Consumer behaviors have changed over the course of a few months. Once restrictions are lifted, some changes may revert to their original conditions, but others are here to stay. The COVID-19 impact differs throughout the world – both in the timing and severity of the outbreak. This situation made brands rethink their media planning strategies. For brands that are operating in multiple countries, it is important to understand media-consumption habits within the local market. Brands need to adapt quickly, but what are the crucial expectations to consider when navigating the current media landscape? Find out from this article what should we be considering and what changes are here to stay.
The Biggest Beneficiary – Online Advertising
At the time of writing this article, COVID-19 has already spread faster than SARS and MERS. There are over 14 million reported cases worldwide. Brands are adopting a cautious approach to committing marketing budgets, but there is one advertising platform that is moving as rapidly as the spread of the pandemic – online advertising. Brands enjoyed this change because there is lower competition on auction-based platforms. This resulted in cost-effective ads. E-commerce industries faced supply issues, companies that responded quickly to this new reality benefited from the situation because of lower competition and CPM (cost per mille). More consumers expect brands to continue advertising, but it must fulfill their needs, and practice good marketing such as sharing relevant messages useful during and after the pandemic. Internet usage is up by 50% since the pandemic outbreak because more people are working from home. Google Display Network and YouTube’s traffic grew by 13% and 21% respectively (source: https://instapage.com/blog/coronavirus-impact-on-digital-advertising).
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Social Media Advertising
Consumers are making more purchases through social media compared to the past. 73% of consumers from India made purchases through social ads in June 2020, and the number is huge in Italy as well at 71%. This proves that consumers are willing to trust brands and new products through social advertising. Brands that are proactive in making contributions to the community have seen the most engagement on Facebook and Instagram. Ferrari’s announcement about donating €10 million to support the crisis gained one of the highest engagement on social media. WeAreSocial reports that 85.5% of Malaysians access Facebook on their mobile phones (source: https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2020-malaysia). Brands must ensure that their ads and content are optimized for mobile experiences. Whatsapp is another opportunity for brands to catch consumers’ attention. Viral content works well on Whatsapp if the message resonates with the recipient.
Malaysians are showing greater expectations on merchants and logistic partners to be more communicative during this pandemic. E-commerce merchants can expand their customer base during this period by meeting customer expectations and providing consistent quality assurance from the start. Google has been offering significant support to e-commerce merchants. Currently, they offer free product listings to give retailers free visibility on Search. Their strategy is an attempt to draw consumers back to Google search by giving them a more relevant and broader selection of products that reflect the user’s original search term.
Protect Your Brand & Position
Brands may be in survival-mode now because of the pandemic, but suspending all marketing activities can have long-term consequences. According to the Advertising Research Foundation, brands that remove themselves from marketing in a downturn take around five years to recover their previous market share. Engaging copywriting and attractive visuals can be pivoted to suit current situations. Brands like Nike made subtle changes to their logos to remind people to stay safe. IKEA posted videos that encourage people to stay home. Some E-commerce merchants seized this opportunity to supply items that help people to work comfortably from home. Gather customer insights to target specific customers with supplies that meet their needs. The key to surviving this pandemic is to make sure your digital customer experience expresses the unique attributes and value of your brand. Now is the time to ensure your brand will be well-positioned in the future. Be agile and shift your brand-building approach because everything you do is marketing these days.
Digital Strategy – Procure-to-Pay (P2P)
Many companies are moving forward with digital migration. Over the last five years, digital transformation has pushed the markets’ demand for procure-to-pay (P2P) process digitization. The COVID-19 disruption made companies rethink the pace of their digital transformation because we can no longer think situations like this will never happen again. P2P helps organizations meet key business demands. It generates value for a business because it helps to keep operations on track and protect them from risk/fraud. An efficient P2P solution integrates e-procurement, e-invoicing and e-payment processes. When more man-hours are spent on procurement, the higher the cost per unit of an item will be. Digitization can solve immediate and future issues because they can respond intelligently. The optimal way to overcome any crisis is to focus on spend management.
It is time for brands to prepare for recovery. Our campaigns always reflect optimism, and this can help you capture the resurgence of market demand. Reach out to us to find inspiration and expert advice on how to get the most out of your digital advertising. Consultation with Infra Design is FREE of charge!
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