Even before 2020, remote working was a rising trend. This model is more sustainable, cheaper, more time-efficient (no commute to and from work), and requires less office space. For these reasons and many others, more and more employers switched to it, either partially or completely.
Then, in 2020, there was a pandemic outbreak, and even those who refused to switch to remote working were forced to do so. For a lot of office managers and entrepreneurs, this was an eye-opening experience. Other than just seeing it as a way to keep working in the pandemic, they finally got the opportunity to see (and experience all the benefits). For a lot of employees, this was quite significant, as well.
There are not a lot of fields where this change was felt more strongly than in marketing. Here, the concept of remote work changed everything from hiring practices all the way to forms, formats, and posting schedules. AI-based tools, chatbots, and automation, in general, can help marketers focus on their core tasks and handle all the menial tasks on their own.
Also, digital marketing is a field in which analytics significantly affect the outcome of the campaign. All the most-sophisticated analytical tools are cloud-based, which means that it makes no difference what one’s physical location is.
With that in mind and without further ado, here are a couple of ways in which remote work has changed (and continues to change) modern marketing.
Flexibility in Working Schedule
The first thing worth mentioning is the flexibility of the working schedule that comes from remote work. First of all, by keeping a remote staff, people in your employ are not tied to the traditional 9 to 5 working model. Instead, they can log into the platform you work on at any time of the day. This means that there are higher odds that your staff is present even outside of standard working hours.
If there’s a need for someone to make an emergency edit or attend an emergency meeting, the logistics are a lot simpler. In digital marketing, an emergency crisis can occur at any hour. Emergency edits are (by their very nature) time-sensitive. Now, with all the collaboration tools and cloud-based platforms, these edits can be made from one’s home and in real-time.
Keep in mind that your time zones may not align when conducting an international campaign. Through the remote working model, you have a chance to hire someone from the target destination or just someone in the same time zone.
The time invested is often tracked through employee monitoring software, but even this can be an advantage. Namely, this gives your employees the privilege of clocking in during the time of day that they are the most productive.
Just remember that employers and managers are putting themselves at risk by agreeing to all of this. Personal devices are unsecured, which is why (in order to stay safe), they’ll have to introduce a BYOD (bring your own device) policy. Educating employees on the subject matter is another move in the right direction.
Virtual Assistants in Marketing
Once again, even before the pandemic, digital marketing experts were relying heavily on virtual assistants. Their roles were anything from website management and social media management to SEO research. In some cases, virtual assistants were even in charge of producing content in order to meet the ever-growing requirements of the blogosphere.
While ideally, these individuals would have previous experience (perhaps even certificates) in marketing, this wasn’t necessarily the case. Sometimes, just having someone with a fresh perspective could change everything. An average digital marketer sends a lot of emails, proposals and uploads a lot of social media posts throughout the day. Just having someone proofread it all could make a massive difference.
Solo digital marketers could easily fall into the trap of getting overworked. This is where virtual assistants would step in and take over some responsibilities. In the first paragraph of this section, we’ve listed some of the most important marketing tasks as their responsibility. The truth is that this isn’t mandatory either. By just taking any marketing-related or administrative tasks, the workload on actual marketers is drastically decreased.
All one needs to be a good virtual assistant is to be reliable and hard-working. While they would ideally be proficient at digital marketing, the truth is that you want someone to complement your shortcomings. What you want is to focus on core digital marketing tasks, and you need someone to take over the rest.
Remote Work and Digital Marketing Automation
As we’ve mentioned before, even after they are able to go back to working from the office, a lot of people might choose not to. The reason behind this is not just the fact that they don’t have to travel to work (or even dress for work). The truth is that the concept of technological improvement and digital marketing automation makes remote work easier than ever.
Let’s be completely honest, even while you were at the office, the bulk of your work was taking place in the digital environment. With the same software license and by using the same laptop, you can reach the same efficiency regardless of the environment.
Imagine a scenario from 2019 where you scheduled a certain social media post to be uploaded in 6 hours. By that time, you’ll either be on your way home or already at home. So, through automation and scheduling, this task will be performed in the same way regardless of your current whereabouts. This really makes one think about their purpose on the company premises and the efficiency of the traditional model.
On top of this, automation in digital marketing is known to improve work efficiency, save more money, and more. The list is virtually endless.
Another thing worth mentioning is that automation doesn’t happen on its own, and it doesn’t come cheap. Before integrating automation into your work process, you need to have some requirements, set the budget, and choose the best tools.
Chatbots for Internal Employees
When talking about chatbots in marketing, the majority of people think of an instant response to customer queries. While this is quite common and quite efficient for reputation-building, the truth is that this technology has another use. By (successfully) responding to some of the simplest requests will unburden your employees and allow them to focus on other tasks.
Previously, we’ve talked about the fact that your employees might choose to work during odd hours, but this won’t always be the case. A chatbot is actually available 24/7, which means that you can give your employees the privilege to choose working hours without suffering in the process.
Same as they answer customer queries, chatbots can answer questions asked by your own employees. By applying them properly, you can create a more consistent experience between departments. A well-implemented chatbot accesses a single database with all the info and numbers. This means that the members of your marketing team have access to figures regarding your IT and accounting processes.
Keep in mind that, in digital marketing, IT and technical issues, in general, will act as a major bottleneck. Fortunately, this problem will be solved quite effectively with a good chatbot.
AI Is Paving the Way
AI can process almost any database in a matter of seconds, providing you with the exact results you were looking for. Having 24/7 access to these tools means that whenever you come up with a new idea or angle, you can instantly explore it. A lot of people underestimate the creative aspect of marketing research. They believe that today, all it takes is for you to ask the question in the right search box and have the answer you need. Still, knowing which questions to ask is never as simple.
One more way in which AI makes a huge difference in remote work is by improving the work of recruitment agencies. Just think about it for the moment. By hiring remote workers, you have a larger talent pool than ever before. This means more options than ever, which will make it harder to make a selection of the most promising recruits. This way, you will not only have access to the global talent pool but also have the tools to use it in the most efficient way possible.
Marketing is also about being able to respond quickly to the newly-arisen situation. With the help of AI, your cybersecurity means will become more accessible. Troubleshooting will also become simpler and more effective than ever before. This means that the downtime will be brought down to a minimum regardless of the problem.
The main reason we’re even having this conversation (and not 20 years ago) is because of all the recent technological breakthroughs. Let’s face it, just a couple of decades ago. This wouldn’t even be technically possible. Now that it is, we’ve come to the new question – which model is more efficient? While some would argue that there is still no definitive answer to this question, with every new tool and trend, remote work becomes more appealing. Fields like digital marketing are especially convenient for this kind of transition.