The spread of Coronavirus is at its highest peak and businesses worldwide are taking the brunt of it. Around the globe, businesses are closing down and companies going bankrupt due to various restrictions put-up by the Government for the safety of their citizens. With social distance and remote work becoming the new normal, it is high time for the marketers to come up with creative ways not only to prevent their companies from shutting down, but also to expand their businesses during this global crisis.
In this article, let’s uncover the answers to the question as to how marketing leaders can manage the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and bounce back into Action:
Foresee Customer Requirements
Social distancing due to the virus has been causing a lot of stress and anxiety among the masses. In such a situation where loneliness is slowly seeping into the minds of the people and causing distress, it vital to identify emerging consumer needs and tend to them before they get the chance to snowball into a huge problem area.
With the change in consumer buying behaviors and media consumption, keeping a check on the emerging patterns can turn out to be crucial for the business. Marketers, by scrutinizing such patterns can determine target audience and orchestrate their strategies. One example of such a calculated and smart marketing strategy would be Audible by Amazon providing free streaming of stories for kids in order to keep them engaged during this lockdown when the educational institutions are shut.
People worldwide are not only living differently but also purchasing differently in many ways. As a marketing leader, one has to understand that COVID-19 impact in some cases is everlasting. Customers during the Coronavirus outbreak are looking at the products and brands through a different lens. As the crisis continues to evolve, marketing leaders can explore the changes that are taking place currently so as to understand what consumer goods businesses should do today to prepare for what’s coming next.
Maintain a Digital Presence
With the COVID-19 pandemic at large, people are extensively staying at home and spending time in front of screens. Be it computer or mobile devices; the cumulative time spent on various online platforms such as entertainment, social media, e-commerce portals for shopping, and much more, is seeing such an exponential growth that it is becoming the norm for businesses to be present in the digital world.
Even though the Coronavirus crisis has negatively affected the marketing and advertising plans of many organizations, creating an online presence can boost the company’s footing in the market. One such example is McDonald’s introducing McDelivery and Drive Through options in order to adjust to the present marketing budget that involves factors such as social distancing and digital presence. According to Eugene Lee, McDonald’s Marketing Director of Asia Region, in these uncertain times when safety is of utmost importance, McDonald’s is not only delivering quality and cleanliness but also promoting its McDelivery and Drive-Thru services with the help of advertising campaigns to maintain its position in the industry.
One of the major benefits of having an online presence and opting for digital marketing is, it can be applied universally and its results are measurable. Owing to the fact that during these times, people are consuming a large amount of online content, the companies can make an everlasting impact with their digital presence. There are a number of ways a marketing leader can ensure customer engagement, some of them are: Content Marketing, SEO, Video Animation and Website Audit, etc.
Prioritize Customer Experience
This crisis is putting both the strengths and weaknesses of the customer-business relationship under the spotlight. Keeping in mind that all relationships have an emotional component, as a market leader one need to forge a future together, offering customers the means to cope with the situation, delivering the right information, and going out of the box in order to help them. Customers are more likely to remember brands whose behavior was more responsive to this predicament.
While catering to the damsel (economy in this case) in distress during such hard times, the company’s sole focus shouldn’t be on “How can I seize market share?” instead it should be “How to support the customers in the most humane and relevant way possible?” Even before this havoc took place, a PwC research reported that 59% of global recipients felt that these days, most companies have lost the element of human touch which is crucial when it comes to customer experience. Moreover, the report stated that 75% of the recipients favored human interaction over interaction with an automated machine.
Positive brand impressions are driven by how enterprises handle their clients and themselves throughout the catastrophe. A company’s innovative acts of kindness to support the society as a whole and how they have treated their staff, as well as taken steps toward supporting their customers, could have a considerable impact on customer loyalty. Given the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, it would be a wise decision for the companies to keep investing in personalization technologies and techniques as it helps immensely in driving relevant offers, promotions and benefits to the customers which in-turn could build loyalty with new consumers and reinforce it with the existing ones.
Evolve with the Trend
In such times where uncertainty clouds the vision, as a market leader, it is vital to keep the marketing strategy open to transformation and evolution. This crisis has restricted many opportunities for growth and the marketers need to be able to revolutionize their schemes according to the current scenario. Leveraging technology for the company’s growth is one such example of how enterprises are striving to go with the flow.
With the staff working remotely at their homes, deploying collaboration technologies can seamlessly provide chat, file sharing, meeting and call capabilities, allowing teams to stay connected and remain productive during such unprecedented times. The concept of virtual happy hour is an emerging trend enabling team members from all around the world to sit in the comforts of their home while collaborating and discussing over their phones and computers, just like a tea-break at their regular office.
Brands also mustn’t forget the impact of the Novel Coronavirus on their customers’ mental health. With the new wave of awareness on mental health problems, it is now important, more than ever, to introduce healthy habits to their customers with their services. So far, the year 2020 has seen various influencers collaborate with all kinds of businesses to promote fitness from home, education from home and gaming apps to relive stress. This is the new wave of change that would forever change the face of the market.
In this tough phase, almost every consumer is looking for someone they can truly rely upon and it is the time for companies to step up to the plate. It is one’s responsibility as a Marketing Leader to encourage the right practices and take the companies to the greatest of heights. Nobody knows what is going to happen next but it is crucial to be armed with extensive industry knowledge, thorough market research and deep understanding of the customer’s expectations because then only one can truly know the answer to, how marketing leaders can manage the impact of Coronavirus.