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One Year in Quarantine: What’s New & Next in the Advertising World

Wait…it’s mid-March again already? If you think this has simultaneously been the longest and shortest year of your life, you’re not alone. This month, we’ve officially reached one year since the start of the pandemic. Yep, you read that right. And amid all the frenzied banana-bread-baking, sweatpants-wearing, and thrice-daily Zoom calls, a lot has happened in the marketing industry. We’re taking a look back at the top four trends we’ve noticed over the past year and how we helped our clients navigate each of them. Trust us, there were plenty of virtual happy hours in between to get us all through it. Without further ado, here’s our quarantine year in review!

Trend #1: E-Commerce Saw an Uptick—and It’s Here to Stay

When the pandemic changed the world as we know it, we already had a new website in the works for our home services client, Your Crawlspace. Part of that project included adding e-commerce functionality to the site, so customers could peruse new products and order the entire proprietary crawlspace encapsulation system online.

When we launched the new website in June, Your Crawlspace began to see some amazing results on the e-commerce side of the business that exceeded even our expectations! The launch was perfectly timed with the shift of customer preferences to online retail and e-commerce, and we’re confident this trend is here to stay.

Trend #2: Essential Businesses Got a Major Boost

As most other businesses closed their doors at the start of the pandemic, essential businesses thrived despite the obstacles. Terminix discovered that pest control services were in high demand during a time when everyone was stuck inside their homes—and they were ready for it.

Terminix was able to quickly put safety protocols in place and efficiently communicate these to their customers, making them feel comfortable enough to allow technicians in their homes to keep pests at bay. Because the last thing anyone wants to worry about during quarantine is bugs invading their home. Yuck!

Trend #3: Real Estate Is HOT, HOT, HOT

This is one trend that can’t be disputed, although it was unexpected at first. As interest rates hit an all-time low, demand for real estate hit an all-time high—and our clients definitely reaped the benefits. 

From Desert Highlands in Arizona to Spring Creekin Virginia, homes were (and still are!) flying off the market faster than they arrived. We even picked up some new client partners like Caliber Fine Properties and Highlands Cove Realty, who are looking to grow faster through more sophisticated marketing and database management. Although interest rates have increased slightly over the past month and the initial flurry of people leaving urban areas has slowed, we still expect to see continued demand for real estate.

Trend #4: Tourism Shifted Messaging & Bounced Back—Big Time

Hospitality & tourism marketing came to a screeching halt as we all went into lockdown last March. But through strategic planning and smart messaging, we saw this industry make a big comeback during the course of 2020. For our clients at Rawle Murdy, we created what we call “dream campaigns,” helping people imagine the trips they would take and experiences they would have once it was safer. By staying in touch with our audience, we made sure they were ready to return when we were, and that our clients’ names were at the top of the list for their first getaways.

In Jackson County, people were more than happy to head to the spacious NC mountains for a much-needed trip once travel restrictions were loosened, and we saw a lot of visitors from nearby drive markets. Similarly, Primland Resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains of VA invited people back for outdoor activities across their 12,000 acres of land—plenty of room for social distancing!

Ready to use some of these trends to your advantage in 2021? We can help.