Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Digital Marketing Trends

Whether you own a small company or you are an entrepreneur, it is crucial to stay up to date with digital media developments to expand your business and to ensure your progress. Digital Evolution is, in reality, an inevitable phenomenon. So if you don’t adjust, undoubtedly you’ll be left behind. As Brian Solis puts it, “Each business is a victim of Digital Darwinism, the evolution of consumer behavior when society and technology evolve faster than the ability to exploit it. Digital Darwinism does not discriminate. Every business is threatened.”

While the country is in the post lockdown phase, the influence of the coronavirus brings with it profound shifts in people’s attitudes and behaviours in terms of technology and consumer culture, including but not limited to multimedia channels, advertising, internet, etc. Users access more material digitally at such irregular hours, even while eating, exercising or working from home. Provided that India is struggling with a new way of living, the effect on digital media use can not be left unseen.

Many and many companies have changed their way of working and almost all MNC’s have completely digitized their operations

The lockdown has pushed businesses around the world to adjust to different forms of doing business and operating, which the experts say would become the new normal. The companies where the work-from-home option was possible, allowed the employees to work remotely while the other companies had to lay off its employees. Many companies also initiated pay cuts to deal with this challenging situation. According to Scroll, Indian restaurant aggregator Zomato on May 15, laid off 13% of the staff and announced wage reductions of up to 50% across the organisation for at least months.

Brands across the globe are increasingly dealing with the uncertain market we’ve found ourselves in with the COVID-19 pandemic. The brands who shifted their operations online will survive this uncertain time, and the other industries that could not take their business online will be severely affected. 

What trends have been increased in the pandemic situation

People now are more confined to their homes which increases the use of the internet.

Internet Penetration

Fig 1, Source: Business Standard

It can be seen that the internet usage in cities has risen steadily over the past month, peaking at 54%. Internet penetration in rural areas stands at 32%, whereas the national average is 40 per cent. This makes it even more important for the companies to shift their businesses online to stay connected with their audiences.

Part of the reason why industries are closing down was the change in Web users’ behaviour, resulting in some recognisable online trends — for example, in organic traffic and conversion rates. Unsurprisingly, website traffic has typically increased in sectors such as television, streaming platforms, banking, and healthcare related News. 

Some of the industries which saw a  decrease in website traffic are transportation, manufacturing, and advertisement. The lockdown made the people shift their focus from offline to online. Similarly, conversion rates for the healthcare, pharmaceutical, and media industries have increased while those for transportation, manufacturing, and travel have gone down.

Top industries benefited from the COVID-19 pandemic

Traffic GrowthFig 2,Source: Neil Patel

Finance, food, healthcare, pharmaceutical and media industries are the industries that gained business during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Pharmaceutical and Healthcare:

Pharmaceuticals and healthcare benefitted from the extra funding that they received for finding the COVID-19 vaccination. Upon announcing a clinical trial for COVID-19 treatment, the Gilead Sciences, Inc., has also enjoyed a boost in shares. Meanwhile, Alpha Pro Tech Ltd. has reacted by rising production to growing consumer demand for face masks. Lakeland Industries Inc., which makes safety clothing, has seen an increase in the stock market value. 

As per the data provided by Pharmatutor, the prices of vitamins, penicillin, and paracetamol has gone up. Given the infamous susceptibility to excessive stock price volatility, the pharmaceutical sector is predicted to enjoy economic growth due to the spread of coronavirus infection.

India’s active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) industry is set to generate revenues of $6 billion by the end of 2020. India has met more than 20 per cent of the nation’s medical demands, including almost 50% of the generic medication requirements of the US, according to a report by Express Pharma

Television and Online Series:

According to Brandwatch, there are 4.54 billion internet users, out of which 3.725 billion people in the world are using social media platforms. According to a study, Amazon Prime witnessed 67% subscription growth followed by Netflix with 65% subscription growth. Disney-owned Hotstar reported a 41% rise in subscribers while Google’s free YouTube streaming site saw a 46% growth in subscribers. The average time spent daily on social media is around 142 minutes. So, during this time, brands need to carefully define their digital marketing strategy and find new & sensitive ways to communicate.

All the other industries such as food, media and finance also have had a significant increase in traffic. 

Top industries declined due to COVID-19 pandemic

Traffic Decline

Fig 3, Source: Neil Patel

The industries that couldn’t take their business online were severely affected. Construction, travel, transportation, retail and education are some of the sectors that dealt with the negative impact of COVID 19 pandemic. 

Travel 

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) predicts that the recession could cost the tourism market at least USD 22 billion, as the transport business could decline by as much as 25 per cent in 2020, resulting in a reduction of 50 million workers. Experts agree that the tourism industry is likely to be struck hard and may end up undermining the industry shortly. There is a 45% decrease in the website traffic for all the travelling related apps. 

Multiple lockdowns and the fear of coronavirus spreading make people confined to their homes. This makes people shift from offline to online, which makes this the right time for companies to utilise digital marketing to the fullest. This has benefitted the e-commerce industries. The demand for products was so huge that there was no adequate supply for the same. Many established online stores like Amazon, Big Basket, Grofers etc. saw a massive demand for products. These companies had to restrict users from ordering more because of the shortage of supplies and lockdown restrictions. 

Businesses found ways to stay relevant even during these uncertain times. Companies used the internet to stay connected with their customers. They started providing services to help their customers during these difficult times. For example, Swiggy, a well-known food delivery company introduced the feature of ‘Genie’ that allows people to send and receive packages, buy groceries etc. Similarly, Google launched the COVID-19 information site, a new search experience just for coronavirus related queries. This website provides all important information and updates regarding the coronavirus infection. This helped the people to get easy access to all relevant information. Through these ways, the companies tried to be connected even during such a challenging situation. 

Since the pandemic, various companies have failed to find a way to communicate with their customers and are losing their influence on the market. But digital media channels within the brands’ budget, deliver a growing, expanded, and more focused scope. The cost of digital marketing has gone down, which makes it the best time to invest more in digital marketing strategies. The internet is the only location that the people can access freely, so brands — including the ones with no facebook network — will have to explore these territories. If it is your industry’s practice to go out and visit potential customers face-to-face, adapting may involve finding online or social networking sites where connections can be formed. 

 

Businesses need to realise that this situation won’t last forever. You need to maintain brand identity because it will be more challenging to rebound later from sacrificing traction. As our industry is pushing forward during this unprecedented time, the shift that is happening in digital marketing is amazing. Brands are adapting their messaging and businesses are expanding their presence on digital platforms. As we navigate this crisis together, the entire digital community has come together to support both companies and consumers. While the world we are in today looks different from the one we know, digital marketing continues to be a regular feature in building relationships and communicating information. Be optimistic and take this opportunity to redefine your digital media strategy, improve your current relationships and create long-term trust in your customers to facilitate success after this crisis. Plan effective digital marketing strategies with Synergos. Synergos is a major Digital Marketing firm in Bangalore that consists of a dedicated team of specialists in digital media. Our goal is to ensure that your brand creates its place online. We offer you extensive services in digital marketing while keeping an eye on new online trends. We create innovative digital marketing solutions that make your brand stand out from your competitors.

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