In the coming few months, businesses are going to become more dependent on their digital strategy than ever. Without sounding too pessimistic, in many cases it will one of the important deciding factors in whether they will make it through this tough time. Disappearance of all channels associated with live conferences and events, and the rising barriers on face-to-face business, pose a huge challenge. The key to resilience is the development of constant contingencies to ease this loss. Here are a few reasons why companies are choosing digital marketing.
B2B companies rely on the annual circuit of trade shows and exhibitions to network and develop customer relationships. In the industries that are not digital-native, they may be less sophisticated in their online growth and consumer relations strategies. For small businesses especially, used to getting new clients through word-of-mouth referrals or the power of a hard-won reputation, their loss is coming in the form of a shock.
Now, the larger companies are finding themselves in the position of having possibly lost millions through different canceled events. They will not claw back the time and expense spent on the preparations for this year, but insurance and stretchy cancellation policies will leave them with a marketing budget to reallocate. Here, digital marketing is clearly the winner, and companies, including ones that may not have a Facebook page before- will need to use social media marketing tactics along with content marketing, social media campaigns, and SEO.
Obviously, this means there are many opportunities out there if you are a B2B supplier in an industry that has been slow to adapt to online marketing. An important factor in resilience is adaptability. It is one of the main reasons why companies are choosing digital marketing. If it is a standard in your industry to go out and meet new clients face-to-face before you do a business, adapting may mean opening new different channels over social media or web platforms where you can make introductions and nurture relationships.
In the coming days, your prospective customers are going to be less open to the concept of letting you walk into their office and greet you by shaking their hands. No one really has any clue how long this current situation will last and whether this will lead to any long-term changes.
Right now, we are in uncertain times, but with the increase of working from home and a collaborative approach, more and more companies are turning to online channels and embracing the change. We have seen a spike during the last few weeks from brands wishing to update or create websites, launch new e-commerce channels and create different social media campaigns that are focused on home-employees and a main focus on using the influencers and SEO to reach new customers.”
Being confined to the home or office rather than on the road for sales visits and events, means marketers have more time with them to learn digital marketing. This means researching where your consumers can be found online, and how various tactics and approaches might affect your success. If your company previously put efforts into online channels- just like a lot of other businesses, you had developed your networks offline and that had always worked for you now is the time to revisit those. That could be as simple as refreshing your old website and social media pages with an innovative approach.
Clients do not want to lose the networking opportunities offered by the conference circuit. On top of this, they are in search of new ways to spend their remaining marketing money. There is a scope of opportunity here-when things are back to normal, the money will be spent on live events and that is where they will be spending most of the time. However, if they find the opportunities and benefits that digital marketing offers, they will include it in their long-term marketing plans.
Several studies found that businesses want to become more sophisticated in their use of live social media platforms. These days, clients are choosing Facebook or LinkedIn Live. These are the social media platforms they have experimented with in the past but never integrated fully into their advertising strategy. Now they realize the importance of partnering with companies that can help them make the most of these social media channels, to attain better production values and targeted campaigns.
It is definitely true that in the coming weeks, or say, months- or however long this situation continues- will be challenging for any company which is not ready to think about how they will change the opportunities that have been gone.
If businesses approach online marketing strategically, there is no reason why it should only serve as an emergency fill-in but could carry on offering long-term value when the whole world finally gets back to normalcy. And, obviously, it would make companies stronger to handle situations like this in the coming future.
Of course, when there will be no restrictions, many will jump offline and do things that they were not able to do like visiting family and friends, visiting theatres and museums, going to restaurants, pubs, libraries, and gyms. However, digital marketers must be aware that many economists expect that recovery to be slow, instead of a solid rebound. This also means that the marketing strategies outlined above that will apply to the current crisis will become obsolete.
However, it is expected that for many, using the internet more than usual for playing games, shopping, and keeping in touch with each other will very soon become a habit. Moreover, it could be that customers emerge from this crisis with different priorities, attitudes, and values- all of which could affect how they want to spend their money and time.
For all these reasons, it is significant for marketers to research how the habits of customers are changing. The growth of eCommerce and the usage of the Internet has already been a vital feature of economics and life, but this crisis may help to accelerate the growth.
This signifies that the importance of digital marketing-already important for small businesses that have seen traditional marketing earn less returns on investment- will be even more during as well as after the current crisis.
As the entire world goes digital, so will marketing. What you need to do as a marketer is you must respond with updated strategies and purchaser personas for a different world post this crisis. After going through the reasons why companies are choosing digital marketing, are you too planning to opt online advertising for your business?