The well-known coronavirus pandemic has affected almost every aspect of our daily lives in the United States. It has also impacted other countries all around the globe. In these uncertain times, people are staying home and working remotely more than ever before. With all of this unprecedented change, buying processes have been drastically changed, making us wonder… how will marketing strategies evolve during these times? Let’s dig in!
For now, social distancing and working from home are the primary solutions that can help people stay safe, but this behavior has also altered consumer buying patterns. In order to pull through this economic slowdown, we must be innovative.
Here are three main ideas to consider while adapting your approach:
Anticipate Consumers’ Needs
Isolation and social distancing can create negative effects, such as loneliness or depression. That’s why you must be attentive to social behavior and, by extension, consumer needs, in order to address these areas of opportunity before they become troublesome.
For example, MTA mentions that “with schools and offices closed, it becomes difficult for parents to work from home and engage their kids. So Audible, an audiobook service by Amazon, is now offering free streaming of stories to entertain, teach, and engage children while schools remain shut.”
All marketing efforts must now be thought of through the lens of COVID-19 and its broader business impact. Remember that many products and services can still play a role in this new situation. Focus on increasing personalized connectivity and ways to keep these services running.
Offer Human Value
Many large companies are using their goods and services to help out during this situation, such as donating bedding for hospitals. Inditex, for example, is making gowns for health personnel and has sent protective material to hospitals. Seat, another company helping out, is manufacturing respirators at its Martorell plant. Finally, the Room Mate chain, has offered two of its hotels to serve those affected by the pandemic.
This train of solidarity is also being reflected in startups. Every day, dozens of entrepreneurs, as well as small and medium-sized companies, use social networks such as LinkedIn to offer their services to the individuals and companies that, in one way or another, have been affected by this situation. What could be better than an altruistic way of helping, offering human value and, in the long run, also reaching your target audience?
Digital marketing is a safe bet in these uncertain times. There has been an increase of 60% for sales of consumables online. In France and Italy, it already exceeds 80%. Media conglomerate Nielsen has already identified six stages of consumer behavior directly related to concerns about COVID-19:
1. Proactive purchasing (food and health oriented)
2. Reactive health management (protection with masks and hygiene products)
3. Pantry preparation (large food purchases)
4. Preparation for life in quarantine (increased consumption and online shopping)
5. Restricted life (stock limits and search for alternatives)
6. Living “normally” (back to normal, but with more hygiene restrictions)
Think about it, this situation has added countless new users who are now learning how to use online tools, all while companies have been forced to look for alternatives to traditional advertising. This opens a huge door for digital marketing.
Here are some ideas for how to adapt to this increasingly digital world: promote yourself on social media, use display ads, develop more video content and use platforms like YouTube, analyze website performance, and take advantage of the long-term nature of SEO.
Whatever it is you decide to do, you are on the right path as long as you are taking advantage of these new ways of providing services online. There is no better time than now to get creative!