Marketing changes in the post Covid-19 world
Updated: Aug 23, 2021
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We are almost 8 months into lock down, here in India.
I still remember the first lock down announcement, most of us expected it to last 2 weeks or a month tops.
And I feel back then, we all thought that there is no way we can survive like this, but here we are, sitting at home, working from home in December 2020.
This lock down has taught us a lot on a personal front, as well as a professional one, and this article is aimed to cover the professional changes that we as marketers would need to consider in the coming future.
And the crux of this article lies in understanding the consumer behavior changes, which will lead to a new and revamped marketing strategy.
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This article will cover the following points:
1. Changes in Consumer Behavior due to Covid-19
2. Changing marketing mediums post Covid-19
3. Evolving Industry trends post Covid-19
4. Ways to adapt a marketing strategy in a post Covid-19 scenario
Now let’s dive deeper into each of these parameters
1. Changes in consumer behavior due to Covid-19
While consumer behavior or rather consumer sentiments are bound to differ when it comes to countries.
Of course, I aim to keep this article generalized.
As per the McKinsey research conducted across 45 countries, a few common changes in consumer behavior before and after covid-19 can be taken into account as below:
Move from luxury to essentials
Even though India is considered as a more optimistic country when it comes to economic growth post the pandemic, as against some countries in Europe, consumers are still skeptical about a lot of things.
I have personally experienced this, luxurious products have taken a back seat and consumers are more and more focused on ensuring that the basic essentials take the front seat.
Our spending power may not be as affected, but our spending intent is definitely affected.
And this is to the extent that we no longer find the need to buy more things, we are learning to live with whatever we already have.
That’s a bad space for a marketer to be in.
Introduction of new ways of shopping
Here, I don’t want you to consider yourself or me as the shopper but think of a typical Indian housewife.
She has for years chosen to buy things through her specific shops, she doesn’t wish to compromise on the quality.
She is not time-bound, doesn’t mind spending that extra hour shopping to ensure that her family gets the best.
Switch to the present, this same person doesn’t have many choices anymore, she is now considering buying things online because they save her time, and are apparently considered to be safer.
One thing that’s hit the marketers badly is- Customer Loyalty going off the shelf.
And ease of purchase replacing the same.
We would rather stay home, or close by
Having worked in the hospitality sector for a while, I know this is reality.
Consumers who planned on a vacation once every year, are now contemplating once every 2 years as well.
And I’m not referring to the lack of facilities being available currently for travel, but this is happening more so because of the instilled ‘fear’ in the minds of consumers.
We are learning to be OK with what we have, if you want to take a break, you’d rather take one somewhere close by instead of traveling to a whole new place and have the risk of contracting the virus.
2. Changing marketing mediums post-covid-19
If I were to talk about this very briefly, it’s like digitization has directly jumped in from a position of number 5 to number 1.
Hop and there you have the new digitized world that we are living in now.
This new world or the new normal did not give us any time to learn and adapt to the digital way of doing things.
We just learned on the go, and this has helped marketers greatly.
Let’s look at the changing marketing mediums post covid-19
Social Media at the forefront
Social Media was not a ‘new’ platform before the pandemic hit us, but now this platform has turned into an essential one.
Marketers are shifting to using more digital mediums for advertising, because a fancy billboard may be totally useless, given that the consumer is not likely to step out of the house unless necessary.
The same goes for a print ad in a newspaper, of course, we have the e-paper option but consumers still prefer reading news on an app as against a pdf of the e-paper.
Digital Payments on a rise
This reminded me of the time when Flipkart introduced the ‘Cash on Delivery’ option during their initial days, this acted as one of the most factors for the rise of the platform.
Switch to today, when if you don’t have a digital payment option, consumers are less likely to buy from you.
We also see brands like Swiggy and Zomato, encouraging digital payments for safety.
In fact, if at all you do plan on visiting your local Kirana shop, you might get an option to scan a UPI and make your payments.
While work from home is now a reality, one of the other things that have seen a rise in the recent covid scenario is the growing usage of mobile phones.
Its multiplied 5x times and consumers are more likely to interact with a brand on a mobile phone setting as against any other medium.
This makes it extremely important for a brand to ensure that their communication is mobile responsive, to get the best results.
3. Evolving Industry trends post Covid-19
Now let’s look at things from a broader perspective, let’s analyze the top changing trends specific to certain industries.
Well as I mentioned, there is a clear shift from buying luxurious goods to switching to essentials only.
As a result of which, the automobile industry is bound to take a hit.
If your stepping out of the house itself is reduced, your need of buying a new car goes down even more.
The only good part is that consumers are now using digital mediums to research about cars if at all they plan on buying one later in the future.
Additionally, there’s been an increase in the second hand or used car segments that have been evident recently.
Travel and Accommodation Industry
As mentioned earlier, the tourism and hospitality industry is hit badly, and experts believe it would take another 2 years for it to re-gain the same position it had before Covid-19.
Naturally, this has affected marketing professionals from this industry, and now the communication is more focussed on safety is provided.
Instead of the luxurious hotel rooms and views.
Real Estate Industry
This is one of the worst-hit industries, and two reasons can be attributed to the same.
One is the changes in the spending habit that I mentioned earlier, and the other reason being the lack of flexibility to get out for buyers as well as the sales team from the company.
You may be able to buy other things online, but buying a house online is just not possible.
4. Ways to adapt a marketing strategy in a post-covid-19 scenario
By now, we know how the scenario has changed and the picture is in front of us of how marketing needs to shift accordingly.
Let’s look at some actionable ways that we need to introduce in our marketing strategy, going forward.
Show the consumers, you care
The worst thing that you can do for your brand, is to introduce something in an ‘opportunistic way’.
Rather, always communicate a bigger picture for the benefit of all.
Lifebuoy’s initial communication on handwashing habits was doing precisely this.
Image Source: youtube.com
Talking to your consumers, asking them to use any handwash, not only Lifebuoy to wash hands regularly, was definitely a bold move by the brand.
2. Normalcy would be pleasingly welcomed
That’s psychology, you would always prefer looking at the positives, barring the few fear-induced insurance ads.
Image Source: youtube.com