Demand Generation for the Post-pandemic Productivity Boom

The pandemic productivity boom might be one of few good things to come out of 2020. For years, the U.S. productivity growth rate has averaged about 1.4% per year. But after a whopping growth rate of 4.3% in the first quarter of 2021, experts say we could be sitting on the precipice of a technological boom we haven’t seen in decades.

While it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, working from home may have had a hand in the recent growth. Being able to save time on commute, having autonomy over one’s schedule, and staying connected via various modes of technology made employees more productive. It worked so well that corporate offices could wind up being a thing of the past for some organizations. And with the possibility of broadband expanding to more rural areas of the U.S., it could be a reality for many more.

Productivity gains were also due to businesses implementing new technologies. They weren’t just trying to keep up with employees working from home — they were also dealing with an acute labor shortage. This September, there were 10 million job openings, and 8.4 million unemployed. According to the Washington Post, “There is a fundamental mismatch between what industries have the most job openings now and how many unemployed people used to work in that industry pre-pandemic.” The shortage forced companies to look to automation, robotics , and other technologies to get more done with fewer resources.

Because of the increased investment in tech, Erik Brynjolfsson and Georgios Petropoulos, of MIT, suggested this June that we had just passed the lowest point of a productivity J-curve. They describe the phenomenon as an “initially slow productivity growth after a breakthrough technology is introduced, followed years later by a sharp takeoff.” What’s more, with White House and Congress currently negotiating a 3.5 trillion dollar spending bill, we could see a complete reinvigoration of public investment.

Still, it would be naïve to assume there aren’t hazards ahead. There are real concerns that inflation could rise above the projected rate of 2.3% for 2022, according to some Federal Reserve officials. There are also predictions that we’ll continue seeing labor shortages over the next few years. Both could slow growth down.

While we’d all prefer a productivity boom to another recession, either scenario begs an essential question:

How do we generate demand in a post-pandemic world? 

If the productivity boom is not met with gains in demand, profits will disappear. If the economy is hobbled by inflation and labor shortages, the productivity boom may never materialize. Demand generation is imperative in both scenarios. But where will this demand come from?

Marketing Automation is one promising solution.

What technology did for supply, it can also do for demand. To automate your marketing, you need content. Great content can connect your business to customers in a way that traditional advertising can’t. Marketing automation makes the process of publishing and distributing your content easier. It gives you the tools you need to turn leads into customers and customers into advocates.

Marketing automation helps:

  • Organize and manage your content
  • Distribute your content at the time and place prospects most need it
  • Tailor messages to each customer
  • Demonstrate your marketing ROI

The first step is Content Strategy. Think about what your customers want to know, what they want to achieve, and most importantly, what value you can offer to help them reach their goals. Create detailed buyer personas and meet your prospects where they are.

Research keywords to match your content to what people are searching for. SEO is no longer about the amount of keywords but the accuracy of those words.

Audit your existing content , develop your publishing calendar, and use marketing automation to distribute your content.

Create campaigns that offer your prospects precise solutions to their specific problems. Nurture your leads at each stage of their journey with more helpful content. By aligning to your customers’ needs and preferences, you’ll cultivate healthy relationships — and brand preference for your products and services. With marketing automation technology, you can conduct these relationships, on a one-to-one basis, at scale.

Marketing automation requires you to become, in effect, a publisher. For some businesses, this is a significant pivot. But if you are looking to generate demand — whether to meet a productivity boom, or weather a recession — nothing will get you sustainable and repeatable results like a solid content strategy, and the right marketing automation tech to execute it.

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