COVID-19 has officially turned not only the U.S., but the entire world upside down. Almost every aspect of life is different these days, including marketing. Nothing is safe from the pandemic’s effects, and everyone is adjusting to a new normal in these unpredictable, unprecedented times. So, how does COVID-19 impact marketing? Its effects can be seen in just about every aspect of business, especially marketing, as marketing is so focused on the consumer. Consumers’ lives look different now, so naturally, marketing is starting to look different, too.
Consumers are changing their habits
Predictably, covid-19 has had an extreme impact on consumer behavior and the attitudes consumers have towards businesses, spending, and purchases. The majority of the population has picked up new habits, hobbies, and behaviors over the course of the virus. With these new habits, hobbies and behaviors come new consumers who are in the market for products they may not have purchased before. This means new consumers trying new products.
Because of these changes in consumer behavior, it is impossible to rely on old consumer data. You have to be able to adjust your marketing to a constantly changing, and hopefully growing consumer base. This requires increased empathy towards consumers in order to learn as much as possible about your target audience. It can be helpful during this time to devote more resources towards consumer research in order to increase empathy, formulate a voice tailored to a changing consumer audience, and increase marketing returns.
Adjust to different waves of “the new normal”
It seems that every two weeks there is a new version of normal, and this can have an extreme impact on marketing, an industry constantly working to keep up with changes in business practices, consumer habits, economic trends, and many other factors. One of the best things businesses AND marketing agencies can do at this time is to constantly and consistently evolve as the world evolves.
The consumer landscape is forever changed due to COVID-19, and marketing agencies must adjust to that change, as well as the new changes that seem to pop up nearly every day. Being able to be agile and roll with the punches is the secret to success in marketing during COVID-19, and will set you up for success in a post-coronavirus world.
Produce realistic campaigns that tell a story
This is a difficult time. You don’t even need to be a good marketer to understand this. Many brands have been working hard to create compelling campaigns that truly speak to a wide audience of consumers. Focusing your attention on timely issues when producing campaigns can increase your marketing success. Now more than ever, consumers are looking for a positive message that happens in coordination with real time events. People’s lives are impacted in extreme ways by the covid-19 crisis, and in challenging times of need, the best practices and marketing plans incorporate those struggles in an uplifting way.
Incorporating social distancing, masks, grocery stores, healthcare workers, or showing how your business is adhering to pandemic guidelines or working to make life easier for consumers during this time are a few ways you can creatively tell a story in your campaigns. Of course, these campaign topics, ideas, and the stories you’re telling with them won’t be useful forever, but that’s exactly the importance of your ability to change course on a dime and roll with the punches, as discussed earlier. By producing timely, creative campaigns that are able to tell a story, you will be able to get ahead of your competitors that aren’t doing the same.
Improve your virtual presence
With more and more consumers on social media for longer durations of time (thanks, quarantine boredom!), attracting new customers and building relationships virtually is easier than ever. Advertising is a great example of one way to do this, but some other things you can do during this time include connecting with customers and giving your website a face lift!
Many small businesses are lacking when it comes to web presence. This can lead to lower sales and less customers. Building and solidifying your brand and business’ online presence can help establish you as a credible brand to new customers. Not only this, it also makes your business more accessible to potential customers as well as existing customers! Take advantage of this growing online audience to increase your online presence, spruce up your digital marketing, website and social media pages, and get more hits online!
Some things you can do to improve your marketing strategies and increase your virtual presence include creating valuable content, as we discussed earlier, in addition to optimizing your website for mobile users, working on SEO research, engage in online communities and forum, work on improving your site’s user experience, and make sure you’re incorporating keywords on your webpages!
In addition to making your website as amazing as possible, you can also use social media to interact with your customers and build meaningful business relationships with consumers while also learning more about your target audience. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are all great social networks where you can start connecting with new customers!
These are just a few ways your business can adjust and evolve marketing activities to the different ways that the coronavirus has impacted marketing worldwide. Now is the time to work harder than ever on improving your marketing and adjusting to an ever changing environment, it’ll get you ahead of your competition, and help your business tremendously in the long run, once the world finally gets back to “normal”, or whatever normal looks like at this point!