What’s the future looking like for the Marketing and Comms Industry? (Covid-19 update) Part 1/2

In today’s blog, our Employer Engagement Advisor Kalina Zlatkova brings industry insights to students and grads interested in Marketing and Communications. How has the industry changed due to Covid-19, and where is it heading?

person lying on grass reading book, which is titled 'digital marketing'


Elements of marketing, advertising and communications exist in most businesses and across all sectors. Marketing employees help clients to connect with their audiences, promoting brands, products and sending messages using a range of techniques.

During the lockdowns of 2020, consumers turned to digital channels for entertainment, information, education, and to stay in touch with family and friends. With a disrupted supply chain, closed physical services and day-to-day living changed so much, how did communications and marketing businesses adapt?


2020: Priority shift was in order

While most marketing strategies in recent years have focused on driving sales and increasing product placement, as well as through the rising influencer culture; with the pandemic, strategies have shifted to brand image building. Most organizations have chosen an approach of two things – either protecting or enhancing their business actions. Companies which opted for protection, have chosen to avoid risk, cancel current campaigns, and distance themselves from the negative news related to the pandemic. However, successful communication strategies that have enhanced brands’ images, have involved honesty and transparency in humanizing content while taking a responsibility-first approach. The growth of e-commerce over the last twelve months has brought in millions of new online customers, even more so to brands who have invested in customer loyalty and retention through trust-led campaigns.


King’s students are invited to attend our exciting virtual career festival, the Graduate Jobs Festival, between 15 – 26 February. Encompassing a range of career options, you’ll be able to take part in engaging virtual activities, interact with industry professionals and learn what knowledge, attributes, skills and experiences you want to develop to build success in your career journey.

2020: From conversion to conversation

With the new context of the pandemic, sales targets have shifted from conversion (meaning the marketing campaign aims to convert consumers into their customers) to conversation (gaining awareness of consumer behaviour and engaging with them). Social listening and consumer behaviour data analysis have become integral to understanding the customer. This process has enabled brand engagement from home, allowing consumers to create user-generated content (UGC) in response to products and initiatives. Involving remote audiences in this process has established a rise in popularity and demand of social media streaming, “duet” videos, advertisements and virtual ‘challenges’, leading consumers to become co-creators of a brand’s campaign and messaging.


Interested in a career in marketing? Then check out our Sector Guides on KEATS for loads of industry-relevant reading, resources and further links to build your knowledge. We encourage anyone with any questions or comments about this blog content to add it to the Graduate Jobs Festival’s Padlet, at the bottom of the festival KEATS page.


2021: New horizons in Marketing and Communications

So now that we’ve unpacked a little about the changes of the last 12 months, what’s ahead for the Comms and Marketing sector? Based on growth and size of demand, digital marketing, digital content and social media marketing have been placed among the top 15 upcoming or growing career areas of 2021 by LinkedIn. Many brands will be adapting their business model and marketing strategy to function in a primarily virtual environment.

From 2021 onwards more brands will be looking into developing a loyalty programme in their marketing strategy. To acquire repeat online business from these 2020 new virtual customers, companies will need to invest in developing more content for passive consumption, make use of organic interactions and bolster social listening data with other sources of insight. They’ll also need to lean on trusted user-generated content to replace costly content production and appease to different demographics – as well as understand the different factors that drive consumer decisions across multiple platforms and digital channels.


Tune in to Part 2 of the blog tomorrow, to learn about the job opportunities in Marketing and Comms industry, and how students and grads can build work experience with some top tips!


chalkboard drawing of a thought bubble with a real lightbulb within it
Image by Pixabay

Author: Kalina Zlatkova

Editor: Laura Patari