About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 9173-9176
ISBN: 978-84-09-34549-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2021.2113
Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference
The purpose of this study is to identify how communication and digital marketing professionals adapted their online strategies in the pandemic context through informal learning. Considering that consumption behaviors and attitudes changed during the COVID-19 sanitary situation (Rogers & Cosgrove, 2020), this qualitative study based on online semi-structured interviews is focused on identifying how communication professionals used informal learning, knowledge, and skills in order to adapt marketing strategies and tactics in uncertain times. In learning organizations (Senge, 1990), individuals are constantly looking for new patterns of thinking and finding solutions collectively, as well as discovering new ways of adapting to uncertain external contexts. Since the lockdown generated by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, communication professionals used optimized, adaptive approaches in order to reach business objectives.

Thus, the main objectives of the research were:
(1) to identify the perceived factors that influence communication professionals to engage in informal learning;
(2) to analyze how digital technologies and platforms were used for learning how consumers interact with different communication channels,
(3) to find how appropriate communication interventions and approaches were implemented in order to reach organizational and business objectives. Many Romanian consumers chose to increase their online shopping activities due to the sanitary benefits it entailed, so the research lot consisted of 12 participants who work in digital marketing in the ecommerce sector, living in Bucharest, Romania.

In the network society, considering the wide spectrum of opportunities especially in accessing digital resources, informal learning occurs daily, supporting formal academic learning (Peters & Romero, 2019). In knowledge intensive activity sectors, such as online marketing and communication, using digital technology on a daily basis is necessary for both implementing communication campaigns, as well as for measuring performance, monitoring user behavior and for collecting relevant data that will serve for optimizing strategies. The research results show that communication professionals are focused on problem-solving while benefitting from the data and information provided by the digital platforms they use when implementing strategies. In regards to informal learning, the study participants suggested the important role of their digital optimization strategy for adaptive communication and for extracting valuable information which will add value further.

[1] Peters, M., & Romero, M. (2019). Lifelong learning ecologies in online higher education: Students` engagement in the continuum between formal and informal learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 50(4), 1729-1743.
[2] Senge, P.M. (1990). The Fifth Discipline. The Art and Practice of The Learning Organization. Doubleday, New York, NY
[3] Rogers, K., & Cosgrove, A. (2020). Future Consumer Index: As consumers keep adapting, how will your business keep changing with them? Available at
Informal learning, digital strategy, adaptive communication.