Digital Marketing: Accelerating out of COVID into 2021

Scott Heron
January 28, 2021

2020 was a hard year whether you saw your business decline, or wrestled with hockey stick growth. At Sonar, we saw both, and worked shoulder to shoulder with clients on both.

Now, as we are looking to 2021, there are a few ways Digital Marketers can:


Plan in Quarters.

Assuming you and your organisation has now grown pretty good at adapting to change, continue to embrace this and plan in quarters or 90 day sprints. This is far more tangible than longer time periods and easy to rally around in terms of objective-setting, discussing approaches to barriers, investments that need to be made, and connecting to personal KPIs.


Take a hard look at your Martech stack.

With CAPEX greatly reduced in the first half of the financial year, and assuming there is more appetite today, revisit those parts of your Martech stack that you know aren’t delivering.

It is a very common situation that senior Marketers are paying a significant licence fee for marketing software that is not delivering a return. Review this with fresh eyes, asking yourself ‘will it make a return?’ ‘What is the total cost of ownership; of keeping it in reduced productivity with IT costs and agency/consultancy fees to keep adding band aids to it?


Consider what kind of questions you would like to be able to answer around your marketing this year

With the best of intentions, we marketers tend to get into ‘do’ mode and never turn back.  Now is a good time to reflect on what key questions you would like to answer around your marketing activity. Is there something about your customers that you would like to understand? Something about the overall engagement against different customer touchpoints? More around the effectiveness of different messaging?

Think through some of these questions, and the inputs you would need to find an answer. In some cases, you might be able to answer them quickly, in other cases, it might be more complex, requiring more time and resources. In both cases, by developing a roadmap to answering your questions, and including it within your planning and programme approach, you will be guided by more about what matters in moving your strategy, than the urgency of getting the work out the door.


Think less about platforms and more about audiences and their experiences.

This is still a bit of a leap for most organisations. You can see in many org structures there are people responsible for the website, and others who are responsible for email, social media, and so on. We aren’t necessarily suggesting changing the org structure, but finding a way to collaborate across channels and platforms to consider key target audiences and engagement points. The goal to be able to understand how a particular audience engages with the company vs another audience. What messages were most important? When? What platforms do they use? The needs of audiences will be different and the ability for a company to talk across these will be a competitive advantage.


Overall, we think 2021 is going to be a fantastic year. By acting on some of the activities highlighted above, we think you can have a great year too!

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