As a digital marketing agency, the team at ElementIQ was not immune to the many changes and fluctuations caused by the pandemic. However, if there’s one trait our team members all have in common, it’s a high level of adaptability.
We want to share some of the challenges and changes that appeared in the digital marketing sphere in 2021 and dive into how they affected different marketing channels. Let’s explore how our team harnessed change and used it to propel ourselves and our clients forward in 2022.
The COVID Pandemic
There’s no doubt that the pandemic affected all facets of life in 2021, and that included marketing. As an agency, we helped many of our clients maintain a steady stream of incoming clients, while rapidly adapting to a constantly changing digital environment.
We saw the rise of e-commerce and helped build out new websites and even Shopify stores for our clients. This allowed them to maintain profit, despite closures of physical store locations.
The pandemic greatly changed the way many businesses viewed digital marketing, as it brought digital channels to the forefront of the marketing sphere. It certainly accelerated adoption of digital sales and e-commerce.
Despite the difficulties brought on by COVID, the government grants prompted small to medium sized businesses to upgrade and strengthen their online presence. This introduced many to the world of digital marketing for the first time.
Maintaining Team Culture Remotely
One of the biggest challenges many different sectors faced was remote work. The shift to fully remote work can seem quite shocking when you are used to commuting to an office every day. Fortunately, the team at ElementIQ was already used to working partly remote, so the transition to fully remote work was quite easy.
Although our marketing agency is based in Coquitlam, BC, we have team members who work from different locations all over the world. As long as there’s wifi, there’s a way to get work done!
One of the ways we were able to function in a cohesive, streamlined manner while fully remote was the fact that we have a strong team culture. We utilized daily structured meetings, bi-weekly 1:1 sessions and team events and meetings to infuse a sense of closeness, collaboration and teamwork, even when fully remote.
Our team actually grew substantially during the pandemic due to our high level of organization and excellent communication skills, we welcomed and fully trained several new and talented employees remotely.
These core values of working together were forged long before the pandemic began and only served to strengthen our team's remote culture in 2021.
Mitigating Client Expectations (Success Doesn't Happen Overnight)
In 2021, as many businesses shifted to the digital sphere, it was very important for our team to communicate, establish and maintain client expectations with regards to digital marketing.
Often, new clients are excited to get started, but for those who may not have used methods of digital marketing in the past, there can be a bit of a learning curve.
In order to mitigate client expectations, our account managers have weekly meetings with our clients. In these meetings they share progress updates, new reports, statuses on campaigns and much more. This is an excellent way to assure our clients that they are taken care of and that progress is being made for them in a new digital environment.
Our team has used weekly check ins as a direct form of communication with clients for years before the pandemic started. However, they became even more important during the uncertain times COVID presented.
Navigating Ever Changing Privacy Policies
In the marketing landscape, 2021 was a year of many new changes to privacy online. These changes hit marketers hard in a variety of ways and forced them to adapt.
The most prominent update was Apple’s IOS 14.5 update. This update opted users out of in-app tracking activity for iPhone users. This default setting prevents apps from sending user information to third parties.
This affected marketers because previously, in-app data was used for targeted advertising. The app that was most famously affected was Facebook (Meta) which used much of its in-app data for advertising purposes.
This change by a major brand is a nod to what the future could hold when it comes to users' privacy and app tracking transparency. The change, although greatly affecting advertisers, sparks a greater conversation about privacy rights and is in general, a positive update.
Navigating a Constantly Evolving Digital Landscape
2021 was a year of rapid change and rapid digital advancement. Channels such as TikTok, Amazon, Zoom and Shopify skyrocketed, growing in popularity in a direct response to the pandemic.
We also saw an unexpected return of QR codes which had previously been fading in popularity, but came back to the marketing limelight for their touch-free scanning convenience.
Our team stays constantly up to date with new and emerging technology in order to serve our clients and deliver the best possible results for them. We became better informed about e-commerce marketing and have been able to transition many of our clients into the realm of e-commerce seamlessly.
Likewise, due to the booming real estate marketing in Canada currently, our team dove into a variety of new real estate marketing projects for developers and Realtors throughout North America.
It’s so important to stay up to date in the industry and embrace the changes as new opportunities.
Looking Back to Move Forward
It is very important to take lessons learned from 2021 and use them to propel our clients forward in 2022.
While the pandemic put pressure on businesses in all sectors, those who could adapt and pivot in order to meet new digital demands were able to stay afloat. Many companies are now thriving in the digital landscape thanks to our powerful team of talented marketers.
Despite its challenges, 2021 was a year of resilience and we look forward to helping more of our clients thrive in 2022.