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Strathclyde Business School

Digital marketing and the pandemic: changing trends

By Hannah Mackenzie - Posted on 24 August 2022

Strathclyde graduate Hannah Mackenzie works at a digital transformation consultancy. In today's blog, Hannah outlines her journey into digital marketing and how the pandemic has changed the marketing landscape.

I secured my first graduate job working with the team delivering the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014. I worked closely with the chief financial officer, who due to circumstances, was also having to fulfil the role of chief marketing officer. So purely by coincidence, more than design, I started to assist with the marketing for the Commonwealth Games. As part of my BA Hons in Hospitality and Tourism Management, I took an elective in marketing and due to the knowledge I gained, coupled with a real enthusiasm for working on such an exciting project, I found marketing was something I really enjoyed. From that point, I haven’t looked back and have carved out a career in digital marketing, agency side. Key skills and knowledge I gained as part of my degree, such as project management and the organisation of events, have really helped me in my career, particularly working for a consultancy such as Equator. There are always a lot of plates to spin. Every day is different, with various campaigns, channels, clients, and industries to work with. I love the variety, being able to work with people in their own areas of expertise, all coming together to deliver a brief or project. It’s also a lot of fun, with a young, dynamic environment where everyone chips in and supports each other.

We’ve been significantly impacted by the sheer volume of change over the last two years. The first six months of the pandemic were the busiest we have ever experienced with clients feeling the pressure to become operationally digital almost overnight. Projects that would usually take months, or even years, to come to fruition were being forced through and delivered in weeks due to the urgency. This acceleration in providing digital solutions for clients, such as those in financial services and healthcare, was initially focused on enabling customers to digitally self-serve.

For our clients the priority for them was to digitalise their businesses, and quickly. Of course, we were aware that not all customers were going to be able to easily access our clients’ digital services, so according to the customer base we were trying to serve, we designed a digital solution which would work. For clients that had an older demographic we made sure that any self-serve system was as accessible as possible and provided clear steps with a phone number for the customers to call if they were really struggling.

The pandemic has meant a huge amount of change, and this continues to be the case from month to month. Trends which we could rely on from a digital marketing perspective pre-pandemic have now totally changed. Times when traditionally people might be reachable, such as during the daily commute, have transformed as we adjust to this new hybrid way of working. Now this Pandora’s Box has been opened and so much has been invested in digital transformation, we’re focused on making those digital solutions as good and as efficient as they can be for our clients.

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