Conversations around the need for businesses to go digital have been going on for a long time. However, the Covid-19 crisis accelerated the need and mandated all businesses to either adapt digital technologies or go dark. Covid-19 didn’t give much time to prepare for the life-altering changes it brought to the world. In an instant, businesses had to shut their offices, shops dropped their shutters, schools and colleges closed but everyone got online.
Businesses that were earlier reluctant to embrace new technologies suddenly found themselves to be woefully unprepared for the economic uncertainties that lingered since March 2020. They had to scramble to be on top of things, to migrate their operations and workforce overnight to virtual systems simply to remain in the game. On the other hand, businesses that already had digital strategies in place didn’t take time to adapt to this “new normal”. They remained ahead of their competitors, their workforce didn’t have a problem adjusting to working from home and their economic environment didn’t get largely affected.
The Covid-19 pandemic showed us all the importance of going digital. It simply was a matter of now or never. Adopt now or perish later. The rules were simple. However, simply adapting to digital technologies isn’t enough. For many businesses, adopting new technologies also means embracing digital marketing. If until the early months of 2020, business meets, tech shows, live events, conferences, and trade shows led the way for B2B communication, Covid-19 made these null and void. Person-to-person communication is hardly possible today. Personally, meeting clients or addressing potential audiences is no longer possible. Even traditional advertising (such as billboards, print ads and to a certain extent TVCs) have lost their appeal, especially with the Millennial and Gen Zs.
Digital Marketing is the Future
Unless businesses take lessons from the pandemic and use digital resources to stay connected, they are simply going to slip into oblivion – very soon. Staying connected with clients, customers, and employees through digital mediums means making the best use of digital marketing. To steer ahead of the competition, companies must turn to digital marketing, especially if they want to survive Covid-19.
What is Digital Marketing?
Any form of marketing that makes use of electronic devices to promote business products and services is called digital marketing. In this form of marketing, campaigns mostly appear on computers, phones, tablets, and other Internet-enabled devices. There are various forms of digital marketing such as online videos, display ads, social media posts, PPC, SEO, etc.
Digital marketing is much more targeted than traditional marketing because businesses need to understand their audiences before creating any campaign. Audience research and segmentation are much more thorough for digital marketing. This is mainly because the power of choosing messages now rests with the audience. With so many platforms to navigate and interact from, audiences now have the power to interact according to their whims and fancies. If they don’t like a brand’s messaging on a platform, they can univocally reject them. They are no longer silent takers. This makes the job tougher for businesses that must constantly be on their toes to understand and navigate audience wishes and interests.
Digital Marketing During a Pandemic
Over the past year and a half, people have lived in isolation. While the world may be slowly opening once again, few things are not going to happen in life before. One of them is marketing. Digital marketing for companies is here to stay. These past few months have taught us a few things about digital marketing during a pandemic. Some key observations for businesses are –
- Businesses Must Change Their Communication Approach – Everything has changed – perception, priorities as well as needs. To remain afloat in a post-Covid world, businesses must become empathizers. They must be able to recognize people’s sufferings and acknowledge that while campaigning for their products and services. As a business, you must look out for your customers. Offering them membership discounts, long-term benefits, and refunds options are a few strategies to adopt. During the peak months of Covid-19, businesses only sought to keep their presence felt. They worked on improving their online visibility and interactions. Though restrictions are easing now, these strategies must continue.
- Investing in PPC Ads – Pay Per Click ads (PPC) have always been known for their high return on investments. During the pandemic, the importance of PPC has been acutely felt by businesses because their customers have all been glued to digital spaces. Whether it is about investing in PPC ads on Facebook or Google, this is one trick you cannot miss. The best thing about PPC ads is that it is affordable and meant for targeted campaigns. You can design campaigns based on your customer interest, location, profession, gender, etc.
- Taking All Services Online – To survive in this new world, businesses need to take all their services online. 2020 mandated companies to go digital. Even now, after more than a year, this trend of remaining relevant online remains crucial. From improving web presence to renewing social media engagements, businesses had to do it all. But these measures are not enough. As part of your digital marketing efforts, you must adopt automated email communications for the long term and must already have an integrated cloud-based solution for improved communications. Businesses that saw no relevance online must join the bandwagon. The biggest example is the education sector. Who would have thought that education at all levels could be imparted online? But that’s happening and there is still a lot of scope in this sector.
The Covid-19 pandemic has shown how true the saying “survival of the fittest” is. Companies that had adapted and adopted technologies have done well while those who resisted or lagged have been left behind. Digital marketing for companies has acted as a savior as it has allowed businesses to remain connected with their customers, clients, and vendors. There is no doubt that digital marketing is the future, and it is here to stay. The faster companies adopt this new marketing form, the better it will be for them.