By Amitt Sharma
The Covid-19 pandemic caught the world off-guard, scrambling businesses to find alternative ways to market goods and services. With TV and film production paused and personalised events cancelled, brands put brakes on traditional marketing strategies.
Although marketing and advertising have rolled back to some state of normalcy in the second half of 2020 with streaming video, online shopping and digital promotions, the question arises-—will this change be permanent or temporary, and what can the marketing fraternity expect in the coming months?
The curious case of marketing in Covid
Marketing is under a peculiar phase of transition. According to the American Marketing Association, 62.3% of marketers say that marketing has become more crucial during Covid-19, indicating the focus on using digital interfaces to connect with customers. However, 9% of marketing jobs have been lost, leaving marketing departments to do more with fewer resources.
Also, for brands disenchanted with old school media buying like traditional linear television, the notion of “marketing” is shifting to more economical and digital alternatives. Rather than analysing media choices and moving ad dollars from different traditional mediums, brands focus more on fostering a robust digital presence coupled with remarkable customer service and customer experience.
Below are some impacts that the pandemic endured will steer marketing into a new reality –
Adapting to the dwindling customer preferences
Catching up with the customer is the most critical implication for marketers trying to build lasting relationships with their audience. From large-scale migration to online shopping, embracing servicing platforms and improving the customer experience, granular monitoring of data and trends in consumer behaviour is critical to marketing planning. Given the unprecedented nature of the pandemic and the profound changes it is causing, harnessing consumer trends is paramount today.
Hence, marketers will need to think hard—and differently—about what the consumer in the next normal will think, feel and do.
Embracing ad tech and digitised methods to connect
In the pre-Covid times, marketing strategies were heavily derived from conventions and guesswork rather than customer data and insights. With the advent of marketing technology, accurate data, analytics, ad tech— marketing is expected to be more profound. These technologies and information will help brands reach out to the customers confined to their homes due to safety reasons.
One biggest example of pandemic induced technology disruption is with the spree of e-services. With human resources limited, online platforms took centre stage, opening up more elaborate customer service experience especially in food, banking, healthcare, etc. Similar long term implications are expected from marketing technologies.
Investing in customer experience is the key
As we advance, the biggest change in the industry will not be in media investments but in product propositions and customer service. Right now, customers cannot access proper human connection for services, making customer service even more critical now more than ever.
The companies looking to expand might channel their funds in developing distribution networks and conducting more information-based foundational marketing in untapped territories. Creating their own eCommerce platforms, websites and apps, etc. can be a significant contributor towards the same.
Rise of digital video and Connected TV (CTV) viewing habits
CTV (Connected TV) refers to any television connected to the internet and has access to OTT media services. CTV as a platform grew in popularity in 2007 when streaming services were enabled at the subscribers’ homes.
Ever since the industry is on a path of continuous growth and evolution. It has fostered some enormous opportunities for advertisers to pick up advertising mediums, given that now they have another lucrative and progressive option to establish their brand identity, sell goods/services, or develop a brand recall.
Covid-19 pandemic brought a drastic change in content consumption that may have pushed advertisers, publishers, and marketers to focus their ad spends on the CTV industry and prepone its adoption. The world witnessed the trend of reduced spending on Linear TV by 18% and overall increased investment in the video by 14%, followed by increased testing in CTV as an extension platform by nearly 14%.
Seeing this, publishers, advertisers, and marketers are prioritising their investments in ad campaigns in the CTV industry.
Throughout history, every major disruption has led to some reshuffling of brand perception and content consumption. Even in normal times, when there are big changes in ordinary households, it shuffles the brand loyalty deck. 2021 is packed with a lot of potential, possibilities and disruptions for both ad agencies, advertisers and CTV industries. Though the situation is still evolving, the new habits of content consumption and consumer behaviour can be deemed as long-term implications of the pandemic.
Digital content consumption is undisputedly progressing as one such habit, and as people spend more time on the internet, brands need platforms that can help them reconnect with their audience. VDO.AI, as a scalable meeting ground for publishers and advertisers, is helping both ends absorb the backlash of the pandemic and quickly embrace the progressing trends of digital video content consumption.
The author is founder and CEO, VDO.AI