The past two years have been tough for businesses, as the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps and continues to rage across the world. Restrictions continue to change and evolve, and the outlook isn’t as rosy as we think.
Now, with vaccination rates increasing, and economies gradually opening up, we are starting to see a ray of light, possibly at the end of a dark tunnel. However, knowing that nothing can be completely certain, cautiousness is key.
We are not likely to see an end to COVID-19 just yet, but countries are slowly but surely taking steps to living with it as an endemic. Certainly, the coronavirus has changed the way people think about life, work, and play. And even as borders reopen, and tough restrictions lifted, our daily shopping and dining activities will likely never return to pre-pandemic state again.
The big shift online
One big thing that happened during the pandemic was the shift online, the great pivot to ‘all-things-digital’.
A survey showed that in Singapore alone, some one-third of the residents made their first online purchase during the pandemic itself.
And the use of social media, once thought to have peaked, grew during the pandemic. In the United States, while average time spent on the Internet has slightly decreased, the daily time spent on social media by an individual went beyond 60 minutes a day for the first time.
However, that’s not to say that all businesses have to solely operate online. People tied at home for long periods are desperate to head out. But they are also more cautious about their time spent outside, and therefore will do their homework and plan where to go before leaving their homes.
Opportunities in Marketing
Because of the above reasons, there comes a growth in opportunities for businesses to connect with their desired audience, and one key platform is the online world.
Social media marketing and search engine marketing are the two biggest avenues to reach out to the people, and the know-how in targeting becomes key in this outreach effort. Digital marketing begins with knowing your customer segment, and brands must communicate in precise, local terms, targeting specific consumers, making their information and content relevant to them.
Targeting specific demographics and geographical locations, and getting personal with your messaging to make human connections, are the first steps.
Next, convenience and affordability. In tough times, being the top choice of your customers will be what gets you the business. Convenience doesn’t mean having only to offer delivery services, but presenting options to your target audience, so that they can choose the most convenient way to get the things they need. And similarly, being affordable doesn’t mean being cheap, but to present your goods and services as value for money, through smart marketing.
Avoid the danger zones
At the same time, it is important that businesses watch out for potential pitfalls when it comes to their marketing strategies in these stranger-than-usual times.
One key factor in today’s brand-consumer-relationships is, well, the relationship itself. Relationships with your customer is everything, and while you attempt to net new customers, never leave your loyal customers trailing behind.
Constant connection with existing customers is just as important, via direct mailers, or through social media channels, with promotions, or constant reminders of the benefits the brand’s products bring. Bridge all relationships with customers via trust, and continue to deliver products, services and customer experiences that leave an impression.
Going virtual and being an e-commerce business doesn’t simply mean solely providing wrap-it-up-send-it-out services. As and when possible, work on connecting with your customers, ensure that the online shopping environment is secure and navigation is easy. Reward long-term clients for their loyalty and differentiate the experiences. These are all little details that might be stand out from competitors.
Marketing today in the continuing COVID-times, is the centre of the growth agenda for any company. It is no longer just about cost-and-return of a brand, but has become the key leader of a customer journey. It’s about building relationships with potential and existing customers, and the continual development of the brand and the business.
I Concept is an all-rounded creative agency that will help make your marketing plans come to life. From planning, designing and the maintenance of e-commerce websites, through to developing comprehensive social media marketing plans, we will walk with you to make sure your brand and its products, ideas and services effectively reach out to your desired audience. Speak with us to learn more about the many services we have to offer.