 90 billion. In this blog post, we elaborate on what we've learned over the years, specifically in 2020. Continue reading for more on how we're navigating so our clients can succeed.

eCommerce Accelerated at Lightning Speed 

Due to stay-at-home orders, retailers were given no choice but to lean into eCommerce to remain in business. This fast-tracked the industry's growth in the US and online shopping now accounts for 19.2% of US retail spending by 2024

Because of this shift, regardless of whether a brand had an established D2C presence before the pandemic, it's no longer enough to remain competitive. In light of this, many of our clients have diversified their sales channels more than ever. Most of these brands now leverage social shopping and online marketplaces like Amazon in addition to their D2C site.

Media Platforms Became Purchase Platforms 

As alluded to, social shopping has become a lifeline for brands during the pandemic. Most social media platforms have become more than apps where users come to communicate and share photos. They have evolved into channels for brands to reach their customers and influence their purchase decisions. Facebook and Instagram shopping are two prime examples among many others. 

As media platforms have developed their capabilities, they also allow advertisers to get data by the minute and gauge a situation. This was crucial for our clients during the beginning of the pandemic and will continue to be crucial for brands.

Everything Changed for Consumers 

The abovementioned growth and evolution were largely driven by what changed for consumers in a short period of time. Before, convenience and instant gratification were emerging demands for some shoppers. Now, because of the pandemic, going to the store to pick up a few items is not responsible or encouraged. And going to a shopping mall or brick-and-mortar location isn’t a priority given the health risks. As a result, convenient, online, and non-contact options are expected and necessary for brands and retailers to provide.

As the world returns to normal, we don't believe consumer behaviors will revert back to pre-pandemic trends completely, if at all. And it will be up to brands to ensure their products are available on platforms that make shopping simple, quick, and safe. Whether it's via social commerce, online marketplaces, their D2C site, or a strategic mix, Code3 is working with our clients to lean into this shift.

Everything Changed for Digital Marketers 

We've touched on massive change from the perspective of consumers, brands, and retailers. However, digital marketers have also faced pandemic-related challenges for their businesses. Their expertise, agility, and perseverance have made it possible for many businesses to not only survive, but thrive. This especially applies to our teams at Code3. Since March 2020, we've been immersed in conversation about what it takes to meet new needs and expectations. 

When surveying our recent webinar attendees, the most common challenge was finding the right platform and channel mix. This makes sense given how the landscape has changed. Our teams support clients with strategies that create as many occasions as possible for buying and shopping. Many of our clients have even expanded their target audience as they've leveraged new platforms and tactics.

Final Thoughts

Even prior to the pandemic, brands and advertisers were overwhelmed with an influx of options to leverage in their strategies. And, as we've learned repeatedly over the years at Code3, digital marketing isn't a one-size-fits-all concept.

At Code3, we have more than 250 performance-driven experts dedicated to our roster of clients. It's our mission to turn ideas, possibilities, and goals into reality for the brands we work with. Should you have any questions about how Code3 can support your brand with customized strategies, please reach out. And, if you’d like to further explore the work we’ve done recently, check out these resources.

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