The COVID-19 pandemic has largely influenced the way marketers and advertisers strategize and execute marketing plans for their respective brands. Last year, the industry witnessed a surge of changes in business standards, which also unveiled new ways to approach marketing channels and customers.
COVID-19 has altered the consumer behaviour pattern, pushing marketers not to stop re-inventing themselves.
Marketers have switched from betting big on flagship and premium products to investing in items utilized daily by their clients. Marketers are also adjusting marketing budgets as the industry's dynamic changes: focusing on contextual advertising and personalized ads to create more positive engagements and meaningful connections with their customers.
While internet penetration varies across tier II and III cities, the demand for regional content has increased at high speeds. In the last few years, regional content has led to a surge in local media consumption and local SEO; during the pandemic, individuals have no choice but to consume local, which may continue to happen after restrictions are lifted. This has led advertisers to prioritize their ad spends accordingly, dedicating more budget to regional spending activities.
The switch to e-commerce played a crucial role in helping people order from the comfort of their homes and keeping businesses open.
Many brands went one step further and expanded their online shelves by directing more investment to D2C channels and creating their own portals, rather than relying on third-party e-commerce channels. D2C channels have been showing positive results on the number of online shoppers and sales and reducing costs, as companies are targetting consumers directly.
Digital strategies have taken centre stage for brand and marketing, with the following prominent areas: social media, influencer marketing and content marketing.
The shift happened due to the restrictions imposed during the lockdown, leading companies to extensively focus on influencer marketing, one of the best ways to reach audiences in ambiguous times.
Even though brands have been associating themselves with influencers for years, COVID-19 has completely transformed the industry's approach.
Companies used to consider influencer marketing as a short-term tactic, but now entire marketing campaigns revolve around it. Will a more patient-centric landscape change this scenario or strengthen it?
The COVID-19 crisis has changed business landscapes, economies and social relations across the world. However, whenever a crisis threatens the status quo, it is time for bold and creative marketers to learn from it and disrupt the market.