Online Marketing – During And After The Pandemic

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Arber Bullakaj

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The coronavirus hasn’t only changed our everyday lives, but the world of online marketing likewise. The causes for these changes are multifarious, and become apparent not only amongst consumers but companies, too. 

In case of the consumer the outbreak of COVID-19 resulted in a drastic lifestyle change: whilst life took place in the office, and was invested in enjoying recreational activities, home has now become the centre of everybody’s life. Since numerous companies shifted to short-time work, or introduced a new working model with home office being the norm, consumers spend most of their time at home. As outside activities are cancelled and working from home saves a lot of time, users have more time left to indulge in the so-called ‚couch surfing’. 

When it comes to companies and small businesses, most of them were forced to find new ways to bring their products and services to market. Many measures adopted by the government resulted in reduced opening hours, other shops and institutions were not even allowed to open in the first place. Since these restrictions only apply to physical establishments, online marketing evolved into an absolutely essential channel – especially during the pandemic. Learn more about the trends that emerged from this new understanding, and how you can integrate these findings into your own strategy!

Marketing During The Pandemic – Changes

The COVID-19 pandemic entailed remarkable financial changes: Working from home turned out to be a blessing to many, whilst short-time working and job loss signified the complete opposite for others. These repercussions significantly altered consumer behaviour – one of the most important factors that marketers have to take into account. 

Price-performance ratio: since aforementioned factors have led to a budget reduction, or consumers are apprehensive of it happening in the soon future, conscious consumerism has now developed into a trend. On the one hand, financial resources to buy leisure articles, fashion & co are limited. On the other hand, daily life now takes place in the realms of one’s home within one’s family and friends circle – one of the reasons why status symbols become more and more obsolete.

Home as one’s centre of daily life: since the outbreak of the pandemic life takes place at home. However, our home is no longer only our living space, but also a place dedicated to studying, working and leisure activities – making it all the more important to furnish it as comfortably and functional as possible. The expenses for sports and home wear have risen – what matters now is what one wears during the next lockdown, whilst the latest outdoor summer trends become less and less important. The latest products, fashion items & co are presented in the media which are being consumed more than ever before: be it social media, radio, print media or TV. As a matter of fact, half of the social media users confirmed to be spending more time on social media than before. Thus companies expanded their marketing channels, but abstained from advertising in less frequented spaces. So-called ‚out-of-home’ advertisements on billboards in metro stations, train stations, or in the city centre are less effective, and event marketing lost its significance altogether. If possible, online events are being organized instead, or its budget is being invested in online content in lieu.

More content: in parallel with the rise in social media usage, content production has increased tremendously. Especially content production for social media, closely followed by blogs and video content. Marketers have further reduced their spending for traditional advertising channels, and instead invest in online marketing and upgrading their online-shops. In online content that not only increases lead generation, but also users’ engagement with one’s brand.

Health as a top priority: a stronger focus now lies on products’ and their related buying processes’ health aspects. Meaning: consumers prefer information gathering and contactless ordering processes via tablet, smartphone or PC. Information regarding their delivery or service adaptation due to the pandemic are just as important as sharing health tips. Whether it’s precautionary and protective measures, or self care tips – many related topics benefit your brand image and strengthen your customer relationships. In consequence of the perpetual uncertainty, consumers also tend to prefer positive online content that conveys safety and normalcy.

High expectations: even before the pandemic, the new generation Z steered modern time technical development: growing up interconnected 24/7, they expect modern technology to dance attendance all of their wishes in the blink of an eye. The virus’ outbreak has accelerated digitalization, and therefore multiplied the expectations that users have with regards to companies’ digital content. Consumers wish for frictionless digital transactions, optimized website performances and digital experiences. Since companies have access to more information than ever before, potential customers expect personalized digital experiences addressing their needs and current life situation. Their implementation requires a real-time analysis of consumer behaviour, instead of analyses in retrospective. Those analyses as well as tailored online presences and processes oftentimes require the integration of AI systems – thanks to data-handling via artificial intelligence you can showcase content that is particularly relevant to your customer.

The 4 Cs: said experiences encompass the 4 Cs: content, community, commerce and convenience. By implementing these, you will be well-equipped. Content encompasses any and all digital contents shared via email, mobile apps and websites. Those offerings support building and maintaining good customer relationships, whose interaction with your brand can lead to their first or a repeated purchase. This is where commerce comes into play, due to the pandemic e-commerce in particular: purchasing processes should run smoothly, your products and services should be presented in an aesthetically pleasing way, and your online-shop should offer relevant blog and magazine content. This additional information can also be shared via video content, webinars or your social media accounts, whilst simultaneously building a strong community. A community that allows you to engage with your customers’ questions and suggestions, or them exchanging their product experiences amongst themselves. Due to the pandemic the fourth column has gained in importance, too: convenience. It involves loyalty programs, but also fast delivery and structured information.

Coronavirus and Digital Marketing: A Business Opportunity

Increasing online commerce and accelerated digitalization long for new measures. These entail big challenges, and likewise big opportunities. Whether you want to develop a mobile app, create a website, an online shop or upgrade your social media account – we are your best bet when it comes to digitalization!

Arber Bullakaj

Not only is Arber Bullakaj an Innovation Expert with an Executive MBA in Innovative Management and Development, he is also certified as a Senior Project Manager (IPMA Level B). These skills, combined with an absolute passion for innovation, represent a big advantage for our clients’ needs and for the future of Dinnova AG. As a full-blooded CEO he prefers to ‘go all in’ into projects and challenges as likes to act as a sparring partner for our team.