3 Ways Remote Work Has Changed Modern Marketing

By: Hileman Group  | 08/30/2022


Believe it or not, it’s been over two years since the start of the pandemic. One day remote workplaces were a nice-to-have and the next, a need-to-have. While there has been much talk about how working from home has affected the workplace dynamic, we haven’t really discussed how consumer needs and behaviors have changed, radically altering how we market to them. Here are 3 ways remote work has changed modern marketing.

1. Workin' 9-5

Remember when you used to get up early, fight rush hour traffic just to get to work at a set time? Then, at another set time, leave work to fight rush hour traffic once again? Ah, the good ol’ days, amirite? Back in those days, marketers generally knew where to find their target audience throughout the day and how to reach them. With remote working, the typical 9-5 no longer exists. Nowadays, employees are getting up earlier, putting in a few hours of work (possibly in their pjs), taking a break, putting in a few more hours of work (maybe still in their pjs)—wash, rinse, repeat—until the end of the day.

What does this mean for the modern marketer? Because traditional marketing tactics may no longer have the same effect, marketers need to rethink strategies and the timing of their tactics. While there might’ve been a time you would’ve sent an email at 9:00AM as your audience was just firing up their computers, now, you might want to consider a later start—when they need a change of (online) scenery and look to their personal email (still in those pjs).

2. The Power of Social

Since the lines between “work life” and “personal life” blur in a work-from-home situation, so do the daily activities. It should come as no surprise that the average person spends 145 minutes on social media a day, up significantly from the 90 minutes just 10 years ago.

With so many people online, what’s the modern marketer to do? Well, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! This can be done in several ways.

Engagement.

According to a recent consumer survey, 78% of consumers are more willing to buy from a brand as a result of a positive social media interaction. They also think it’s more engaging to connect with a brand on social than to visit a physical store. Utilize social listening tools can help organizations proactively create meaningful interactions with customers as well as help inform upcoming promotions. So, go on, engage with your customers on social – host an online contest, schedule a virtual event, thank a customer for a positive review, help the conversations get going and (hopefully) go viral.

Sales.

As we already discussed, consumer online behaviors have dramatically changed over the years. Now’s the time to change your commerce tactics, too. Where you once utilized your website and maybe an app to give consumers a way to purchase your products, you now need to sell these products directly on social channels. While e-commerce hasn’t (and won’t) go away anytime soon, eMarketer predicts social commerce will be an $80 billion industry by 2025. Most social networks have in-app shopping platforms, so for your next promotion, consider setting up a Facebook Shop or Instagram Shop as part of your strategy and see what happens.

Video.

In September of 2021, TikTok hit a billion monthly active users. Who can guess why? Video! And no boss-man looking over your shoulder as you watch a 10-second video because we’re all remote! So, if you haven’t invested in video yet (and seriously, what are you waiting for?), short-form video is the perfect way to get started. All you need is a smartphone and an idea.

Customer service.

The remote lifestyle has greatly affected many things. Sadly, this includes personal interaction. Gen Z has grown up with technology, so the idea of using a phone to talk to people has gone the way of the dodo. Instead, consumers have found that finding answers on social is preferable calling customer service. Organizations must implement strategies that provide seamless digital transactions including chatbots and response templates for frequently asked questions. If money is tight, it is also helpful to train your social media team with best practices in customer support.  

3. Segmentation Sells

Personalization is not a new concept. But, these days, personalization goes way beyond a first name in your marketing email. If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that people live in very different circumstances. And brands must be sensitive to that or run the risk of being tone deaf. Tailoring your messaging at the local level, according to consumers’ individual geography, psychographics and behaviors and not just demographics, will help you develop a better understanding of your customer and, ultimately, help you sell more effectively. Here are a few best practices to get you started.

  • Understand your why. Are you trying to break into a new market? Looking to promote a new product? Want to better differentiate yourselves from the competition? Has the post-pandemic world now, in fact, left your organization tone deaf? Your reason to segment will help inform your strategy.
  • Understand your market. And that means research, research, research (which, to us geeks, is the fun part). Email surveys, conduct focus groups, take polls—and make sure you’re asking quantitative questions (multiple choice, etc.) as well as qualitative (free text responses).
  • Create your segments. Analyze your data to determine which segments you want to focus on based on your above goals.
  • Launch your strategy (and test!). Did your message resonate with the segment? Are you seeing an uptick in conversions? If your results are not meeting your goals, revisit your segments and try again.

Remote Start the Future

While the pandemic has changed a lot of things, one thing has (luckily) remained the same. Marketers must market. And even though the landscape may look different than it did just 2 years ago, we are at the beginning of something exciting. The state of the world is propelling brands to create higher standards, delivering improved personalization, empathy, and lasting relationships, and ultimately, winning customer loyalty.


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