There is no denying that recent events have changed the way people do business around the world. The pandemic forced most businesses to heavily shift towards online sales and services to contribute to the global efforts against the virus while also keeping the wheels turning.
A whopping 79% of businesses made changes to adapt to the new reality, while 33% implemented work-from-home policies of some sort. However, numbers show that more than 25.000 companies might have had to close during 2020, and the jury is still out in regards to 21. This means that there are still many hurdles to overcome if we want to become a fully-fledged digital economy.
Many specialists tried to warn against the use of the internet and even declared it wouldn’t have any effect on the economy. Nonetheless, online business transactions have become the new normal for most of us, and e-commerce is now a multi-billion worldwide phenomenon.
It has been said that, due to the pandemic, the digital landscape leaped 6 years into the future. In other words, it was going to take online marketing technology adoption at least six years to be where it stands right now. Yet, here we are.
The only problem is that people now expect the same level of attention they are used to experiencing in real life. That closeness and intimacy some retail stores were famous for are no longer an indicator of good business. Now, all it matters is efficiency and customization.
In terms of efficiency, established brands such as Amazon and Uber have set a seemingly insurmountable standard. They have become a universal reference in terms of stability, ease of use, and management.
However, old problems take on new forms. Big stores that up to just recently focused on in-person customer attention, are now struggling to translate those efforts onto the online world. That takes us to the customization side of the problem.
The MarTech industry, the one specialized to help businesses take the digital plunge, didn’t seem to be prepared for the sudden shift. Most decent digital automation companies are great for offering automating customer sales and service interactions. However, the sudden surge of businesses trying to stay afloat by going online has put incredible pressure on the MarTech landscape.
For example, digital marketing saw a 52% rise in demand. However, senior positions and digital agencies experienced a steep decline. This shift can be explained by the rise in the number of digital marketers that list themselves as freelancers. Now, surprisingly, SEO and marketing firms no longer hold the digital marketing crown.
Nonetheless, marketing automation seems to be the clear winner here, as most businesses are looking to reach their customers flooding every possible channel the internet has to offer. Companies such as Hubspot and Pardot now dominate the race. They strive to make it super easy for businesses to launch simultaneous campaigns through multiple channels by automating repetitive tasks. But their true value is helping to seamlessly integrate sales and service departments within an organization.
Other options such as MailChimp and Zoho have also seen a drastic increase in demand for their services. While their suites were aimed at small to medium businesses, they have been constantly adding features that might put them right on top of the automated marketing firms list.
The pressure has reached even smaller bootstrapped companies such as Maropost. They were known for offering omnichannel automated solutions but strived for personalized services and customer attention. However, they must have seen the tide rising and went on to acquire Neto, giving their clients a lot more reach and flexibility.
The race is tight, and companies are no longer settling for targeted campaigns and SEO as they used to. Now they want smarter tools, efficient omnichannel campaigns, and automated client management. The nature of the MarTech race was radically changed. Only those companies who can wisely absorb the businesses that are falling through the economic cracks during these trying times will emerge triumphant in 2022.
Author: Marcel Casella
Content creator and strategist. I started a career as a freelancer and academic writer, but found my passion in the marketing world. I have worked for a multinational SEO agency for 5 years now developing content strategies for companies from around the world, functioning as head of the content department… View full profile ›