Viewpoint: How COVID-19 killed traditional marketing

Traditional marketing is dead as the COVID-19 pandemic showcased the value in experiences, according to a Nov. 5 Fast Company op-ed written by Duncan Wardle, former head of innovation and creativity at Disney and the founder of iD8 & innov8.

"Experience marketing" uses events and other forms of engagement to interact with patients and consumers. Instead of marketing at patients, hospitals can engage with patients through shared experiences, Mr. Wardle wrote.

The pandemic accelerated the adoption of experiential marketing and it is popular among young adults, according to the op-ed. Seventy-two percent of millennials prefer spending their money on experiences over material things, according to an Eventbrite study. The pandemic pushed Americans toward experiential marketing because lockdowns and social-distancing requirements inhibited many experiences.

As the United States pushes toward a COVID-19 endemic, the businesses best positioned for success will find ways to spin engaging experiences for consumers. In one example, research found that 90 percent of Philadelphia Eagles fans never attended a game. To engage that other 10 percent of fans and promote social distancing, stadiums began using interactive fan displays. In another example, Google hangouts were used to give fans virtual front-row seats.

Hospitals will need to tap into experiential ideas that go beyond traditional marketing strategies, the op-ed said. 


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