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What We Learned in 2020

… and some marketing tips for the new year

Ask almost anyone how their 2020 was and they’ll answer with some form of misery or despair – “The year that sucked”, “The end of the world” ,“Violence, sickness, political turmoil…need I say more”. Despite all of the negative covfefe that 2020 will be remembered for, we certainly learned some important and invaluable lessons.

In life we will go on to appreciate our time together more. Celebrating those small moments, those goodbye hugs, the “I love you” that we may never hear again. Not taking things for granted will be on our minds for some time to come. Enjoying the security in the things we do have like our jobs, our homes, our cars, and especially our toilet paper!

When it comes to business and marketing, it's all about getting the right products to the right customers. The days have passed in which ad men produce a giant campaign hoping that it sticks. We are in a world surrounded by data, often being overwhelmed and beaten to death by data. But now with the state of our society in this new landscape, quickly accelerating the progression to digital selling, companies have to pivot. Now this data swirling around us is more important than ever. Businesses are having to learn how to sell and market online without spending an arm and a leg, while handling the slow traffic that COVID-19 has caused.

It's about the journey not the destination

The first thing any company should do when evaluating a new marketing approach is to take a look at where their customers are coming from. How do they find you? Is it from social media? Perhaps a Google search and your website? Once you identify those places, then you know where you should focus your marketing energy.

For many, their website is their primary source for information about their business and even where they may make their sales. Evaluating your website can seem like a daunting task with the many landing pages, blog pages, inventory pages, and more. When you step back though you can see that you probably have all the pieces to the puzzle already, you just need to rearrange them.


The most recent and effective strategy with websites is what some call the pillar and cluster method. First you identify what are the main problems that you are solving with your products. Not only will this help structure your content, but it will also help you to tell the story of your products and not just explain them. These main problem/solutions are going to be your pillar pages. This is what holds up your business! Then comes the cluster pages. These pages will support your pillars, such as detailing out all the additional aspects about your solutions to your customers’ problems. Now you may be asking why do I need to do this? There are several reasons, but the main reason is for better SEO/Google results.

Think small to win BIG

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Social media platforms have held their own in the news this year with privacy concerns and political scrutiny. Besides this, one thing to take away is the change in user behavior. With many working from home and/or quarantining, being able to connect with others has become difficult and has even made its mark in an increase of mental health concerns. Because of this, social media has played a vital role in how we stay in touch with one another. Getting away from the mass messaging is crucial for any business wishing to keep their social game on par as these platforms are a place to connect one-on-one or with small groups of friends and family. To penetrate those small groups, companies will need to think small – as in very targeted ads. Consider segmenting your ad creative to directly speak to the groups you are trying to reach. And again, share what problems you will solve for them.

Being loud may get attention but authenticity is remembered

When it comes to email marketing, less is more. Just take any big holiday for example, check your phone and you will be inundated with “Happy Holidays”. We all know that these companies are just looking to remind you that they exist, and that you are uninterested in some generic email as you just want to spend that precious time zooming with your loved ones. As a business you have to take this into account. Stay out of the noise and make your emails count. Give your audience something that they would find educational, interesting, or simply life their spirits with something funny. These types of emails will be much more memorable and will help build your brand loyalty.

So whether you learned that the mask goes over your nose, that washing your hands should take at least 40 seconds, or that your time is something that you will never get back and that you should spend it wisely, we will all take lessons away from 2020. It’s all a matter of our perspective and persistence to make 2021 even better.