By Anish Srikrishna, CEO, Times Professional Learning
There has been a tectonic, tech-driven shift across consumer-driven sectors that have evolved rapidly to bridge the social gap during the pandemic. Media consumption behaviour changed dramatically, and marketing professionals had to adapt rapidly to the increasingly digital consumer. In this context, executive upskilling courses in sales and marketing with focus on digital acquired unprecedented prominence.
COVID-19 has perhaps transformed consumer buying behaviour permanently. The convenience of e-commerce has been brought home with great effect to those who may have hesitated earlier. As consumers made their online presence felt in the early days of the pandemic, businesses had to scramble to maintain their revenue and market share in a suddenly transformed environment: every function from production to packaging to supply chain to marketing & sales had to undergo rapid transformation to stay in the game. Perhaps, one of the greatest changes was felt in the marketing and sales functions given that the primary assumptions of point-of-sale and consumer decision making were fundamentally altered.
While marketing professionals were questioning traditional media plans even in the pre-pandemic days, it is clear now that the shift to digital is irreversible. Marketers of the future will need both skills and agility to make decisions in real time.
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1. Upskilling to stay market-ready
The pandemic has compelled marketing professionals to upskill themselves to the evolving dynamics of the industry. There is an ever-increasing demand for learning skills and developing competencies to address the changing requirements and bring about innovations in marketing strategy to stay in sync. The online marketplace has created a new strategic battleground for marketers and this has deeply impacted the marketing skillsets needed. As Artificial intelligence, Robotics, and Machine Learning become more widely deployed, consumer marketers have shifted gears to intelligent, real-time interaction with consumers rather than merely building awareness through traditional or digital media outreach. Marketers need to acquire these AdTech or MarTech skills to stay relevant while still doing their day jobs: prominent IIMs offer many such courses in an easily accessible and affordable executive education format.
2. Digital communications, social media aiding consumer outreach
As the pandemic has intensified the use of technology, marketing professionals should initiate optimum usage of these platforms for consumer engagement and outreach and amplify their brand presence across social media domains. Businesses aiming to stay relevant during the lockdown had to onboard e-commerce in their gamut of operations to ensure continuity. Marketers should emphasize on use of content marketing due to the rise in usage of smart and digital devices among consumers. In addition, they should reach out to socially active influencers who trend high on social media forums to endorse brands for a broader outreach.
3. Scale up digital marketing practices
Statista indicates that the internet penetration went up to nearly 45 per cent in 2021, from just about four per cent in 2007. In addition to the conventional form of marketing, the surge in internet penetration has elevated the scope of digital marketing for marketers to reach out to their consumer base. The lockdown has brought about several changes in the consumer habits who adopted purchasing commodities through online portals. Consequently, marketing professionals should increasingly adopt digital marketing practices keeping in mind the changing trends to widen their consumer base and drive sales. Digital marketing is evolving continually, and marketing professionals should be proactive with their out-of-the-box strategies by providing the consumers with innovative and attractive offerings to negate competition.
4. Tracking the evolving consumer needs
There should be no doubt about the fact that consumers can and will shift brand loyalties due to a plethora of brand options, lackadaisical service, or perceived higher price all at a click of a button. Marketers need to process customer feedback in case of poor acceptance. They should pre-empt such pitfalls and should be empowered to immediately initiate corrective steps in preventing their campaigns from going south. In addition, several online marketing tools help track consumer preferences and conduct market research that will assist the decision making of the strategy department.
5. Get disruptive, initiate trends
A successive marketing professional should avoid playing second fiddle in competition and be proactive with ideation and strategizing by initiating trends that will induce the peers to play catch-up. It will also enable marketing executives to leverage their credence in their organisation and elevate themselves up the ladder.
For consistent recognition and career growth, it is imperative to get upskilled through platforms such as TimesTSW that offer various programmes in Digital Marketing and Executive Programmes in Sales & Marketing, in conjunction with the top-ranking institutes in India and abroad, to help aspiring marketing professionals develop these pillars of successful marketing through a judicious balance of theoretical and industry-led learning.
These programmes help learners absorb the latest marketing and sales trends integrated with tech-enabled solutions to equip them with the necessary skills to thrive in an increasingly globalised business environment.
Disclaimer: Content Produced by Times Professional Learning (TPL)