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There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has forced most of us to introspect and make efforts to bring about necessary changes in our lifestyle. But as each person responds differently to a crisis, it is self-evident that a big chunk of people might play it safe over a prolonged time, while the other may go and indulge themselves as a form of rebound.
From being a regular to our favorite restaurant and going to movies at the weekend, to canceling our gym memberships and avoiding malls and public places, working from home and working out from home, there has been a huge shift in our priorities and preferences throughout the pandemic so far. From a commercial perspective, this means a major shift in how customers buy and consume products and services.
Amongst all this chaos, the role of a marketer may seem obsolete, but it is hardly the truth. Marketers who like to stay ahead of the curve will acknowledge that this is a golden opportunity to pivot and present your brand as an ally to your audience. Seeing customers as individuals with hidden fears and apprehensions, and not grouping them under demographic categories, will allow marketers to engage and cater better to the changing needs of their audience.
The best way to move forward for marketers is to develop a coherent golden record of data about everything there is to know about their customers. This data should then be used for creating informed interactions with their customers and partaking in conversations to know and understand what they want from your end.
As adaptation and updation become the only way to survive, marketers must make deliberate efforts to come out stronger in the face of a crisis like this.
Here are a few major strokes to steer your efforts in the right direction –
1. Changing Customer Needs
We see more panic buying and stocking of essentials happening at grocery stores. Restaurants are facing the loss of business as more and more people shift towards home-cooked meals, canned food, and online delivery of raw materials. The travel and hospitality sector has almost disappeared from the scene. It is noteworthy that social distancing and remote working have caused an enormous pattern shift in how people manage their finances too.
As social distancing and isolation increase chances of stress and boredom, issues like increased anxiety levels, and a sense of loneliness needs to be curbed before it becomes a problem area for the masses. The need of the hour for marketers is to come up with innovative ways to keep people engaged and make their lives easier in some way or the other. One way of doing this is how Audible did it. As the schools remain shut, Audible – an audiobook service by Amazon is offering free online streaming of stories for kids to keep them engaged and trained while the parents struggle to work from home.
2. Leveraging Technology for Digital Growth and Online Brand Presence
If by any chance you have been living under a rock, now is the perfect time to come out and see the infinite potential held by technology for the future of business.
It is self-evident that whatever your industry, your customers are looking for you online.
With more time being spent at home, the consumption of online content is already at an all-time high. OTT streaming platforms, social media, and E-Commerce portals are witnessing the biggest surge in new user sign-ups and the consumption of services.
Marketing and branding for the digital consumer have become paramount at this point and to ensure a spot in the future market, companies need to catch-up and plan their marketing spends accordingly.
3. Customer Experience is Your True North Star
In such worrying times, simply focus on building a rapport with your audience. Try to deliver more than expected by providing the right information and helping your customers cope with the trying situations. Let everything you do be driven by the answer to whether or not it will enhance how customers experience your product or service. Because here’s the thing – it is not an option anymore. If you ignore customer experience, don’t bother about surviving the competition as your company stands bleak chances of staying in business. Showing empathy at this time will go a long way in building a strong foundation for rock-solid relationships with your audience.
While the kids fight boredom, adults fight financial worries and the aged seniors who are most susceptible, fight life-threatening stress and anxiety, as a marketer, if you can reach out to these people to make sure your service not just makes profits, but helps in battling through this pandemic, consider your job well done.
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