Two men discussing how the coronavirus will change marketing forever

Webinar Recap — The Acceleration of Analog to Digital: How the Coronavirus Will Change Marketing Forever

“The coronavirus will change marketing forever.”

Those are bold words, but they come from a pair of bold men who know a thing or two about marketing: Zeta co-founders David Steinberg and John Sculley.

(Yes, the same John Sculley that served as CEO of Apple from 1983 to 1993 and CEO PepsiCo from 1977 to 1983.)

These two executives have seen a lot of economic downturns over their respective careers…

  • 1973 — OPEC Oil Crisis and stock market crash

  • 1979 to 1982 — The Iranian Revolution and soaring interest rates

  • 1990 — Oil price shock and debt accumulation

  • 2000 to 2001 — The dot-com bubble and September 11th

  • 2007 to 2009 — The subprime mortgage crisis and the US housing bubble


However, none of the aforementioned financial crises are quite like the one being caused by coronavirus.

Among other things covered in the webinar, John and David discuss how this crisis will accelerate the transition from analog to digital, how the coronavirus will change marketing forever, and how that acceleration will force marketers to…

#1 – Target more high-value, lifetime customers who will yield a higher return on investment.

When the economy is roaring, marketers can get away with running “boil-the-ocean” campaigns with no nuance in targeting or messaging. Yet, when the economy struggles, boil-the-ocean marketing is a big no-no—decreasing consumer activity puts pressure on marketers to produce results that maximize ROI

The uniqueness of the “coronavirus economy” will have lasting effects on consumer behavior. In this environment, marketers can’t be trawlers; they can’t fish for ROI in large, ambiguous oceans. In other words, marketers need to cast specialized campaigns that target specific, high-value customers. The kind of customers who’ll yield better ROI today, tomorrow, and ten years from now. 

To get these customers, marketers and brands must invest in data and AI. Data and AI are the best way to unlock consumer intent, personalize the consumer experience, and drive growth.

Trends uncovered for March 2020 thanks to Zeta’s Data Cloud and Deterministic Attribution   

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#2 – Deploy empathetic, human messaging. 

When crisis strikes, consumers get scared.

When consumers get scared they look to the brands they know for comfort.

Therefore, marketers need to focus on human messaging that cultivates trust. 

Long-term, the marketers who express empathy at the right moment will be the marketers who win. This will be especially true as consumer interest in researching products and services prior to purchase becomes more common. 

Watch the Full Webinar

#3 – Future-proof strategies for a digital-first world. 

Social distancing won’t end when the government says “the coronavirus is under control.” The impact on consumer behavior will last for years and years, with sectors like retail and hospitality hurting the most.

As people spend more time at home, they’ll get more comfortable with life on the inside. They will replacing many former out-of-home habits (e.g. going to the movies) with new, in-home habits (e.g. buying movies on iTunes).

(Remember, it only takes three to six weeks to form a new, permanent habit). 

The Future- When Everyone is Digitally Connected

As such, marketers can no longer rely on out-of-home and event-based marketing channels.

To drive results for their respective brands, marketers must adapt to meet the expectations of a new consumer audience.

(In other words, a consumer audience that is more comfortable than ever living life at home in front of a screen.)

Therefore, marketers must invest in channels that capitalize on things like:

  • The higher-volume of streaming consumers

  • Increased usage of ConnectedTV

  • Growing use of mobile apps

  • Digital purchasing solutions

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#4 – Maximize campaign ROI through the addressability and measurement of digital.

How, when, and where consumers decide to spend their money has changed. With that change, marketers find themselves under immense pressure to prove the fruit of their labor. 

Of course, the only way to know how campaigns are performing (i.e. creating ROI) is through addressability and measurement.

And when it comes to addressability and measurement, nothing beats digital. This reality will force marketers to mitigate the use of analog channels in future.

So, what’s the bottom line?

 The future of marketing is going to be defined by robust data coupled with powerful AI, used to identify intent and develop 1:1 messaging that moves consumers along the buyer’s journey. 

Again, these are only a few of the ideas shared by David and John.

To get all their insights and hear everything they have to say about how the coronavirus will change marketing forever, watch the full webinar. 


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