April 30, 2020
A major and prolonged shift is expected Post COVID-19, we do not need a soothsayer to tell us this. The question brands and agencies should be asking themselves is: how shall they manage this disruptive change that will be caused by COVID-19?
Here are some of the things to expect:
#1. Demand For Digital Will Increase
Many more people are spending their time online, which has led to an upward surge in the use of the internet and social media. The spread of the virus has ensured that almost everyone has turned to digital channels and tools, both for business and leisure. Just few days ago, it was reported that streaming giant, Netflix, added 15 million subscribers to their subscriber’s base. Activities and engagements have increased significantly on digital, making it an increasingly effective channel to reach wider audiences.
However, in the post-Covid era, brands will begin to look more closely at how much value digital has added to the bottom line. The ‘likes’, ‘impressions’, ‘post reach’ and other “vanity metrics” will no longer overwhelm them, as they are likely to question if, and how, those metrics translate to patronage or conversions for the brand.
Digital will still be the way to go after the pandemic, but it will become more strategic, focused and innovative, to cater to the needs of demanding brands and audiences.
#2. Social Distancing As The New Normal
Depending on how long the virus continues to spread in the country, we will have to keep on practicing social distancing. As we all know, humans are creatures of habit and social distancing may become the new normal.
This is going to impact on brands when they want to carry out activations. Similarly, events and conferences will have to lean on innovative and efficient platforms to host their activities online.
Also, let us not forget the impact of government policies. For example, a sustained policy of restriction on public gatherings will spell doom for event planners and brands that seek direct consumer engagement. A lot of thinking and creativity will be required to achieve a seamless transition to this new reality.
#3. Changes in Consumer Behaviour
At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, a lot of consumers engaged in panic buying. Now, the buying pattern has shifted to the purchasing of essential items. The fact that consumers are kept indoors has given them enough time to prioritize and become more deliberate in how they spend money, especially on things that are considered ‘unnecessary’.
This changing trend should be of interest to certain brands. To remain relevant and top of mind for consumers, brands need to research on consumers’ purchasing patterns and lifestyle changes, and to develop strategies that will keep consumers hooked to them.
Also, the growth in the e-commerce sector currently being experienced is going to continue post COVID-19. However, there is a need to keep reviewing and fine tuning the strategies that appear to work, even after the pandemic.
The future is now, and a lot of re-strategizing and re-positioning will have to be done by brands, if they must thrive in the new marketing terrain that is to emerge post COVID..
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