Managers are taking on the world. Many see this summer as a pause in business life, but some companies view this period as a great time to reach decision-makers. That’s because key decision-makers have to implement significant changes in their businesses, so they try to collect information about potential solutions. It is an unambiguous fact that during the “lockdowns” of 2020, these periods deemed unproductive are perfectly suitable for conscious communication.
The communication-related lessons of 2020
One of last year’s sensational new stories was how the consumption of worthwhile online media grew drastically during lockdowns. It does not require too much technical knowledge to list a few logical reasons for this since when everyone is locked inside, the Internet will naturally come to the forefront as the only channel allowing people to still keep in contact with the world. Even though this reasoning is logical, very few actually took advantage of this option. They only began to move when the first precise data came to light on this matter, and the most important online business platforms began reporting 3-, 4-, or 5-fold increases in their readership in the second and the third quarters. I participated in the building of several business and personal brands during this period, and it was truly spectacular how we were able to achieve the desired target figures within the specified audience by using only a portion of the traditionally assigned budget. Therefore, we encouraged all of our partners to trust our expertise and take this opportunity to launch intensive campaigns on their social media or online magazine platforms. They achieved lavish returns on their investments into communication since this intensive effort was clearly reflected in both the visitor numbers to their websites and the indicators of new business relationships. Later, it was also easy to see that when life was slowly beginning to return to normal, the figures showing the number of consumers reached started falling immediately across all communication campaigns. Based on this, the plan for 2021 was clear: we have to look for periods that are different from normal. At least if we want to use our partners’ money efficiently. Another important thing to note is that during these extraordinary times, content naturally has to be extraordinary. The current virus situation and its mental effects have to be taken into account wisely. Therefore, it is necessary to continuously monitor the trends of the virus, the data of the various regions, and the mental state of the population. For example, it is not recommended to sing praises of our business performance when the death rate reaches never-before-seen heights globally. I know that I am mentioning self-evident things here, but I could mention many cases where even serious international corporations could not tackle this problem effectively.
As we entered 2021, it was already clear that it would not be easy to find “extraordinary situations” again since neither the start of the year nor the general situation was similar to what we were used to. Therefore, from the point of view of communication, perhaps it was the time of the Reopening that we were looking forward to the most, which did come eventually. However, it did not come with the amount of fanfare we expected. We are not talking about a single point in time but a slow, painful process where we often took one step forward and two steps back. However, from the point of view of managers, the Reopening of the US and the introduction of the vaccine passport in Europe were very important steps since the decision-makers, who had been locked inside for more than a year, could finally start travelling again. Well, we all agree that this was not the usual situation since the effects of communication became more pronounced. Of course, everyone is going on holiday now, but it is also clear that a real business decision-maker cannot concentrate on their business. These decision-makers now have the time and energy again to deal with brand new ideas. They are more open to opportunities and solutions that they have not yet seen. In the field of brand-building, whether we are talking about an individual, a company, or a product, another interesting and important period is on the horizon. Of course, the claim that we have to be clever when “pushing” our image and sales messaging continues to be true. It is also true that business decision-makers will only be open to solutions that stand out from a professional point of view. The third quarter will have an especially high significance from the point of view of communication, and it appears more companies are going to be ready on time than last year, all flocking to the opportunity like vultures.