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The COVID pandemic has changed the way companies sell and market their products and services to customers and there is unlikely to be a return to normalcy.

Before the pandemic, corporate marketing efforts were largely focused on in-person activities such as conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, and activations. Eighteen months later, the vast majority of marketing activity is taking place in the digital space.

According to Dumisani Moyo, Marketing Director at SAP Africa, this raises some fundamental questions. “The role of marketing has changed forever and marketers now have to deal with the future. Will marketing activities stay digital or will they evolve into a mix of digital and physical, especially as vaccination rates rise and the world returns? a semblance of normalcy before the pandemic?

Moyo says marketers can learn valuable lessons from the pandemic as they plan for 2022 and must focus on running impactful marketing initiatives that can help their businesses grow faster.

“Marketers should focus their efforts on understanding the customer journey, leveraging technology to drive innovation within the marketing discipline, and staying close to customers and their data to deliver seamless omni-channel experiences across the customer value chain.”

Moyo points out three rules organizations must follow in order to thrive in the post-pandemic period:

Rule # 1 – (Really) Understand Customer Journeys The main job of marketing is to get in touch with customers at the right time and at a point of contact where the customer’s purchasing decisions can be most influenced. However, analysts have indicated that the traditional marketing funnel does not capture all modern customer touchpoints, in part due to the emergence of empowered and informed customers and an abundance of choice thanks to digital channels.

“Marketers need to thoroughly understand the customer’s buying journey and apply data-driven insights to understand the complex and often non-linear buying processes that customers are likely to follow in their purchasing decisions,” says Moyo. “Empowered and informed customers conduct online research before making purchasing decisions. An accessible and mobile-friendly online presence, especially in Africa, helps ensure customers have the most relevant information to make their decisions.”

Additionally, marketers should target their resources and messages to the customer touchpoints that have the greatest influence or influence on the customer’s purchase decision.

Rule # 2 – Use Technology to Drive Innovation Technology is essential to marketing success in the post-pandemic era. A recent CMO survey found that 43% of marketers are investing in technology to improve customer engagement and 42% are investing in data integration to enable end-to-end customer tracking throughout the buying process.

“This is a staggering 71% year-over-year increase and shows the growing appetite of marketers for access to data-rich tools,” said Moyo. “Marketing technology solutions can help automate processes, integrate isolated customer data, and enable marketers to leverage a wide variety of digital channels to increase sales both online and in-store.”

Despite the strong growth in the adoption of digital tools, some marketing solution providers predict that the volume of digital marketing could decline in the post-pandemic period. “Marketers are shifting efforts to making campaigns more targeted and personalized with technologies that enable marketers to optimize their digital marketing efforts across customer touchpoints in online, mobile and in-store environments.”

Rule # 3 – Stay Close to Your Customers – and Their Data – The latest findings from the Harvard Business Review show that post-pandemic customers have high expectations for smooth, predictive, relevant and connected shopping experiences on physical, online and other platforms.

“To create experiences like this, companies need to ensure that the management and use of customer data is at the heart of their marketing efforts,” says Moyo. “This requires the use of intelligent tools that use technologies such as predictive analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning.”

Putting data at the heart of marketing enables companies to create more relevant and tailored customer experiences. “By analyzing customer data, marketers can create hybrid experiences that focus on personalization and convenience. For example, by seamlessly integrating physical and online experiences that enable a customer to virtually try on makeup before buying.”

Moyo believes marketers will focus on using intelligent technology to better understand customer journeys for the immediate future. “Marketers and their organizations will continue to harness technology and data to create tailored and personalized experiences for customers in the post-pandemic era.”

Distributed by the African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of SAP Africa.

About SAP As an Experience Company powered by the Intelligent Enterprise, SAP is the market leader for business application software and helps companies of all sizes and in all industries to work optimally: 77% of global transaction turnover is attributable to a SAP® system. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT) and advanced analytics technologies help transform our customers’ businesses into intelligent businesses. SAP helps people and organizations gain deep business insights and fosters collaboration that helps them stay one step ahead of the competition. We simplify technology for companies so that they can use our software the way they want – without interruption. Our end-to-end suite of applications and services enables more than 440,000 business and public customers to operate profitably, continually adapt and make a difference. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps make the world a better place and improve people’s lives. More information is available at

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Source: African Media Agency (AMA)