How the Pandemic Has Created a Demand for Digital Marketing
The suspension of business events and face-to-face meetings and the physical closure of workplaces during the pandemic, forced businesses to think of new ways of making sales and sustaining relationships online. This has led to a hugely increased demand for digital marketing. Those businesses that were willing and able to invest in online sales and marketing channels found that they could sustain their sales levels and brand awareness even during lockdown, while companies that were unable to make the transition often struggled.
What are the factors that have driven this demand for digital marketing, and how are they likely to impact the way businesses make sales after the pandemic?
1) People spend more time online
During lockdown, people used the Internet more than ever before – for both work and play. Over 70% of this use was for researching queries through search engines – not for social media or online shopping – leading to strong consumer demand for search engines to better cater to their needs. You can see this in the way that Google search result pages now display more intuitive and detailed answers to search queries. Businesses should now respond by creating closely tailored content to address these queries, and those that do are in a stronger position to generate more leads and gain more sales.
2) Larger uptake of digital communication and collaboration tools
Being forced online made businesses think of better ways to do business digitally and collaborate with their colleagues, leading to a boom in digital tools. Zoom and MS Teams are two of the best-known market winners, but there has also been an explosion in businesses investing in marketing automation platforms, such as HubSpot and MailChimp, and cloud-based business tools of all shades and varieties. These adopters include your customers, your competitors, and your suppliers, and they are unlikely to cancel their SaaS (software as a service) subscriptions to tools that have proved useful during the pandemic.
This trend exerts pressure on businesses to become even more digitised, or risk falling behind, but it also has a positive effect in allowing more exposure for small businesses online, creating opportunities for cheaper and more responsive marketing strategies that appeal to a contactless audience.
3) Sales are made through online channels
Before the pandemic, although marketing may have been carried out digitally, sales were closed in person or over the phone, just as they had been since Edwardian times. Covid 19 brought about the birth of truly online sales channels, with a huge increase in customer interactions through digital channels, and a corresponding uptake of online sales tools. A new generation of video-based sales platforms – such as Vidyard – allow fast and responsive communication between customers and suppliers who may never have met in person or spoken on the phone. This closes the gap between ‘impersonal’ Internet sales and ‘personal’ face-to-face sales, giving businesses a broader arsenal of sales tools and strategies as they move into the post Covid era.
Moving beyond Covid
As 2021 draws to a close and life slowly begins to return to normal, we can look at the lessons of the pandemic and how they can help us move beyond Covid to a stronger position.
One of the biggest effects of the pandemic was to highlight the importance of digital marketing, online communications, and social media in not only enabling companies to continue doing business, but to make sales and promote their brands, too.
At JDR, we help businesses use digital marketing and social media marketing to achieve their growth plans, recover lost sales, and build back stronger from the pandemic. To find out more about how the pandemic has changed digital marketing practices and consumer behaviour, and how your business can benefit, please give us a call.
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