With the economic downturn the world experiences due to a highly infectious virus, how will localized global brands thrive online post-coronavirus?
The order of priority after the outbreak of COVID-19, according to Unilever CEO, Alan Jope, was to look after the people, the supply, the demand, and the money. During the pandemic, plans are going to be put on hold. How will this situation reflect on the global business expansion and state of the brands?
Looking at the numbers
In an article, the Harvard Business Review mentioned that the decline in merchandise trade is from 13% to 32%, the foreign direct investment reduced by 30% to 40% and a drop in international airline passengers from 44% to 80%.
Despite the reduction in numbers, other businesses are optimistic since they are experiencing growth. Simplification and digitization are two systems that many local governments are implementing to make foreign businesses’ entry easier.
Simultaneously, many companies are responding in business, marketing, and organizational turning points to face the challenges and still manage to empower their brands.
Companies are encouraged to become responsible caretakers of the economy and the human workforce by supporting local governments, upholding the interests of clients and suppliers, and keeping their employees safe.
With the reduction in mobility, online marketing is one way to go. Many companies, even individuals, are exploring the possibilities and opportunities that online marketing offers today.
Online marketing during the coronavirus pandemic
COVID-19 has altered the way of life of people across the globe. While things are still uncertain at this point, businesses have to adjust to the challenges, reviewing their digital marketing strategies to provide solutions to the changing needs of customers. Here are some of the approaches you can do as an online marketer.
Understand what your customers are facing today
The shopping environment has changed, and you should understand what many consumers are facing today. Since many businesses have closed, many employees have been displaced. Some were lucky to be part of the work from home workforce. Others have to accept shifting, reduced work hours and work schedule. Overall, this means that the customers are not financially stable right now. What you can do is regularly monitor how customers are doing and where they are struggling. You will be able to create a better online marketing communication strategy if you know the factors that challenge your customers right now.
Learn better communication techniques
You do not have to struggle too much if you are flexible and willing to change. If you are a small business owner, you might consider adopting your product or service to your customers’ current needs. You might consider diversification or shifting your business focus from your regular consumers to offering products or services to B2B customers and healthcare facilities.
For example, one company in the Philippines used to manufacture alcoholic drinks. During the pandemic, when sanitizing alcohol and related products became scarce, the company allocated one division to produce high-grade alcohol for sanitation, to supply hospitals, medical facilities and the public.
Segment your customers
During the pandemic, you cannot afford to waste anything. What is important today is to provide everyone the things they need. You can do this by identifying and segregating your customers. If you know who and what your customers are, you will identify the customers who are price conscious, looking for new and better products or looking for alternative products that will provide almost the same benefits.
If you know your customers’ different personas, you can provide them the relevant products they need. Provide them with a new customer experience by making the buying process simpler. Create more calls to action on featured products, and make the steps from shopping shorter and faster.
Your business will definitely undergo several changes during the pandemic. And you should clearly communicate the changes you will implement to your customers. Whether you are changing your operating hours, offering other delivery options, or stocking up on new products, you have to let your customers know in advance. Remember that you have many competitors, particularly online, so it is essential to retain your regular customers and attract new ones. Clear communication will likewise help your customers to adjust their expectations from your business.
Show empathy through new content
You understand that every person is going through many challenges during the pandemic. Show your customers that you care by creating new content that will touch their hearts. Tell heartwarming stories, offer friendly advice and tips, and relate them to your product or business. This is one way of building closer relationships with your customers, showing them that you understand their situation and are ready to help them. Optimize your content’s availability through multiple channels.
Online marketing plans after the coronavirus pandemic
Undoubtedly, most companies are affected by the current health crisis. As the economic uncertainty is still hovering, some businesses may find it difficult to formulate new business strategies after the pandemic is over. While there are challenges, it is still essential to go through the formulation phase to prepare your company for the post-pandemic environment.
For one thing, data collection for marketing purposes has changed since many people have to stay at home, drastically affecting data collection. Because there is no historical data to back up the new data available today, inaccuracies are bound to happen.
Despite this, what matters is that digital marketing and online shopping will remain strong after the health crisis is over.
Thus, it is vital to prepare how you can use the opportunities carried over from the pandemic era.
Review your product offering
If you take a close look at your inventory, you’ll find that there are products that became irrelevant during the pandemic. Some products that were not saleable before have become more popular. Given the new data, it is vital at this stage to re-evaluate your product offering and stock up on the products that customers need. Choose products that customers need for the home. For example, determine if your medical supplies and other relevant products will still be in demand after the pandemic.
These products will still be consumed, but you should find what the customers would demand next. You know that facemasks will still be needed, but why settle for plain facemasks? You might want to consider facemasks that will make a fashion statement.
Build an online store
It might still be difficult to maintain physical stores, so think if you can reduce their number and increase your offering online by actually building an online store. In fact, online marketing will experience a bigger increase, expected to as high as $4.88 trillion in the coming year.
Make sure that you incorporate curbside pickup and home delivery into your new marketing strategies. Even if the pandemic is over, many people will opt to stay home due to health concerns. Therefore, show your customers that you care for their health by helping them stay at home while shopping from your store.
Enhance your customer service
Improve your customer service. With the increase in online shopping, it is vital to attend to customers who need assistance immediately. Your customer service should not only handle complaints. You should have extended customer service that will provide customers will all types of assistance they need, from finding a particular product to processing a return. Prepare a knowledge base with tutorials, glossary and more. You can extend the hours for customer service and use more channels to offer customer support.
Communicate regularly with your customers
Assure your customers that you are there for them. Online customers need assurance that the companies they know and trust are still there. Tell them that your products are still available and that you are still delivering. Let them know if there will be production delays or if you are introducing new products.
Evaluate your marketing strategies
The marketing plans that you have during the pandemic era may need upgrading after the pandemic is over. Review your marketing and advertising plans and remove those that were irrelevant. Integrate the new regulations into your content.
Latest and most common buyer personas during this pandemic era
The pandemic has changed marketing and shopping environments. With the changes that occurred, businesses need to update their insights on buyer personas.
A buyer persona is the profile of a target customer that you build using research. It describes your ideal customer, how they make decisions, their challenges and their daily lives.
So, for now, it is vital to know the changes that occurred in many people’s lives, which changed their buying habits.
- People who are used to shopping daily or several times are learning to shop from online stores. They are enjoying the convenience of having their goods delivered to their doors.
- Others who shop on-demand are now stocking up on essentials such as bathroom tissues, shampoos, soap, sanitizing and disinfecting agents and others because of increased consumption in the home and the unpredictable availability of the products in stores.
- Employees in their mid-40s who suffered from job suspensions are shopping less. They are only buying the essential they need and do not feel that brands are important.
- Consumers who are not directly affected by the pandemic are spending more on groceries than other goods, although their spending habits remain the same.
- Other consumers are getting more concerned about their families and the effects of the pandemic, so they are trying to increase their savings by giving a larger budget for groceries and spending less on leisure and clothing.
- The younger ones aged 18-44 worry about the pandemic’s impact on their lives. Nearly half of them reduced the frequency of shopping and changed the products they buy, although many still believe that brands matter.
We are here for you during and after the coronavirus pandemic
eTranslation Services continues to provide excellent language services despite the pandemic. We understand that business must go on even if there is a health crisis. Conveying the right and appropriate message across different cultures is critical today, and we assure you that we are here to do just that. If you need translation services for your business, please get in touch with us by email through [email protected] or by phone at (800) 882-6058.