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2020 In Review: The Most Valuable Lessons We’ve Learned

2020 – the year our world stopped.

For most of us, it seemed more like a year of survival rather than thriving. With so many projects and business failing, we might as well feel lucky that we’ve made it to 2021.

As I was spending the Holidays looking forward to a new (hopefully better) year, I realized something even stranger: unlike other years, there were very little marketing predictions about 2021.

We’re all still shrouded by uncertainty, but what we can do is use what we’ve learned this past year to create a better future – or, at least, as good as it can be.

Today, I want to have a look at three ways this past year has changed our marketing perspective and what each of us can do for a more successful 2021.


  1. We had to unlearn everything

We may not have discovered the holy grail of marketing success, but each of us had some tricks up our sleeves which worked. We knew our customers’ behavior, had a few campaign strategies that delivered good results and, most importantly, we could follow the trends.

In 2020, Yoda’s words turned into reality: we had to unlearn what we have learned.

As you may have already noticed, few of the things that worked in the past have remained equally successful once the pandemic kicked in. Here are a few areas you should review:

  • If you’re a hair salon owner and you’re still sending newsletters with wedding or special events promotions, you might want to stop. It’s easy to forget about email automations especially when they’ve worked for months or years, so make sure to review each setting right now. It’s time to adapt your email campaigns to your customers’ current stay-at-home lifestyle.
  • Transactional messages. This is especially important for ecommerce and physical store owners. In 2020, you might have changed your in-store pickup or at-home delivery services, as well as your return policy. This information should be updated in your transactional messages as well – something many people are still forgetting about.
  • Welcome e-mails. In 2020, many companies have extended their services to new mobile apps or other features. Your welcome email should cover all those functions, as well as any new policies you’ve updated during this past year.


  1. Data changes constantly

Usually, all major marketers were updating their strategies, models and data every few quarters. Since the pandemic changed the rules of the game (or rather left the game without any rules at all), marketers are making constant, irregular updates depending on how their strategies work out.

Specialists are advising us to keep an eye on our customers’ behavior because it will change drastically in the upcoming year. Some people will receive vaccines, which may mean they’ll start going out again more often (so their interests will change), while others stay indoors to protect themselves.

It’s an important time to check our data daily and be ready to make as many modifications as possible in our advertising, service, delivery and product strategies.


  1. We must work together

When virtual marketing was first starting to grow, the pioneers in this domain shared all their strategies and findings to help each other grow in such a new industry.

Now, I’m not expecting all of us to start divulging our secrets to the world. Still, offering a piece of advice to those you know who have been struggling in 2020 may literally be career-saving. This is not the time to be overly competitive because let’s face it, we all could use some guidance in this chaotic world.


At this point, no one can predict the future – and the giant marketers who can, might only make short-term assumptions. However, if we stay on top of the news, help each other out and keep adapting our strategies to current times, we might just get a taste of what success means in a post-pandemic world.

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