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3 Ways To Respond To A New Normal During COVID-19


As ethereal and untouchable as the concept of a ‘new normal’ might feel, some brands are proving that by pivoting towards kindness, acting with agility and safeguarding their ability to thrive online, it is possible to succeed in the middle of a pandemic. Here are three global marketing lessons that we’ve learned during these (very) trying times:

1. Reach Out To Your Audience With Empathy

As outlined in this piece by Campaign Asia, whatever combination of digital and social media campaigns a brand may shift to, they still need to get their messaging right.

As exemplified by this Christmas in July campaign by Burger King in the USA, getting it right includes a healthy dose of empathy, a side serve of humility and a solid understanding of what life in lockdown has really meant to people.

Not only does the spot acknowledge their customer’s frustrations with 2020 — ‘we wish it was over already’ says one — it also delivers a sense of hope for the future, which is important if you want people to keep enjoying your product.

In Vietnam, ride-hailing tech firm Grab has been flexing its community muscle to the tune of 70 billion VND (US$30 million) which it is using to support its drivers, merchant partners and groups who are fighting hard against the pandemic.

Announcing several operational measures aimed at reducing the spread of the virus, Grab has diversified its services to assist with staying isolated while recognising the work of those on the frontlines.  

Grab - Overcoming COVID-19 together

2. Understand That Digital Marketing Is Already The New Normal

If you’ve somehow missed this point by 2020, it’s imperative for the future of your business that you acknowledge that online behaviour by consumers is about to change forever.

As reported in May by McKinsey & Company, who surveyed more than 3,500 B2B decision-makers across Europe, the preference for digital sales interactions has close to doubled during COVID-19. In addition, most categories have seen their online customer base grow by more than 10 percent, with many people saying that they intend to continue to shop this way once physical distancing measures have been relaxed.

Given the ease with which digital marketing can be deployed and managed, don’t be surprised to see more and more campaigns launched on your smartphone, and less and less on your TV, as the big brands adjust to a post-COVID world.

3. Utilise Real Time Data To Make Agile Decisions

With consumers picking up habits they are likely to maintain, it’s vital that marketers have access to the most up-to-date data impacting their business.

Among four recommendations made by consulting firm Gartner in March, one was that businesses monitor, report and react to shifts in their customer’s behaviour. It’s all about scenario planning.

“Marketing leaders must not only monitor customer values and sentiment against a global backdrop, they should also improve real-time listening to detect shifting consumer sentiment in order to react immediately.”

In other words, don’t wait for the marketing campaign to be over to assess its performance, start now using real-time data.

If you’re not sure how your business needs to adapt to a new normal, Decision Lab can help you. Book now for a free consultation and demonstration of our suite of market research products that produce meaningful business results.