Video conferencing, grocery deliveries, education and family board game nights are just a few things that people now prefer to do through a computer. While the world has been physically forced apart by Covid19 & social distancing, digitally we are growing closer than ever before. As traditionally non-digital companies scramble to serve their customers online and existing digital companies attempt to outdo each other, we at The Spaceship Design examine how this new trend could affect the future of Digital Marketing.
- Complete Digital Integration: Those who already had an online presence will now begin innovating new ways to capitalize on this trend. As consumers get even more tech-savvy and platforms become more refined, every new digital marketing campaign will integrate multiple digital platforms which may have been neglected earlier. Campaigns may include webinars, live-shows, podcasts and even innovative ways to use messaging apps. Even when out of this crisis, this trend will continue as a safety measure.
- A Deeper Understanding of Consumers: Marketers have always studied their consumers to some extent before attempting to sell to them. And if one had been in the field long enough, it used to be possible to predict how a consumer would react to a certain campaign. However, an unprecedented crisis brings with it unprecedented behaviour.
Now more than ever, marketers need to constantly reassess their campaigns to suit this new behaviour. They also need to reassess their understanding of their consumers. Earlier perhaps marketers would have a rough idea of their customers online and offline behaviour. Now however, they need a deeper understanding especially of their consumer’s new online behaviour.
- New Advertising Spaces: Though the world of digital marketing has opened up like never before, there will always be certain online spaces that are more popular than others. For example, there is currently a huge increase in traffic on media and news sites and one may predict a larger amount of advertising here. Similarly, with e-commerce sites that provide essential services, streaming platforms and even gaming platforms.
Of course as Covid-19 progresses, these choices may vary and it is up to marketers to keep tabs on which spaces are most popular. But no matter how vast the internet is, it is almost certain that at any point, some spaces will always have greater popularity than others.
- Consistent Experimentation: Most companies at least in India, still need to complete using their marketing budgets for the year. This means that they would be open to re-allocating their money to spend on digital marketing initially. While this is good for those in the digital field, the true challenge for marketers is to give companies reasons to continue spending on digital marketing even when they create new budgets. Marketers will consistently need to come up with innovative campaigns and strategies that give brands large ROIs and keep them hooked to the digital space.
- Brand Value: Currently people are turning to brands that meet their immediate needs. Brands in turn are offering large discounts and services to help people cope with being at home. As various geographical regions start opening up their economies, it could be predicted that the brands that thrive tomorrow will be those that genuinely add value to their customer’s lives.
For digital marketers, this trend emphasises the need to connect with audiences at a personal level. Based on this, digital marketing of the future will not just be more personalized but it will also be more socially conscious. By default people will gravitate towards brands that show how much they care, during any crisis.
- Brand Contribution: They say it is in times of a crisis that one’s true character is revealed. And every one of us, individuals and brands will be judged on the basis of how we have reacted to the Covid-19 crisis. Whether it is to do directly with consumers, competitors, how a brand treated their employees during this time, or where and how brands activated CSR campaigns, the people will remember each step for a long time into the future. Already brands are being judged for capitalizing on the crisis and making false promises. The market of the future will be hyper-sensitive to our actions of the present.
After the 9/11 crisis the world came together to fight the common enemy of terrorism. Today, we don’t think twice about going through multiple security checks at an airport. It has become the norm. Similarly, the Covid-19 crisis has changed the world as we know it. Even if and when a vaccine is developed, society will continue be more careful and aware of how we behave.
Nobody can truly predict the exact changes society will undergo. What we at The Spaceship Design, an advertising agency can comment on is the fact that Digital Marketing too, will transform drastically in the future. All we as advertisers can do, is be prepared to help our clients adapt to these changes as smoothly as possible. And remember to keep things human and genuine.