What a challenging and surreal marketing environment we currently find ourselves in. Many brands and businesses have always been confident in their multi-channel marketing approach. However, the recent global pandemic has put this theory to the test and not only challenged companies on their ability to work remotely but how they remain in touch and relevant with their consumers. Traditional media channels such as TV, Radio and outdoor have had to take a bit of a back seat due to the inability to produce the creative pieces, because of restrictions until the storm blows over, leaving a huge gap in brand communication.
People are also now looking to digital as a platform for news, updates, online shopping and delivery and also as a source of entertainment. In fact, according to March 2020 global survey done by Statista.com, social media usage has seen an increase of 21 percent and news consumption rising by 36 percent. With all public gatherings been called off, a digital platform like Zoom, Teams and Google classroom have become a huge part of people’s daily life as a source of contact, education and social interaction.
Coming back to the marketing space, many small to medium enterprises who service both B2B and B2C, are sudden scrambling to make sure their digital channels are up to date, optimised and firing on all cylinders as this currently, is one of the only ways to connect and communicate with their consumers. Consumers have been forced to research and purchase products and services online more now than ever. According to Bluecore’s Covid-19 Retail Trends report in America, the number of first-time purchases placed through the ecommerce sites belonging to traditional chain stores grew by a whopping 119% compared to April last year.
Throw in an economic recession, reassessing advertising budgets and everyone fighting for the same piece of the pie and it becomes very apparent we have to be very strategic in our marketing approaches and pivot quickly or suffer the consequences.
Plus the fact that many consumers themselves are also facing tough financial decisions and are tightening their financial belts as much as possible and are less likely to spend on things they don’t need. It almost seems like an impossible and overwhelming marketing mountain to scale. I do not doubt that things will get better and now maybe a time for regrouping and reflecting on where, what and how to communicate to consumers.
Three points to consider.
As mentioned previously, start by looking at your existing digital marketing strategy and objectively, assess what is and isn’t working. Know what you are trying to achieve with your strategy. For example, is it awareness or leads and conversions that you are after or possibly both? How do Google networks fair versus social media channels and where will help you get closer to your business objectives? As budgets across the board will be tighter, focus on what your business KPI’s are and throw away anything that doesn’t get you closer to those goals. Bear in mind that creating or strengthening your digital marketing approach must include monitoring and reporting. This will help you to adapt and optimise your media strategy and content to get the best possible return on your investment.
2. The What
In terms of the “what” Brands that have taken into consideration current consumers needs have seen an increase in both sales and brand loyalty. What can you do to make things like their user and purchase journey easier and more convenient?
3. The How
How can you show them that you have their best interests at heart? Even in terms of being hygienic and safe where applicable. As far as the “How” try and keep in mind the frame of mind of your consumer. The vast majority of people are anxious, stressed and worried about their future. Re-evaluate your imagery and language to make sure it is appropriate. Being empathetic to them and adding value to their lives and being less “hard sell”, might seem like a risky short term approach but will reap better rewards in the long term.
Whether “business as usual” will ever be the case again, remains to be seen but having a healthy and optimised digital marketing strategy in place will help you navigate the ever changing marketing landscape ahead. Stay safe!
Ref: Media consumption growth coronavirus worldwide by country. 2020 statista.com
Ref: Stats roundup coronavirus impact on marketing e-commerce advertising. econsultancy.comTags: Content Strategy, COVID-19, digital marketing strategy, marketing channel, marketing trends Last modified: July 1, 2020