As the world continues to respond to the evolving COVID-19 situation, many business owners and marketers are finding that their business marketing landscape has changed. While some of these changes will revert to the way things were pre-COVID, marketers should expect that many are here to stay. To rebuild their businesses and ensure on-going success, smart marketers must identify how their marketing landscape has change and adapt accordingly. Here are some of the ways that business life has changed, some of the new norms that have been established, and how marketers can respond and adapt.
Your Marketing Needs to be Nimble
Who would have thought that something as simple as visiting your local coffee shop or popping into the supermarket on the way home from work would change so quickly and so drastically?
Bricks-and-mortar stores, supermarkets and foodservice businesses all had to change the very core of their business offerings when the COVID lockdown was imposed. Instead of marketing a relaxing atmosphere or convenient experience, they quickly pivoted to promote online purchasing, curbside pickup or contactless home delivery.
As we are ready to start loosening the COVID lockdown restrictions, more aggressively in some places than others and with the potential of a secondary wave, it is important that your marketing stay nimble.
Creating a formal marketing strategy and including regular check-ins and metric reviews will help you keep your marketing focused and effective. If something happens, even if subtly so, you will be positioned to identify the impact of the change and adjust your marketing strategy and tactics accordingly.
In a pre-COVID world there weren’t disruptions with the impact or duration COVID has had. In a post-COVID world, changes can come fast and furious and you need to stay nimble to stay ahead of those changes.
Empathy & Social Consciousness Matter More Than Ever
As COVID hit, everyone reeled. Consumers and businesses alike sat in stunned silence trying to comprehend what to make of the pandemic world they saw on TV and in their social media feeds.
Then we saw brands start reacting. Many directed their marketing campaigns to encouraging people to stay home and to support previously unheralded frontline workers. Uber, a company whose essence is to transport people, took to social media to discourage people from going out. To Uber, the empathetic message of stopping the spread was more important than lost revenues.
Source: Uber’s Facebook page
Other brands launched campaigns to thank the frontline workers that were keeping our food supply chain functioning and emergency services available.
More recently, with social unrest, protests and equal rights movements across the globe, brands are voicing their support of social injustices and social equality organizations.
Now more than ever marketers must consider a softer and more conscious awareness as they devise and implement their marketing strategies. Connections between organizations and their consumers are deeper and more meaningful as people base their buying decisions on much more than price.
Digital Platforms Are Here to Stay
As businesses responded to COVID they made changes to ensure the continued – if only at a slower pace – operation of their businesses. Previously nascent technologies and status quo business norms were steamrolled into a new normalcy. Remote employees working from the socially distant confines of home, video calls, first-run movie streaming and phone medical appointments went from things that were probably going to happen one day to universally accepted overnight.
From the lockdown of our homes, people began shifting their purchasing habits online. Instead of standing in line to get into a grocery store in the blowing March winds when COVID started, they placed online orders and went to the store at an appointed time to pick up their order. Sales meetings previously held face-to-face in boardrooms were held online, and there was instant acceptance of sounds or flashes of young children in the background.
For some of these new tools, technologies and ways of doing things, “one day” became “day one” much faster than anyone could have expected.
As the lockdown restrictions ease, many of those new behaviours will remain. Home offices, video calls, online purchasing and contactless delivery are the new norm, and savvy marketers must adapt to leverage them.
This might mean that instead of having a sales meeting and leaving the prospect with a sales folder and sales sheets, this same information will be delivered prior to a video call via digital PDF’s, or via download from the company’s website. Professional services and consultations previously delivered in-person are now acceptably delivered via video calls. This takes away one opportunity to nurture a relationship with a client that face-to-face meetings allow but might simultaneously expand the reach of your target market if physical geography ceases to be a limiting engagement factor.
Digital marketing platforms will become so much more important to businesses that previously relied on in-person interactions. Consumers have been forced into becoming more comfortable and capable in using online marketing platforms, allowing marketers to include these channels as a more prominent part of a comprehensive marketing strategy.
TL;DR: Intentionally Good Marketing in a Minute
As we enter a phase or reopening following the first (and hopefully last) wave of the COVID pandemic, marketers are emerging to discover a permanently changed marketing landscape. As fast and hard as coronavirus hit, organizations had to pivot their marketing and would benefit from staying nimble as the COVID recovery continues. Brands changed their focus from pure sales to empathy and social consciousness as we collectively dealt with paralyzing lockdowns and social unrest, and consumers adopted to consume and use digital platform where they previously hadn’t needed to.
If your business is emerging from the COVID lockdown and you’re noticing that some of the old ways you previously used to market your business might not be as relevant anymore, we’d love to help you update and enhance your marketing platform. With a complete set of marketing services, we offer one-stop marketing for businesses looking to evolve with the times and grow their businesses through intentionally good marketing. Start with a no-obligation consultation or get in touch and let’s chat!