The epidemic of Coronavirus has increased rapidly into an influx of vulnerability and left countless organizations and businesses thinking about what steps to take to check plummeting deals.
For marketers, numerous aspects of the work scope have been changed. This includes changes in designations, channels, content, budget, and manner of speaking. These readjustments, topped with working from home, have made it a test to be sensitive at a time when flexibility is critically required.
Now, the many events you planned will have to be postponed. Your digital advertisements to bring people to your offline stores will not take place and you’ll have to reschedule all your important travels regarding your business. Markets are already drowning. IKEA, the famous Swedish furniture store, had to shut down each of its 50 stores and also its planning studio in New York City at the beginning of this pandemic.
According to an article published on Bloomberg, it’s predicted that the Corona crisis will cost the global economy $2.7 trillion in total.
As gloomy as this sounds, and even though there is no ideal approach to manage the destruction of this pandemic, there are positively certain practices that marketers can adapt to change their business strategy in this unfortunate and new reality. Organizations that successfully exploit insights and information to change their technique during this pandemic, will have a greater possibility of ending up as the winner among their competitors and eventually catch new pieces of the pie. So, when you witness your competitors slowing down, your goal should be to go double down! You won’t recognize the greatest return immediately, yet over the long haul, you will.
Now is the time for marketers to be innovative, cost-efficient, and take convenient methods to convey applicable brand incentives for their customers.
Not to dismiss you of all your hopes and plans, but the new public sphere or bazaar is, at large, online. Due to certain measures, including quarantine and remote work, taken by governments and organizations all over the globe, everything traversing discussions, news, brand revelations, amusement, and leisure is now established on the internet.
As we’ve seen the outbreak of Corona hit China on a large scale, forcing lockdown on private and public establishments at the end of the last year. The time spent locked at home invited large traffic online. Video apps, such as TikTok, witnessed an increase of users by millions. According to a report by Warc, substantial growth of 23% was seen between February 2019 and February 2020. Similarly, many organizations across the globe offered free online subscriptions, some offered free online streamings. World-renowned Netflix and Amazon Prime Video offered free trials and free streamings of some family titles on their platform.
Another outcome the lockdown has had on online conduct is the growth of e-commerce. According to research conducted by Ipsos, Global Market Research and Public Opinion Specialist, out of 12 countries analyzed, users of 11 countries said that they tend to online channels to purchase their products.
In China and Italy, which were highly affected by Corona, e-commerce growth increased by 51% and 31%, respectively. Also in Pakistan, e-commerce is estimated to hit the $1 billion mark by the end of 2020. Keeping in mind these statistics, marketers need to turn their businesses toward the online world to catch more consumers.
So, what approaches can marketers adequately take to increase engagement and communicate successfully with their customers at this time?
Pivot Your Marketing Strategy
It’s where you will have to be proactive and reactive.
This is the right time to shift your roadmap of marketing toward the new context, as it will make a huge difference in the short as well as long term.
Whatever genre your business may be in, there is a need to consider long-term brand-building techniques, such as re-evaluating your content to research your target audience. This helps in redirecting your way to approach the target audience with more effective branding.
It can also be helpful to create social media strategies and develop email marketing. Both of these are useful to re-engage your old customers as well as to invite new ones. Make sure to distribute your advertisements on the right channels, as people now have more time to invest in social media, they are looking for more options and exciting brands for their expenditure.
Now is the time to invest more and come online with new branding strategies.
Influence Your Business’ Storytelling
Communication is the most important and vital key—as long as you, a marketer, know how to influence your audience about your brand with effective storytelling.
As James Humes once said: “The art of communication is the language of leadership.”
It’s the most effective time to communicate with your audience. But as this is already a hard time, walk through your content and communicate carefully. Use a soft-sell approach rather than going all-in with a hard-sell approach, which can be perceived against your brand or business. Be considerate of your audience’s emotions, and try to empathize with them.
For example, many clothing brands started to produce masks and clothing equipment required for front-line responders. Renowned restaurants offered free coffees and snacks for doctors and nurses.
It is vital to note that the brands who stay connected and engaged with their audiences through pandemic will make loyal customers in the long run.
Innovative thinking can improve your user’s attention toward your brand.
If your brand is facing a slowdown in interests, now will be a great time to consider and experiment with new techniques and adapt to your user’s thinking. These innovative techniques don’t have to cost you a kidney. You can opt for approaches like video marketing that may involve podcasts, interviews, how-to tutorials, or any other type of content depending on your brand’s genre.
According to research conducted by GlobalWebIndex at the start of this year, 12% of the participants had been listening to more podcasts in the time of Corona.
Another useful tool of video marketing for your brand could be conducting webinars as a replacement for meetings and events. Starting off with Instagram Live or Facebook Live or, if you want to go bigger, with a Zoom conference.
Marketers can use these opportunities to embrace digital customer-driven understanding which will increase long term brand value.
In the midst of trouble is when stakeholders are looking for external arrangements and cooperative effort. This remains constant for everyone looking for joint-effort opportunities with different brands and, additionally, with all the third-party partners across the board. Your customers and stakeholders are directly affected by your presentation as a marketer, so grasp this opportunity.
If you are working for a marketing agency, contact your customers and start a discussion about how each of your customers can cooperate and mutually work together to benefit one another.
Also, if you are a marketer with an established business, reach out to your stakeholders and work with a joint effort towards your goals.
Digital transformation is imperative for businesses
Each crisis presents an open door for marketers to learn and to influence their methodology. It enables them to create a brand-building that will resonate with their customers and form their brand’s position as the leading, most reliable choice out there.
Although facing the aftermath of Coronavirus requires venturing beyond the regular methods of working and thinking, marketers should be prepared to embrace and adjust to the new norms and, by doing so, empower their brands and accelerate their business growth.