What Are The Long-Term Marketing Effects Of COVID?
The world as we know it has changed, to say that everything will go back to the way it once was is a fairy tale. Never before in our generation have we been forced to rethink our daily routines, spending habits, and social interactions, which have up until now required little thought. COVID-19 has made society re-evaluate the importance of most things in life. It’s encouraged us to become more aware of the things we feel are necessary to survive in order to get through this challenging time. Consumer discretionary spending has slowed down or has abruptly halted and, as a result, caused a significant downturn in the economy.
Social distancing laws have meant that businesses have either been forced to shut down or operate remotely. In doing so, most companies have seen sharp declines in sales and business inquiries. These swift reductions in sales and inquiries have seen businesses take drastic steps to save whatever they have left to keep their businesses afloat. For most, when the panic set in, advertising and marketing budgets were impacted. Companies often think reducing or entirely cutting advertising and marketing budgets will save them money and help their businesses survive.
Unfortunately, this way of thinking couldn’t be further from the truth.
When a digital media agency is advised to pause all advertising and marketing, it stops a business’s ability to secure new sales inquiries and cuts off the possible maximization of customer growth. What is most damaging with this approach is that the longer the cost-cutting methods are implemented, the longer businesses will take to recover.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that more and more people are searching for products and services online due to social distancing laws. Digital agencies across Sydney have highlighted these tremendous increases in search volumes across a wide range of industries and have identified the best opportunities for business growth. The consumer appetite for purchasing products and services continues to be very much alive, with a 300% increase in online sales.
This type of online growth has seen many businesses alter their supply chains, by switching from selling products in brick-and-mortar stores to selling products online. For service-based companies, business has been performed via video meeting platforms like Zoom, and as a consequence quotes can be secured through new business ventures.
Although the streets have been quiet and many businesses across the board are still struggling, there is an absolute need and opportunity at the moment to capitalize on this new norm of doing business.
Adjusting Digital Marketing Approaches
Whilst there was panic in the first few months of lockdown, digital marketing agencies have quickly adapted and implemented strategies which take full advantage of the crisis. In some cases, client advertising budgets were increased because the nature of their products would sell tremendously well online and increase their overall revenue even before the pandemic. In other instances, some businesses have reduced online advertising budgets, to instead focus on online marketing services which meet their long-term brand awareness objectives.
Designers, digital marketers, and developers have been very busy ensuring businesses have adjusted their digital marketing approaches to take full advantage of the online opportunities which lay ahead. You might be wondering, what are the future opportunities for companies seeking services from digital marketing agencies during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Digital agencies now have virtual inquiry forms to capture potential inquiries for customers who are not able to meet on-site;
- SEO services are now the most recommended digital service offered by digital marketing agencies, as websites need to improve their search engine rankings to take full advantage of the increasing customer shopping online;
- Digital agencies now offer even more helpful advice, particularly on how much online advertising budgets are required and how businesses can focus on audience building to ensure brands maintain customer awareness in the marketplace.
Digital marketing agencies are at the forefront of this pandemic when it comes to evaluating consumer sentiment and spending habits. Digital marketing results and data collected during this time have created a solid understanding of how brands can effectively connect with their audiences, not just for now but also for long after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Digital marketing agencies have noticed the latest trends during this time, but what is most exciting to see, is how we as consumers have banded together and have now re-evaluated what is truly important and what we genuinely need in our lives. If anything, this virus has encouraged us to get back to basics, which has been evident in how we consume content online. Do we want to see celebrities telling us that we are all in this together from their luxurious homes? No, we don’t! Do we want to be bombarded with advertising from influencers who are out of touch with their audience and are more interested in how many fans they have? Certainly not!
But what is truly interesting during this uncertain time is that people continue to spend on items which are not necessarily needed, but make them happy. These little luxuries that put smiles on peoples’ faces demonstrate that we have not lost hope. Although the bulk of our spending will be directed toward essential items, there is still an appetite for items that provide pleasure and give us something to look forward to.
Audiences are reacting very positively to marketing content which is beneficial to their lives and not just an ideology of something which doesn’t matter or has no substance. Now, I am not saying that we as consumers don’t want to see any advertising that may be quite aspirational, but what we have noticed across the board, is that if a product or service offers real value, it will be welcomed by consumers.
What Does This Mean For Digital Marketing Services After COVID-19?
- Our messaging needs to be more targeted now than ever before.
- We need to understand the persona of the new consumer post-COVID-19.
- The content we deliver needs to have substance and provide true value.
- We still need to focus our efforts on long-term growth strategies.
- Building trust and recognition between brands and consumers is critical.
- Brands have now realized there are new ways to operate their businesses.
- Innovation should now be front and center in any business operation.
- SEO services are absolutely vital post-COVID-19 for long-term growth.
- Digital marketing services like Google Advertising should complement SEO, not dominate advertising budgets.
- Websites are more important now than ever before, as this is the first touchpoint.
However, what is extremely exciting is how the basics haven’t and will not change post-COVID-19, and that consumers will want to continue to rely on brands they trust, with products and services that are reliable and can add tremendous value to their lives as a whole.
Consumers don’t want to listen to influencers who don’t share their sentiments. They certainly don’t want to continually see the same brands advertising the same things on the same channels, with little thought for their audiences, just because they have money to throw at it. The brands that will adopt this simple approach and keep audiences at the top of mind will undoubtedly be rewarded for years to come!