It goes without saying that COVID-19 has caught all of us off-guard and taken us for a spin. It has impacted us all in more ways than one. With the Corona virus situation worsening every hour, it sure has taken a toll on the economy. It is even speculated that the global economy will suffer a loss of stupefying 2.7 trillion dollars amidst the pandemic. For now, everyone is dealing or trying to figure out a way to deal with the indefinite crisis and marketers are no exception to this.
The impact of the outbreak on various businesses and their strategies has already started manifesting itself in more ways than one.
Here are the challenges that most businesses are facing during lockdown:
The search behavior of customers is changing at a much deeper level. The consumer search behavior can be classified into 3 search patterns namely Shock, Step Change and Speed Up.
Shock: Unsustainable and sudden searches based on shock, curiosity, and fear.
Example: Searches related to medical terms like mask, coronavirus.
Step Change: Prompt change in behavior that might sustain, stabilizing at higher levels.
Example: Online learning or courses related searches.
Speed Up: Prolonged and sustainable search accelerated by existing behavior.
Example: Essentials/Food Delivery related searches.
EAT and YMYL
The pandemic-driven search behavior has led to higher ranking of credible health and wellness authorities as search for health-related queries signifies the importance of health among people right now. Google has witnessed a change of approach from save your money to save your life, emphasizing Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness (EAT) for Your Money, Your Life (YMYL) queries.
Meanwhile, search for other products has witnessed a huge downfall. As the fear and panic continues to set in among the public, search for certain products has gone for a total toss.
If the business is offering products that are the need of the hour and deemed essential, then a surge in the Google Search dashboard is a given. Conversely, if the nature of the industry is retail, entertainment, or travel, the crisis might take a huge toll on the business, especially in terms of finances.
Ever since this outbreak has spread its clutches across the globe, the economic experts have estimated that the worldwide economy is going to take a huge toll – nearly $2.7 trillion.
Here is a stat showing the global economic impact of Covid-19:
This being the case, several businesses are already bearing the consequences and it only seems to worsen as we proceed.
All this boils down to only one thing –COVID-19 has presented businesses with a series of challenges. And if the market witnesses a continued downfall, the demand for several products will decrease and tighten the customers’ pockets.
In the battle of businesses against COVID-19, digital marketing is expected to play an instrumental role in driving them towards victory.
Since all offline and live marketing events stand cancelled, businesses, whether large or small, are compelled to go digital and explore the digital realm. COVID-19 has presented marketers with an opportunity to unleashed new vistas, optimize, shine, re-consider their marketing strategy and redefine their marketing objectives to accommodate future trends. As the global ad spend reduces, a few channels look more promising, and that’s where our focus needs to be. Businesses badly affected by the crisis should look for alternatives and need to invest more on search, social media, and email.
This means that digital marketing has become more important than ever. Small firms have already seen weaker returns on investment due to traditional marketing, giving way to new and innovative marketing methods that drive ROI out of bounds.
As the world goes increasingly digital, so will marketing. What marketers need to do is respond with updated strategies and buyer personas for a different, post-pandemic world.
Businesses in no way should exploit the fears of their customers and take advantage of this situation. Doing so would just instill a sense of distrust and ill-will among the users. Rather, they should stick to the game, provide customers with long-term solutions that add value and induce faith and credibility in these testing times.
Here are a few points that all marketers need to take into consideration while strategizing for a Post Pandemic Phase:
To sum up, the situation has undoubtedly resulted in a lot of economic and social turmoil but how businesses find the silver lining here is what is going to determine the fate of any company. A measured act now will conclude in immeasurable gains later. There is a dire need for businesses to play their cards at the right place and at the right time more than ever. Off course, the results will not be instant, but one can expect huge ROI in the future. Until businesses return to normalcy, marketers can leverage this opportunity to convince them to dig deeper into the digital sphere.