It has been months since the COVID-19 pandemic attacked the entire globe and affect everyone’s daily lives. Businesses have become more reliant on digital strategies to maintain their stand.
“If someone put a gun on your head, there are 146 ways to fight back”,Harvey Specter (A character from the American series “Suits”.)
Now, in this case, businesses have no options but to crawl out from the norms and find a new way to survive the war. Somehow, in many cases, a digital strategy will be the deciding factor whether a business can make it through hard times or not.
Live events and conferences were shut down completely to avoid transmission of the virus resulting in almost total disappearance to all channels, which turns those especially face-to-face businesses invincible. One way to recover is to come up with an evolution of sustainable strategy whatever the condition is including pandemics.
How COVID-19 Affect Businesses?
Smaller businesses usually get their customers coming from two ways whether it’s through word-of-mouth or on a hard-won reputation strength. COVID-19 hit them hard. Since all sorts of communications are now changed, then they should also shift the way they communicate with their audiences. B2B companies, on the other hand, relies on the annual circuit of exhibitions and trade shows particularly to network and build customer relations. Those industries that are not common in digitalization may also be less concerned with their digital growth and customer relation strategies before.
Most larger companies may have the potential in losing millions through canceled events. They might not be able to retrieve back the hours and expenses spent on preparing for events this year, but probably they can get back some of it from insurance and flexible cancellation policies.
This definitely means there are opportunities, of course out there to recover all the loss. For say, a B2B supplier who has been a bit slow in adapting to the digital marketing universe can finally make a move for real. Adaptability is the key factor in resilience. If going out and meet new customers face-to-face has always it has been for you before then adapting possibly means opening new paths over the web or social platforms where branding and exposure can be done and also fostering relationships.
Now people are not going to be so open about other people walking through their door and shake hands until who knows when these will end. Looks like digital is the winner now. For companies even those that not so much had a Facebook page before- will need to change their path by diving into social marketing, SEO as well as influencer-led campaigns.
How They Changed?
A lot of companies have already started to increase their usage of digital marketing such as updating their websites up to in-trend standards, do social media campaigns and influencers in continuing their operations as a bounce back from all the restrictions and unavoidable circumstances.
“We are in uncertain times, but with the increase of remote working and a collaborative approach, companies are turning digital channels and embracing the transformation. We have seen a real spike during the last few weeks from companies wishing to create or update websites, launch new e-commerce channels and create social media campaigns focused on home-workers and a real focus on using influencers and SEO to reach new audiences”. Said Scott Jones, CEO of 123 Internet Group.
Marketers now have more time to develop strategies since they’re being confined to the office or home rather than on the road sales visits or at events. The act of researching where your customers can be found online and how approaches and tactics are different, will at the end of the day impact your success. If you are like any kind of business who had been building their network offline and that previously put light effort into digital channels since you were more comfortable with the traditional way, now things have changed, it’s time to revisit them. Simply as giving your website a punch or give a social page a refresh certainly would make everything a lot better. This is the time for businesses to consider digital marketing in Malaysia in order to save their businesses.
Head of global business at events technology agency, Ratnesh Singh said that he found that clients do not plan to lose the networking opportunity at any minute provided by the conference circuit. Over and above, they are looking for new alternatives to spend their marketing budget left over. “With our corporate clients, events often consume 50 to 60 percent of their marketing budgets. They still want to spend that money and they’re open to trying something new,“ he said.
He also adds that there’s a window of possibility here that when things finally end and get back to normal, budgets also will be going back into live events. That’s what most companies plan to spend their time on after. But if they can see what digital channels can offer as benefits and opportunities then, this will be part of their long-term marketing plans.
Buzznation also found that businesses want to use their live social platforms better now. The reason was that clients and customers are returning to Facebook and LinkedIn Live mostly because people have more time now than before. Most of the companies have already dabbled with these platforms in the past but never really had integrated their marketing strategy there fully.
Now partnering with companies that offer digital marketing strategy and services has increasing value in their eyes. They could get help in making the most of those channels in achieving better production value and success in targeted campaigns more. Many doesn’t know but there are options for local digital marketing agency Malaysia that are willing to help businesses recover in this situation.
Certainly, it’s true that companies will face difficulties in thinking about how will they replace the opportunities they could have been seizing for how long the situation lasts. There is absolutely no reason why digital marketing should just serve as an emergency fill-in as long as the businesses shift to digital marketing strategically in approach. This could provide long term value as it carries on till and after the world gets back to normal. Companies who’ve actually had this vision will surely be more resilient to deal with any pandemics in the future.
If you want to know more tips on how to overcome this outbreak, you can read this article: How Your Business Will Survive The Covid-19 Pandemic; Local Business Edition.