Pandemic winners and losers and what post-pandemic marketing looks like

This outtake is from an hour of discussion recorded exclusively for our Pivotal Marketer Community on Facebook (where the full recording is available) sees Mike Berry, marketing trainer and consultant and MMC’s Rene Power discussing how sales and marketing can practically work together to achieve common outcomes and some of the winners and losers in the pandemic.

It’s the fifth and final part in a series of serialisations on marketing strategy, be sure to check all new posts as they publish (or see the recommended reading below).

Mike Berry:

This session today is brought to you by the power of such technology, and they’ve all had to get their act together. The bar has been raised, so I’m teaching at business schools using several different platforms. They are all getting better.


And they’ve got to scale up for demand, haven’t they? So you look at brands that were on the cusp of greatness before this happened, I think the thing to say is that maybe the most successful businesses were already pretty successful beforehand because they were doing the right things.

So you obviously think of Zoom, you think of Xero, the accounting software that was already wiping the floor with Sage, which was seen as the older more established, almost get it on a CD, load it, open it, it’s what all the accountants like you to use. But Xero was the upstart. Obviously, Amazon.

Those businesses that already had digital first models. But then I’ve seen increasingly in B2B. I work with paint manufacturers and metal extruders and companies that up until March last year needed to see people face-to-face, needed to go onsite and do stuff. They’ve managed to pivot and put a lot of services online, sales people working at home haven’t gone and seen people in a year, but they’re still doing deals and helping customers because they’re having to embrace this.

They’re doing webinars and talking about paint to customers over webinars and stuff. So all this craziness, but the point is it’s not necessarily technology driven, but it’s how businesses have perhaps bought into how can we replicate our service or brand values and our offer online in a way that feels authentic and gives our customers kind of what they’re looking for.

So yeah, the winners have been the ones that maybe didn’t necessarily pivot what they were doing, but just the delivery and the experience of it using digital channels and digital strategy.

Mike Berry:

Absolutely. And I think even beyond marketing, the changes in society will be profound, including what our city centres look like going forward. What about transportation? The other big driver for recent years has been sustainability and carbon footprint and emissions and all that side of things.

And I was just hearing that the UK emissions have predictably really gone down and what’s going to happen? What will the future look like? In many ways, I don’t think we will go back to 2019. So some of these changes will be permanent and some of them will be for the better. So the future is going to look different that’s for sure. And no one knows exactly what, but some of these trends will really be accelerated and they’re not going to stop.


There’s going to be a lot of businesses I think where there are middle managers that are itching to get people back so they can kind of keep an eye on them and peer over their shoulders.

There’s going to be a lot of people that are like, “Listen, I’m more productive and so productive at home over the last 12 months and I quite like it. I like going out for my two little walks a day and getting up from the desk and having the little check-in in the morning and then getting on with my day. I don’t want to commute two hours a day to an office in the middle of Manchester”.

Mike Berry:

Where are people going to want to live? Are they going to want to live in cities? A lot of things might well change. But always, there’ll be opportunities and good marketers will always do well.


And all of that impacts on people watching this, people listening to this, who your customer is and what’s guiding them. What’s motivating them to make the decisions that they do. And I always start with the work I do with any clients. We always really do that work on that kind of target customer profile or avatar, whatever you want to call it, really dial into some of that stuff.

What makes them that person making the decisions that they make? And we’ve got to do a bit more work, deeper work now to understand some of this stuff, because there’s quite a lot of psychology now going to be involved in business buying and business decision making and the ability to be able to present and position for that online across everything that we’re doing. So whether it’s ads, email, web pages, video, if you’re using podcasts and doing things like this, it’s going to become so important, isn’t it?

Mike Berry:

Yeah. And I think customers have always wanted to work with brands that seem to understand them and recognise their situation and let’s face it, we can’t talk to our customers like we did two years ago because things aren’t the same.

So that’s an important lesson for brands to take on board. When we get back to something like previous levels of advertising spend through all channels, we’re going to need to have the right messages which is I hope an optimistic and inspirational attitude of mind, but also recognising that many people have had a tough time.

A lot of people lost a lot of money, people have lost their jobs, businesses have failed. So we will all be together, but it will be a different world. And as I say, there are always going to be opportunities for companies that recognise that and have the right tone of voice for this new world that we find ourselves in.

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