We are in the #covid situation and we are #stayinghome. There is no doubt #social-distancing is necessary for the health of all communities. But at the same time, it is heart-breaking for small and medium business to cope with the fact that there are few customers, less activities and lesser revenue. Reality bites real hard when the future is uncertain, and no hashtags help!
While the customers are facing the covid-struck reality, so are the marketers. The pandemic has challenged marketers of all sizes to rethink the types of campaigns they want to run. With shift in consumer behavior, it makes less sense to spend in media that do not have an audience. This change in people’s consumption of advertising has forced the marketers to engage and experiment with out of the box solutions.
Let’s look at what was perceived early this year on brands that would be most impacted:
Quarantines in countries around the world have forced people to stay indoors, seizing this opportunity, marketers have come up with digitally savvy and creative ways to serve customers. A whole new world of tips, tricks, opportunities, strategies and announcements has been unveiled shaking the pyramid of consumer behavior. In this blog, let me share with you how these same brand categories and many more, have shown innovative yet realistic ways that redefine culture and operations to customers.
The trends tracked in the last few months are a mix of brand-new approaches and accelerated use of emerging technologies and platforms, such as live-streaming, augmented reality and virtual reality, to reshape business models and engage with consumers in creative ways. AR, VR & Community-centric apps are on the rise with the marketers as well as the demand from the consumers. Marketers around the world are ‘survivors’, to say the least, as they turn the wheel of time for customers to experience the unprecedented. Of course, many new business ideas are out of league questioning if they will still hold good once the things are back to normalcy, but nevertheless it is inspiring to see these ideas coming to light.
Let us check some of these categories:
Retail: FMCG companies partnering with delivery agents to get stock shipped. Take-away apps adding in grocery orders too, cleaning services are now adding in sterilization and disinfection services for buildings. Local distilleries have shifted to making hand sanitizers. Dine-in restaurants and bars are offering online ordering and drive-in pick-ups. Most of these businesses are either enlarging or enhancing the scope of business.
Automobile: There are many big automobile manufacturers helping governments in various countries with production of ventilators. Auto-brands are fast moving to using live streaming as the main marketing method during this time. Others are offering a digital tour of their showrooms by sales personnel, who gives them an in-store feeling and utilizing chatbots, answer all their queries. They are also focusing on after-sales services like special offers for free warranty extension, free disinfection of vehicles, and other promotions.
Education: ‘Online’ is the new classroom. A new trend that is coming up is struggling businesses, which once found it hard to get viewers are teaming up with each other and benefitting from their timely joint ventures. Teachers & educational apps teaming up together to get educational content out for students. Educational websites offering professional exams for free! Yes, it’s true, grab these.
Online: Ready for Zumba! Gyms and Fitness Studios are offering virtual work-out sessions, which you can start, pause, exercise and repeat from wherever you are. Many event related websites are offering virtual tours of toy-stores, zoo or museums. Artists and Crafters coming up with amazing video DIY content. Fun apps taking full advantage of ‘life at home’ and are up with group fun activities & gaming challenges. You can now even have yoga and meditation apps providing solace at free with live classes. What about a virtual catwalk and digital fashion show?! Fashion brands are creating digital clothing samples, which also is a solution to fashion waste and creating stunning online content in the process.
The world is changing and adapting to the new normal quickly, and it is driven by the innovative ideas churned out by the digital advertisers in these times of adversity. As they say, Necessity is the mother of Invention. True that!
Hope you enjoyed the read. Do mention/ share if you have observed any other creative tactics being applied during the pandemic in the comments.