2020 was a year like no other. Pandemics that disrupted daily routines and life. Global economic disruption. Uncertainty about what the future holds. We are all on a journey that is truly unknown.
It’s not that marketing and business have changed. The core challenge is the same: Choosing the right investments and steps to make your business ready for action on your product or channel is crucial. It’s not the old idea of what it takes to be prepared for the next — which includes the tried and true strategies that many businesses have relied upon in the past — but it has become obsolete in a matter of months.
We’ve likely seen 10 years worth of change in the past six months.
Businesses have the opportunity to rethink their readiness, thanks to the twin challenges of uncertainty and profound disruption. To think about how to meet consumer demand even when it fluctuates and even if it is volatile. Businesses have greater access to data and consumer signals today, can better respond to them and are able meet a higher standard of responsibility.
Google’s partnership with Deloitte revealed that Fortune 1000 board members believe that marketing can drive business growth if it is led by 21st-century CMOs who take on value-creating roles such as Innovation Catalyst or Capability Builder.
These advantages can help you more than just meet the current demands. You can use it to gain a business advantage and equip your company with the resilience and agility you need to face whatever the future brings.
How can we be sure? Many of the most disruptive trends that businesses face today, such as maintaining a steady supply of goods and services; keeping up with consumer demand changes; making quick business decisions to stay ahead of competition; and creating and maintaining reliable supply chains and delivery channels are not new.
These and other prevailing trends have accelerated so fast in 2020 that we have probably seen 10 years of change in just six months.
We’ve seen digital transformation in action and businesses thrive within that short time span. What does digital transformation mean? Digital transformation is not about creating a better website. It’s all about using technology and data to enhance your product and channel capabilities.
These are just a few examples of digital transformation that can be used to support it.
1. Use data to inform your new product strategy
Airlines were forced to reduce their losses and seek new growth models after learning that almost every domestic and international flight would be grounded for several months. A team from a major U.S. airline used aggregate Google flight data to find routes with high clickshare and high demand. These information cues were combined with first-party data to help prioritize the reopening or closing of certain routes. This airline now has a new product strategy.
Traditional distribution strategies were no longer applicable when the pandemic decimated the entertainment industry. The studios had to make a decision. Are they releasing new films to streaming services directly? In theaters that have a high demand? Or both. One major film studio used Google to analyze zip-code search interest in a film to determine if there was demand for theatrical release. Similar approaches can be used to optimize QSR and retail distribution as well as marketing strategies.
3. Meet dynamic consumer demand
CPG brands were faced with a pressing need to increase their digital and retail partnerships in order to build a strong online presence. Google piloted a program in Italy that used signals and data to assist brand advertisers to drive and measure lower-funnel performance and shift some budgets from offline trade activities to digital.
Respond to customer needs by taking meaningful actions at scale
These examples demonstrate that today’s technologies and tools are best suited for helping businesses prepare for the future. Because it is possible to do much more than meet the needs of the consumer journey. You can now meet consumer demand instantly, at scale, in meaningful ways. This is a great way to grow your company.
This was tested in a new research project, Rethinking Readiness. We created ads that addressed real human needs, such as “inspire me” and “make me feel cared for.”
To deliver the ads to study participants, we imitated Google’s automation tools as well as information cues. These ads were more effective than ads with basic personalization in driving click-throughs up to 30% and higher than the purchase intent of 15%.
These ads were not personalized because they worked, but because they had meaning.
People responded more to ads with deeper meanings than ads that focused on the things they consider most important in their purchasing decisions, such as product quality or value for money.
These ads were not personalized because they worked, but because they had meaning. They sparked more excitement than 31% and over 50% of pleasant surprises, while decreasing indifference by 68%.
Our research revealed that even moderate Google signals use can result in more relevant ads that drive big results. This includes double-digit jumps of purchase intent, click through, brand love, trust, and other metrics that are important to marketers.
What is the lasting lesson? Marketers have unique tools and insights that enable them to drive business growth and resilience. Google is committed to helping you prepare for the future in these constantly changing times.
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