‘Dwindling economies and growing concern’ is an accurate description of how the world shall view the epidemic years from now. The crisis has surely sent many prospective strategies and annual plans into a heap. After all, nobody would have thought that they would be visiting pharmacies more frequently than their office buildings!
With waning profits and poor cash inflows, many business firms are succumbing to major losses and even permanent closure. Having a glance at the figures of the economy alone speaks of the ‘temporary’ doom – but how many permanent changes is it going to bring?
The economy has witnessed ups and downs previously, too. Even so, what makes sustainability during COVID-19 even more exigent is its abruptness. No sooner were we preparing for precautions at the workplace than work from home was introduced. During the same period, a myriad people either lost their jobs or got infected, worsening the all-pervading unemployment crisis.
The misery faced by businesses having outlets, and those which relied on traditional marketing or physical attendance of clients and costumers is unparalleled. Many such firms were compelled to shut down due to heavy losses and uncertain expectastions.
Executives across the globe believe that economies will revive, however, slowly. As mentioned in an article published by McKinsey & Company, the most affected sectors could take more than five years to reach their 2019 level of contributions to the GDP. So, it is only fair to expect operations to regularise disproportionately, let alone development.
Quantifying the Overall Impact
A situation seems decent unless it is quantified. Having spread its branches in 213 countries, the virus has infected more than 13 million people. With rising cases and declining economies, it is hard to ascertain the next normal. And while big players in the industry are converting challenges into opportunities, small and medium firms with little investment are continually fighting for survival.
In Asia, around 59% of business operations have been “severely affected” whereas only around 1% remain unaffected. Looking at India, particularly, the industrial production witnessed a drop of more than 54%, in April, compared with the same period the previous year. Around 44.6% of the households received a reduced income during the lockdown period due to salary cuts and loss of jobs. To top it all, the Indian Monetary Fund has predicted that the Indian Economy will shrink by 4.5% this fiscal year.
An International Trade Centre (ITC) survey points to how one in every four small businesses, in developing nations, will permanently cease to exist due to the contagion. Clearly, small scale or micro-level businesses and medium-sized enterprises are on the receiving end of the collapse. Since they constitute more than 95% of all businesses. Globally, the consequences faced by these firms can restrict economic growth and prosperity.
Adapting and Differentiating
Despite all the obstacles, it is not peculiar to see firms trying to jump the hurdles. The period has also been one of realisation that a business’ “digital presence” has never mattered more. During this time, when everyone is gradually adapting to the present circumstances, ‘differentiating’ one’s venture from others could ultimately decide which businesses sail through. This is where digital marketing comes into play.
Let’s have a look at why businesses should start investing more in Digital Marketing.
- The Online Shift
Evidently, the majority of the global population has access to the internet – the subscriber-base being an insane figure of more than 4 billion people! No wonder why most of the successful enterprises have resorted to promoting and selling a large share of their products and services online. According to Forbes, during the lockdown, internet hits have improved by 50-70%, making it even more attractive for businesses to revise and devise their digital marketing strategies carefully.
The unexpected change of events has rendered traditional marketing methods futile for the ongoing period of time. With people increasing their online presence and spending more time on the internet, digital marketing has become an indispensable shift.
- Product and Marketing go Hand in Hand
Having trust in one’s product and completely relying on it are two different things. Experts and executives understand the importance of marketing truly — no matter how excellent your product might be — if it’s not marketed well, it is equivalent to nothing. Getting your target audience to know about your product, its uniqueness and benefits, requires lesser efforts when you decide to market it online. Just choosing the right platform and a suitable pitch can solve half the problem!
Hence, in order to reach a wider audience and to enable the perfect costumers to find you – reach out to them online.
- Customer Engagement
More than the number of customers matters the quality of customer engagement.
To a great extent, the success of a digital campaign is determined by how well your customer engagement turns out to be. Thus, digital marketing not only allows a business to ‘attract’ customers but also enables it to keep them ‘engaged.’
Listed below are a few strategies for customer engagement.
- E-mail Marketing: Instead of ‘bulk’ email marketing, small businesses should focus on sending out personalised and relevant emails to their customers or readers to create a sense of value amongst them. During this time of scepticism and concern, gathering your customers’ belief by emailing them significant content or your company’s newsletters is a win-win strategy.
- Content Marketing: Updatingblogs and website content regularly helps businesses to provide their online visitors with useful and situation-specific content. Businesses with websites, blogs and/or pages have the perfect time to focus on building a good domain, and a decent authority as well. This can be achieved by laying emphasis on keyword usage, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) techniques.
- Analysing Customer Behaviour: With online traffic, comes an advantage of analysing its behaviour using various tools. Businesses can monitor their customers’ or visitors’ behaviour using analytical tools. This can prove to be fruitful for preparing digital marketing strategies in the future.
Conclusion A specialist has said, “People shop and learn in a whole new way compared to just a few years ago, so marketers need to adapt or risk extinction.” These words hold true as technology and the internet are the two key things, which the world has adopted, and there seem no close substitutes. Hence, the businesses that recognise the importance of growing digitally reap the benefits of surged sales, online growth and better relationships with the target audience.