How pandemic has created digital transformation opportunities for brands

Updated: October 03, 2021 1:19 PM

Digital transformations of brands come with a number of other allied benefits also, such as generation of more and diverse job opportunities

A major catalyst triggering the digital transformation is also the evident surge in online search volumes

By Kaushal Thakkar

If there has been one positive outcome of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is the expedition of digital transformation. During the lockdowns when people were advised social distancing, they resorted to virtual proximity. From learning to working to entertaining ourselves, we now do everything online through digital modes. Therefore, it becomes an obvious progression for brands too to ensure an impactful digital presence where they can reach as well as cater to the right set of consumers. As per a Mckinsey report, the digital transformation has impacted Asia in a manner that it is at least four years ahead, which in other words mean we achieved as much digital prowess by 2020 as were expected to achieve not before 2024.

An interesting case study of digital transformation of a brand comes from Bose. The firm decided to close all its retail stores in North America, Europe, Japan and Australia when the pandemic struck, since headphones, speakers and other products are increasingly being purchased online.

Back home in India, we carried out a similar campaign for one of the leading Indian footwear and accessories brands in the country, which currently has 150 stores spread across more than 50 Indian cities. They wanted to invest minimal amount on digital and understand how they can get long term sustainable results from online channels with good Return on Ad Spends (ROAS). Because of this requirement the channel we focused was Organic Search – Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). When we began working on their digital transformation, we at first made their website compliant with Google algorithm and standards. Based on our years of experience, we identified the areas of improvement and starting working on them, with the target to increase the brand’s Google ranking amidst top three for important keywords. Through this channel, the brand clocked a five-fold growth while its return on ad spends via organic search spiked almost 20 times. Seeing this performance, the client provided us the opportunity to work on their other renowned brand to recreate such a growth story. The campaign was lauded by the industry as well and we were honoured with an award for this campaign.

Such digital transformations of brands come with a number of other allied benefits also, such as generation of more and diverse job opportunities. For instance, many people who were working in BPOs or doing other such jobs are gradually transforming into digital marketers. With more and more people relying on digital modes for their jobs and the abundance of opportunities is in many ways enabling the digital transformation of the country.

A major catalyst triggering the digital transformation is also the evident surge in online search volumes, which in simple terms mean number of people searching. A key component of SEO, search volume has registered at least two times growth across several verticals including health, fashion, insurance banking.

India as an economy was always growth oriented wherein, before pandemic the Venture Capitalists were pushing in money and they eyed quick results and services. Post the outbreak of the pandemic, the valuation game has becomea value creation game. This meant that the brands now have less money to spend, and therefore they want channels that can ensure better and long-term sustainable results. The obvious choice here was organic search marketing – SEO as it is completely conducive to the requirements of the new normal.

While the aforementioned facts depict how the pandemic created digital transformation opportunities, the brands too are doing their bit by allocating more funds to newer forms of advertisement over the traditional modes like television and print. Most possibly, it is the change in mindset of brands and consumers alike that is primarily ushering in an era of digital transformation.

(The author is founder and MD, Infidigit. Views expressed are personal.)

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