Creating Connections Report

| The First Principle team

As the business community hones it’s focus on the post-pandemic recovery task ahead, lessons from the past six months are etched in our collective memories. Not only have businesses been consumed with adapting to unique operational shifts at an incredible pace, but many of these changes are likely to remain in place.

One of the vitally important activities many businesses undertook during the pandemic was to focus on staying close to their customers. Not only remaining visible, but offering relevant support and knowledge to help each other navigate uncharted waters.

The pandemic also brought about financial pressures, with two-thirds of all businesses experiencing revenue declines. While the outlook is brightening, driving trust, awareness and sales to restore revenues remains high on the agenda.

This brought effective marketing and communications to the fore, accelerated pre-existing trends, particularly as the world moved further into the digital realm. But increased competition through fewer channels put the quality and efficacy of these programs under the microscope. Financial strain also pushed internal marketing teams and their agencies to justify the return on investment.

And these teams have adapted well, redirecting budgets to where they would have the most impact as digital communications went into overdrive. As a result, many prioritised content marketing as a way to reach customers.

But even before the pandemic, only a fraction of businesses admit their content efforts were highly effective, grappling with increasingly saturated channels and keeping up with changing audience needs.

Our inaugural Creating Connections report was designed to help understand what sets highly effective content marketers apart from the rest. We look at their approach in detail to provide guidance on their focus and tactics.

What we found is that not only are leaders in the space more active across channels, but they are using data to inform their communications, thereby increasing quality and relevance to get cut-through.

In an uncertain environment where attracting and retaining customers is more important than ever, we hope these insights help as a guide.

We would like to thank our research partners ACA Research and Fifth Quadrant who we worked with to produce the report.