Following a tumultuous 2020, marketeers need to reset themselves. We need a new agile way of working that suits the new environment we find ourselves in. Here are some of my thoughts on approaches I think might bode well for us:

  1. Pragmatism      

Initiatives no longer need to be 100% perfect. What’s more important is the timing and the intent of any given communication. People remember those companies that instigated that first ad/campaign/product launch.

  1. Accountability  

In the last few months, we’ve all heard the broad discussion in the marketing press about the influence of ’Big Data’ on decision making, to the detriment of creativity and originality. For marketers, Big Data on its own isn’t enough to achieve our aims, as incorrect decisions can still be made.

  1. Adaptability     

We’ve quickly learned that business and marketing planning should be built to be flexible so that a company can adapt to the environment as required. The days of the 12-month hard-baked marketing plan are no more. It’s better to set long-term objectives, but only plan the tactics for one to two quarters.

  1. Empathy

This should be hard-wired into all that you do, not something that’s deployed as a fad or fashion in order to achieve business benefit. This requires a supportive company culture and helps to ensure that companies are considered as trusted partners for their customers. 

  1. Diversity

The more diverse your teams the better your joint output. It’s no longer acceptable to recruit for ’yes people’. We need those people who’ll question the status quo and ask the ’what if’ questions Only by having tougher conversations among teams in a company can you deliver the best results for your audiences.

  1. Flexibility

Companies need to accept that their employees have a life outside work. They may need to balance work with children, extended family or pets. Trust between parties and clear deliverables are fundamental to flexible ways of working.  The better the culture to support this, the better the engagement of the workforce.  Moving forwards this will determine new ways of working, with office environments needing to support and encourage employees to collaborate and engage with each other in new more organic ways.

  1. Leadership

The old ways of ’master and servant‘ are no more. New leaders of today must work with their teams to optimize output to help teams reach their combined goals. The old adage of ’Actions speaking louder than words’ is never truer, with the best leading by example.

  1. Learning

As the speed of change turns even faster, employees should be encouraged to seek out new learning opportunities to keep their skills relevant and improve their resiliency.

  1. Collaboration   

Whether we’re talking about teamwork across a company (unifying teams that were previously separate), or companies working together for a joint aim, collaboration for any marketeer must remain top-of-mind.

  1. Turning adversity into opportunity

We’ve seen many over the years of companies finding themselves in a seemingly tight spot only to reinvent themselves and rise up again, transforming adversity into a market-leading story. Most recently some have adapted and pivoted both to help the current pandemic – but also to survive. Companies such as Dyson and McLaren, Rolls Royce and Ford switched production to produce ventilators in the space of just a few weeks. They spotted an opportunity and had available capacity.

So there you have it. These are my top 10 new truths for marketeers as we enter a new environment in a new year. Good luck.

David holds a degree in Business Studies as well as a Marketing Diploma from Nottingham Trent University. His business experience has been routed in various marketing roles in the travel industry for over twenty-five years, starting with an internship in sales.

Over the years, he has worked in many different aspects of marketing with every variant within travel, from cruise to multi-national corporate travel agencies, and Global Distribution Systems and IT Travel providers. He now works at SITA, which is an international information technology company that provides IT and telecommunication services to airports, airlines, and governments alike. His role is as a Business Partner for Airports, responsible for supporting the company objectives for the strategy and planning across all the domains of Passenger Processing, Baggage Management, Operations at Airports, and Communications and Data Exchange.