How Has Covid-19 Influenced Company Strategy? New Survey Reveals Insights

Mapp Digital’s recent survey looked at the marketing priorities and industry trends for 2021, and revealed the changes to company strategies following Covid-19. Here’s a little on what they found.

As the full effects of the pandemic come into view this year, the marketing priorities and industry trends for the year continue to shift and slide. To get a clearer picture, Mapp, the international provider of insight-led customer engagement, has conducted a market survey to identify the changes in marketing strategies, the latest trends, planned investments, the impact on eCommerce, and data management following the challenging times caused by Covid-19.

Here’s a little on what Mapp found in their survey, gathering insight from 1,000 companies throughout the UK, Germany and Italy…

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Personalisation Is a Top Priority

Customer demand in 2020 saw a huge increase. Around 45% of eCommerce companies surveyed by Mapp said they had increased online sales. Meanwhile, a third of the respondents already provide a personalised experience on their website. But a further 13% reported that they will look to provide personalisation in 2021.

Dynamic content obviously plays a key role in building personalised experiences. Yet, only a quarter of respondents reported the use of dynamic content on their website. Fortunately, over 50% of respondents say they are planning to introduce this crucial marketing element in 2021.

Mapp also found that, while there’s a lot of focus on website personalisation, many companies are yet to venture into the app space. Although 65% reported accelerating investment in digital and technology innovation as a direct result of the pandemic, 43% still don’t have an app. Of those that do, only 5% claim their app is powerful enough to deliver everything their website can.

of marketers have accelerated digital and technology innovation more than they had planned due to the pandemic

report that their customer engagement platform has contributed significantly to growth in 2020

struggle with having unconnected data sets and only a partial view of customer behavior


Managing Data Is a Mission-Critical Challenge

From our report, The Anywhere Office of Tomorrow, we heard from thought leaders like Gunjan Verma, CTO of TTC, on how companies have already managed to collect data. But unlocking the value of that data is still a struggle for many companies.

Mapp’s recent survey found similar challenges. Unlocking the power of their own data continues to be one of the major challenges facing marketers. The survey revealed that almost one third of businesses do not currently use a data management platform (DMP) to improve targeting and optimise advertising spend. Elsewhere, 63% of businesses struggle with unconnected data sets, providing them with only a partial view of customer behaviour.

At the same time, three quarters of respondents said they can identify less than 20% of customers who visit their website – and 38% can only identify less than 10%.

In 2021, finding a way to unlock value from their data streams will be a major concern among marketers. Enlisting the help of a dedicated data team could help – but fundamentally there needs to be a blend of strategy and technology to action insights and extract value from data. The situation following the pandemic makes this a necessity.


COVID-19 has massively accelerated eCommerce and digital business models. In the future, customer intelligence and marketing analytics will become critical in providing even more precise real-time customer insights to optimally use existing budgets in a changed market environment and to score points with the end customer through customised content.

Ricardas Montvila
Global Strategy Director, Mapp

Headshot Ricardas Montvila Mapp Digital

Customer Engagement Investments Bring Positive Returns

Brands have sought new ways to reengage with their customers following the pandemic and the restriction of other means of communication. Digital has, unarguably, stepped into its own in terms of customer engagement – and it was something Mapp investigated further.

Mapp asked their respondents whether they had utilised customer engagement platforms and found very high levels of satisfaction among those that did. In fact, 67% of companies using customer engagement platforms rated their vendor four or five out of five during the pandemic.

The advantage of these platforms is that they help marketers to manage the customer journey in a data-driven way – in effect, helping to solve the challenges we outlined in the previous section. Here, everything revolves around obtaining a 360-degree view of each individual contact across all channels and activating them in a targeted manner. Through central contact profiles, important information such as socio-demographic characteristics, interactions, and transactions can be bundled and used for targeted personalisation.


About the Survey

A total of 1,000 participants from the agency, retail, finance/insurance, media & publishing, telecommunications, and tourism & leisure sectors were surveyed in February 2021, of which 262 respondents were from the UK. A summary of the results in the UK market can be viewed in this infographic.