You could call the COVID-19 pandemic the biggest catalyst for change in modern times – as it accelerated digital disruption and forced businesses to adapt.
The economic events triggered by global lockdowns created unprecedented effects on our markets and made many traditional brick-and-mortar stores go online, in what is being called `Forced Acquisition’. Since this shift towards online shopping is here to stay, even when the pandemic passes, it’s a good idea for organizations to establish sound business practices to prepare for future demands.
Brands with multi-channel strategies in place were the real winners during the lockdown. On the other hand, companies that didn’t have sufficient digital programs got caught in a corner.
COVID-19 impacted marketplaces under three broad areas:
The spread of the coronavirus led many industries into unchartered territories. While some flourished, some sank. Industries like healthcare services, online shopping, retail, content streaming, and food and grocery deliveries saw a spike in sales. For instance, in the US, online sales increased 43% in September 2020, while the UK saw a 29% increase in digital shopping in Q4 of 2020. On the other hand, airline, tourism, electronics, automotive and oil and gas took a hit.
In this blog we will look at a quick snapshot of how COVID-19 impacted different industries and how Insider helped formulate best-fit marketing strategies for each. You can read more about Insider’s end-to-end strategies in our detailed, specifically designed content for each industry.
Insider’s Marketing Strategies for 11 Industries
The whole world is going through a steep and challenging learning curve. What should a marketer do to take on the crisis and be ready for the new industry normal? Insider has formulated master plans for 11 top industries impacted by the pandemic – on how they can move fast and tackle the effects of the epidemic with actionable strategies. Let’s look at the Insider plan-of-action for coronavirus marketing:
– Engage your customers across channels
Design relevant customer journeys by meeting your customers on their preferred channels of communication. Provide seamless omnichannel experiences. Use customer journey mapping tools to engage your customers.
– Use personalized and socially conscientious messaging to show empathy to your users
The first step to dealing with a crisis is to publicly acknowledge it. Let your users read your company’s COVID-19 updates on your website. A good way is to create banners and sidebars that explain your bank’s COVID strategies.
Display personalized banners (on products and services) your customers may need to navigate the crisis. Example: Citibank ran personalized banners promoting different ways of utilizing their online banking.
Learn more on here: How retail banks can counter the COVID effect
A shift from offline-to-online shopping trends saw a surge in traffic and conversions for the eCommerce industry. However, the challenges of inefficiencies in support infrastructure and logistics remained. Companies need to tackle these challenges, as the move to online shopping is here to stay.
– Create personalized stories to promote stay at home products
Create special COVID-centric product categories – like products designed to work from home – and promote them using tools like Insider’s InStory. Highlight all trending product categories on your website or mobile app, allowing users to view them with one click.
Read more on here: How eCommerce & online shopping companies can adapt to the new normal
– Build trust. Promote loyalty
Instead of spending on converting new users, engage and incentivize your existing customers. Tailor their shopping journey. Nudge them to join your loyalty program.
– Turn new visitors into loyal consumers
Most new users aren’t used to shopping for beauty products online – so, while online traffic to beauty websites increased, conversions went down. Nudge and convert new users with hyper-personalized offers across channels.
Use Insider’s InStory to promote trending products – in categories like personal hygiene, skincare and sanitizers – and make them easily discoverable to customers.
– Promote your mobile app with Smart Banners
Recommend the best suited products to customers, using Insider’s AI-powered recommendation engine Smart Recommender.
Read more here if you want to build the best post-COVID marketing strategies for your cosmetic company.
How do fashion marketers reset their marketing strategies in a post-COVID to factor in a shift in consumer behavior – such as purchase dynamics and revised clothing interests – and develop a digital-first outlook?
– Understand the discount mindset
During a time of economic flux, people spend on clothes only when they have a strong incentive – like discounts. Create discounts campaigns that grab attention – use hello bar or welcome banners to garner eyeballs.
– Embrace the shift from offline to online
Bring your offline customers online, using tools like Insider’s Customer Journey Orchestration to increase engagement.
Get more detailed insights here: The best post-COVID marketing practices for fashion industry
COVID-19 forced offline learners to switch to online mode. The global digital spend on education is expected to double by 2025.
What strategies can global digital learning organizations adopt as a response to the COVID-19 crisis?
– Promote your mobile app using Smart Banners
Use Smart Banners – placed strategically on your website – to encourage users to download your app.
– Build your customer base using testimonials and surveys
Customer testimonials build trust and drive conversions – reveal them next to your course listings. Also, use surveys to understand your customer requirements – and offer relevant subjects to them.
– Showcase trending courses to your users
Use Insider’s AI-powered Smart Recommender to suggest the best suited courses to users.
– Dip into the power of omnichannel marketing
Use app and web push notifications, emails, SMS messages and customer journey mapping tools to engage your customers with a seamless omnichannel experience.
Click to get more insights on how online education platforms make the best of digitized teaching
Telecom companies kept people connected during the lockdown. Companies stayed connected with their employees using tools like Zoom, Webex, Hangouts, and collaborative working software kept businesses running.
– Develop strategies to increase Average Revenue Per User (ARPU)
Design gamified experiences to encourage users to interact with your site – it yields a 20% higher lead collection rate. Use messages that resonate with users and address their concerns – for insance, how telecom companies can help them work better from home during the pandemic.
