The coronavirus (COVID-19) international pandemic has resulted in changes to advertising, marketing, promotional and media spends, forcing businesses and makes to evaluate their puzzling over current and future advertising and selling campaigns to take care of a gradual stream of financial gain. Whereas brands presently get to strike the proper tone throughout a worldwide health emergency, the longer-term portend market alteration, augmented competition, and a requirement for inventive and aggressive selling practices.
Countries, all over the world have implemented different social distancing and necessary quarantines practices causing a downfall of 6.3 % Monetary Fund projects global growth in January 2020. The most suffered industries were aviation, hospitality, retail, and tourism sectors along with textiles, transportation, furniture, machinery, energy, etc.
But there were some industries which showed major growth also. They were food, electronics, chemicals plastics, and IT industries.
Many industries have been re-evaluating the marketing spends and refocusing the promotional activities to generate consumer interest besides maintaining sufficient returns.
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As the organizations are looking forward to adapting to a huge change, many issues came in the path. Those are:
- How to sustain the presence of the brand when markets and industries are changing and reshuffling
- Whether to develop and bring new products which can align and match with a “new reality” and meet the new needs of the customer
- How to deal with the changing landscape and competitive market when buyer’s spending natures are suddenly altered, and
- How organizations as a brand can invent consumer concerns related to health, wellness, community emphasizing the current scenario.
These issues pointed to some real core questions for every organization all over the world. The core questions are related to strategy making and the sustainability of organizations.
Let’s have a look at those core values which every organization needs to be considered in the current scenario:
- What should be the business strategy when even government has no clue when business should be reopened?
- How should a brand promote their services and products in the crisis of COVID-19 in a different way to resonates with customers?
- Even after the sense of “normality” returns, what should be the effective way to communicate with consumers?
- Most importantly, how should a brand engage their consumers to keep spending on their brand’s products?
On The Digital Bandwagon
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, brands are facing difficulty to create a real-time ambiance for their products or services. The companies had to shift focus their focus towards digital marketing for creating the luxury and awareness of their brand for selling products as well as services.
Brands had to increase their transparency quotient to show customers their real value. A positive outcome resulted in having a better opportunity for consumers to connect and attract more intimately with brands.
As we saw, within few months of the pandemic lifestyle, and perspective of consumers has shifted so dramatically for everyone, that brands have had to reposition their content to ensure that their message remains pertinent and well-received.
For a brand or an organization, the relevance of online presence has never been more important, and with Covid-19 the strategies that the businesses were using to strive through the market were no longer feasible to function. The companies had to conjure with plans and methods to strategies during a short period to style the roadmap ahead.
Subsequently, it resulted in the spotlight being shifted on digital marketing as an attempt to fulfill the need and demands for customer-curetted experiences. Innovation has been the major rule for brands that were needed to pivot to digital events to retain a particular customer’s attention with different challenges faced by the companies in the digital forum.
The impact of digital marketing is going to be long-standing, and enduring for almost any brand or industry as it is based upon engaging consumers in live experiences; be it is through a website, webinar, or some landing page.
Even tech giants are no longer taking part in the improvements from their older products or services. Nowadays, the tech brands are competing with other brands stating that ‘Their product is better than any other product’, rather than conveying that ‘Our new version is better than the old one’.
Significant Shifts in Customer Habits
Major health concerns and recent stay-at-home restrictions have allowed multiple changes in the day-to-day habits of customers across the world. a recent study by Siemens found that nearly seven-in-every ten Indian adults claimed that their life has changed at least a little as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, including 40% who say their life has changed in a major way. Many activities that formerly reckoned for a significant chunk of any individual’s day had been restricted in this time towards self-isolation and social distancing, causing major shifts in time spent on other matters.
The best response any marketers should think of to tackle COVID-19, is to focus on returning to the absolute basics. The brands need to analyze how and where their customers are now generally spending their time. A solid understanding of these paradigms will help them discover opportunities for marketers to continue to engage their customers responsibly and create tangible long-term impacts.
The Growth of Digital Marketing – Covid Era
As we have seen, the digital marketing field has seen a drastic growth in the year 2020 and 2021, which is also known as the years of the Covid pandemic. When discussing the key indicators that generate success in the market; the first thing that comes to mind is the number of people reached through the various marketing practices. The internet has played a major role in penetrating the huge market share with an outstanding number. A country like India has a huge potential in terms of digital marketing, as it has the 2nd largest number of internet users in the world.
