Andrea's 2020 Year Review

15 Dec 2020 by Andrea Martens

It’s only fitting that at the end of the year so very out of the ordinary, that I also step out of my ordinary with some personal end of year reflections.

2020 has been tough, but has also had a silver lining. I’ve become much closer to my team, their partners and their cats and dogs. I have also been able to be part of my family’s day-to-day that you can often miss; my son completing HSC remotely, my daughter navigating home schooling and my husband working from home 24/7 – and all of us squashing into a house that I’ve now decided doesn’t have enough rooms, fast enough internet nor thick enough walls.

I’m not alone. I’m like you and the next person.

Where I am different – and this is why I love being at the helm of ADMA – is part of my job is to talk to people like you en masse (well, as en masse as covid allowed) and distil the industry pulse of thought, strategy and tactics.

Let me summarise what I heard. Agility, connection, digital.

CMOs had to reinvent themselves and their teams in 2020 - and fast. Each of us had to change the way we communicate, the way we relate and the way we understood our audiences. We also quickly short-circuited yesterday’s processes to become the conduit between creativity and technology and did so with enviable prowess.

The same is true of ADMA. Within 24 hours of going into lockdown in March, our education offerings were completely virtual, allowing members to continue their education journey while working from home. Online spiked during the eight-weeks of lockdown to June 30, with a 30% increase in online enrolments.

And if you must be at home, who should you spend your time with? Well, Mark Ritson of course!

Over 1,000 people got an education experience unlike any other and at a price that ensured everyone could learn from one of Australia’s leading marketing educators. We renewed ADMA’s curriculum with a new Digital Marketing Certificate, and we adapted the annual Data Day conference to an online format, with solid ticket sales.

On behalf of the industry, we provided a perspective on privacy and data to the ACCC and held many educational webinars to help marketers stay up to date in the fast-moving regulatory space. Expect more from ADMA in this area in 2021.

2021 will bring us many opportunities. I predict that we will learn more from the data we get out of the 2020 pandemic than we thought. But there are some things from 2020 that are here to stay.

We won’t go back to the way we worked pre-pandemic, flexibility is the new black (I’d argue it never was out of style). We’ve learnt to trust each other, understand that output is more important than input, and working 9-5 doesn’t help most of us. How we learn and stay up-to-date has changed and we are already in the throes of restructuring ADMA education to deliver more anywhere, anytime offerings featuring more industry experts.

Strong voices from industry have always guided ADMA, some via informal chats and some via the ADMA guiding body, the ADMA Advisory Committee.  In this month's newsletter we have reached out to some key players in from the marketing community and asked for their predictions for the coming year.

But let me kick the predictions off

  • After much lip service, marketers will invest in customer centricity including retention and loyalty efforts to build customer trust as the cornerstone of their marketing efforts;
  • Not only will CMOs know their organisation’s data steward, they’re going to become best friends around topics of security, privacy and risk;
  • Many CMOs will be granted a fresh slate – an upended market will create the opportunity for some CMOs to start again with their tech ecosystem, retiring tech debt built for a now extinct business model; and
  • The resilient, roll-your-sleeves-up CMOs will forge ahead and take market share from those still enamoured with the way things were pre-2020 and dithering instead of deciding on the path ahead.

Overall, we are a buoyant bunch. And looking again for the silver lining, 2021 provides the opportunity to reset many things. Don’t miss your chance to redirect marketing in your organisation. As your industry body, we’ll be with you every step of the way.

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