– Expand your subscriber base
Effectively engage with users who are about to exit your website. Offer users deals and packages as per their personalized requirements. Example: delivering SIM cards for free during #stayathome.
– Unify customer data from all channels
Implement a Customer Data Platform (CDP), to provide an omnichannel experience – including offline and online channels – to your users. Example: when a user enters a geofenced area, send him a reminder to visit your store for a pending document verification.
See detailed insights here: How telcos can charter a growth path in a post-COVID world
The healthcare industry was slow to embrace digitization – till COVID-19 pushed it to turn digital. Patients too have turned digital savvy and mobile-enabled. How do healthcare marketers cater to these new dynamics?
– Design Smart Banners to increase mobile app downloads
Promote your mobile apps using Smart Banners. Example: Patients at Mayo Clinic can take doctor appointments and view test results on its app.
– Leverage automated and newer digital channels for COVID-19 outreach
When there is a traffic overload on your website, digital channels like Chatbots and Facebook messenger are handy tools to engage with your visitors.
– Promote teleconsultation via omnichannel marketing
For non-emergency medical cases, teleconsultation is an effective way to avoid patients from visiting hospitals. You can build helpful customer journeys across multiple channels to promote teleconsultation.
Read more insights here: The best strategies for healthcare industry to digitally transform in a post-pandemic world
During the pandemic, a dining-out culture was replaced by eating-in. It’s time for online food and delivery businesses to cash in on the trend and stay on the growth track.
– Engage new and existing users across multiple channels
Most online food companies witnessed an increase in their new user base during the lockdown. You can build a journey and put new users in an onboarding flow, and engage with them on all digital touchpoints to guide them towards placing an order.
– Help users make informed purchase decisions via smart product discovery
Help customers make the right purchase decisions using product badging, to highlight discounts and product quality. Smart Recommendations also help customers find products faster and make informed purchase decisions.
– Gain mileage from the surge in traffic
As you receive high traffic, this is a good opportunity to run experiments on your website, get great insights from customers, and optimize experiences across channels.
Click to get more on how online food and delivery businesses can thrive during and after the COVID crisis
As pharmaceutical sales went online during the pandemic, how can marketers ensure seamless customer experiences, become digital-focussed and educate their customers to shop responsibly?
– Educate on facts, ward off myths
Give relevant and reliable information. It will make your brand appear reliable and trust-worthy.
– Time to go completely online
Encourage your customers to shop online by creating online customer journeys and campaigns that focus on the importance of staying at home.
– Improve your on-site product discovery experience
Create a smooth online shopping experience. Use Insider’s Maven to help users find what they are looking for by asking questions and providing AI-powered personalized recommendations.
Get more insights into marketing strategies for online pharmacies
– Understand the needs of your customers. Highlight categories of interest with contextual content
Find out which products best address the needs of customers living in a lockdown with inventory analysis. Use Insider’s Slider Banners to bring these products into focus. Use relevant content to speak candidly to your customers.
– Personalize `After-sales service” products to drive customer satisfaction
Automate and personalize your customer care services. Ensure that your technical support team is reachable on call, in quick time. Use Insider’s workflow automation tool, Architect, to highlight your after-sales services.
– Set and forget your Back in Stock notifications
Use InStock notifications to notify customers when a product is back in stock. Leverage Insider’s Smart Recommender to recommend related and similar products if a product your customer wants is out of stock.
Read more on how electronics marketers can tackle the challenges of marketing during the pandemic
The volume of content being published across online media channels spiked significantly during the pandemic. According to Insider’s Global COVID-19 Benchmarks Report, the media and publishing industry saw sessions take off, as people tuned in to keep themselves informed.
– Engage your readers with COVID-sensitive experiences
Design personalized notifications
Engage your audience using web push and mobile app push notifications. Send news and articles based on the user’s interest. Use frequency capping to deliver messages in a mindful way.
Turn readers into loyal subscribers
Nudge your engaged users to opt for subscription packages. Use Insider’s AI-backed predictive segmentation tools to focus on the Likelihood to Subscribe segment.
– Speed up content discovery and consumption
Use stories to showcase relevant content and speed up discovery
Insider’s InStory is a great way to build Instagram and Netflix like stories on your desktop and mobile websites. Categorize these stories based on content that users are highly likely to consume.
– Optimize your Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC)
Use Insider’s Predictive Ad Audiences to target Likelihood to Subscribe – High and Lifetime Value – High users, to optimize your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and improve Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
To know more on how Online Media and Publishing companies can drive their click counts, read: Strategies for online media and publishing marketers during COVID crisis
The fact remains that the world after corona is expected to be more digital than ever. As the world sluggishly recovers from the outbreak, it is up to marketers to embrace the new normal and reimagine customer experiences in the new Digital World. You need to be on your marks and be super-ready to make up for the lost revenue during this crisis period. Don’t forget that the world will go back to normal one day. Until then, we need to stay digital and stay safe.
I am passionate about helping retailers and brands to acquire, understand, retain, reward and grow their customer base in e-commerce, hospitality, retail and service sectors. Working with CX and digital marketing strategies. Currently working with the worlds first integrated GMP - Growth Management Platform to manage all customer touch points with an AI powered unified data layer, creating a true single customer view.