By the year 2023, it has been forecasted that the number of active Indian internet users will grow at an exponential rate, reaching almost 666 million users. This can be seen as a huge indication that larger shares of people are shifting online and hence it makes complete and smart sense for a brand to start marketing their products and or services online.
Due to the cheaper internet option in India, so many people have started their digital footprint online, as we saw an increase in the consumption of data. During the earlier times i.e., before the Covid pandemic era, a user consumed approximately 500MB to 1GB monthly data regularly. But in today’s period, an average user is recorded to utilize around 14 GB of monthly 4G data in December 2020. This number is further seeing an incremental trend on average growth of 20%; as an increased number of consumers have started subscribing to various platforms for video and audio consumption, as well other dependencies on the Internet.
Another significant major impact of covid-19 has been the awe-inspiring tremendous growth of OTT platforms which is said to being one of the fastest-growing markets in the Indian market. The lockdown period saw an elevation in the consumption of content on the OTT platforms right from 181 billion minutes to almost 204 billion minutes within the space of one whole year!
Furthermore, what was more shocking was that that the search volume per month for ‘digital marketing’ was nearly in the figure of 60,500 in May 2019 and it further experienced a whopping growth rate of 49.5%, which means a total number of 90,500 searches for it in May 2020, right when we saw the peak of the covid-19 pandemic that was raging across all the major continents.
This shows a clear trend that not just the people, even the companies and businesses understand the importance of digital marketing and are companies, big or small, are showing interest in pursuing newer channels and revenues in this field.
As per the reports given by the Dentsu Aegis Network, the total advertising industry of India in 2019 was valued at INR 68,475 crores which were further calculated to be almost INR 76,000 crores by the end of 2020. That shows a massive 10.9% growth rate, which goes on to showcase that even during the pandemic, there was an increase in the amount of money being invested that was channeled into advertising, especially towards the digital channels and platforms.
Companies have been lately giving so much importance to digital marketing that even some of the biggest organizations are restructuring their marketing budget to accommodate and shift their focus to the digital push.
Due to the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are largely relying on digital marketing now more than it has ever been. According to Global Data, a well–known research company, the growth of the Indian e-commerce market is said to be pushing to ₹7 trillion by 2023 due to the lockdowns.
With every consumer locked down in their homes, all traditional marketing efforts are taking a huge hit because of the government restrictions to arrest the growth of the virus spread. Businesses that didn’t even have their website nor had no social media presence have now begun to speed up their digital transformation and design a digital strategy to communicate with their target audiences.
Scope Of Digital Marketing In The Future
As we have seen up till now, the growth of digital marketing has been quite monumental, to say the least, and the numbers clearly show that the growth is going to see an incremental upward trend in the future. In simpler words, the future of digital marketing looks to be brilliant and unshakeable.
More and more opportunities are being expanded in the digital marketing field, with a stroke of being creative, innovative, and updated with the latest trends should be the basic principle of every brand that is getting in the digital marketing. There is going to be no full–stop growth that is being noticed on the Internet over the years especially since the coronavirus pandemic. Consumers nowadays are more open towards adapting to the new normal and many are in – fact quite comfortable with this new normal where people are carrying out almost everything online, be it for shopping, ordering food or medicines, or even making out banking transactions online!
Another important aspect that needs to be considered is that the future generation will be an important agent of the already established digital world and will be habitual to everything being in the online platform. Hence, the companies and the businesses must integrate digital marketing as an important tool to engage and deliver to future generations.
Digital Marketing Strategy – Covid Era
Here is how entities are mitigating the Covid risks and creating opportunities with the help of digital marketing:-
Check Your Numbers: One should be certain that they have been all angles of your business health, including revenue trends, retail foot traffic, and website traffic, to understand how the pandemic has been impacting the various area of the business.
Assess Your Brand’s Value: In today’s era, people are curving to brands to meet their present needs. Understanding those needs and where does the brand fit, might require temporarily shifting strategies. The brand needs to keep a very close eye on its customers’ spending trends, competitors’ messaging, and media presence
Look Ahead: The brand and its consumers need to know that they will get through this. Looking back at past market downturns and rebounds have given the companies a glimpse of how customers are willing and are going to spend after the COVID-19 crisis has ended. This knowledge can empower any business team to create thorough marketing strategies that will accelerate growth this pandemic will end, ushering a whole new era in which digital marketing will play a very big role.
This 2019 pandemic has become economic and public health concern throughout the world which has led to a transformation. This transformation is of not only operating your business but also growing and sustaining the business.
The main challenges for the businesses are how to attract their target customers and promote their products and services when they can’t communicate with them physically. The scenario is completely new for everyone.