COVID 19 pandemic has changed the face of business, marketing, branding and advertising forever. History has shown us that crisis often leads to changes which are long lasting.
Most can only predict the fate of businesses they are a part of but then these are only predictions. And if predictions are anything to go by, we did not really predict this quick infecting, fast spreading, spiky blob bringing the world to a grinding halt, did we?
One thing however, is for sure that Post COVID will be as much as a challenge as COVID itself. Some changes seem inevitable.
1. Digital connections will be
The connectivity between internal employees and the connectivity with external customers will see a sea of change. The crisis has set deep-rooted fears of physical contact and somewhat lesser deep, albeit, growing firmer roots are convictions of work can happen remotely. Many may not want to go to work. Many may not want to go to shop. Staying connected will therefore be an important strategy to consider internally and externally.
How we work and consume may see unprecedented mutations. Whether the virus be damned or thanked remains to be seen.
2. The new brand conversation:
Brands will be in public and legal scrutiny like never before. Irresponsible, glib, hard sells will meet with harsh reprimands and criticisms. Conversations without purpose, without sincerely wanting to be instrumental in changing lives for the better will come under flak. Transparency, purpose and good intent will be the key words. It would now be wise to fix purpose first and build conversations around it. Led by purpose followed by profits will make more sense. Nothing will sell if the intention is just to sell.
3. The customer focus:
The usual din of the customer is king, provide service, be nice, say thank you, we are there for you, smile on your lips, song in your heart has been said enough. A real data driven understanding, of who values your product/ service and why, will lead the way towards how to be more meaningful in their lives, personal and professional.
There is no time like now to invest in data gathering, study and analysis of the loyalist of yesterday, today and data willing, tomorrow. They are the reason businesses will have a continuity pre and post COVID 19. Maybe their needs will have undergone a transformation. Staying relevant will be key.
4. Delivery & fulfillment
Pre COVID there were a 5-7 apps on my phone. There are around 25 now. Most in good use. Food, medicines, groceries, electronics, grooming, yoga, tele-medicine, movies, music, emergency travel, banking, telecom, and even the virus is managed on the phone now. Talk about the internet of things! It delivers consultation to a patient having a cardiac arrest and delivers mindfulness music to isolation driven anxiety on a Calm app.
Delivery of products and services is likely to have changed forever. New rules of delivery and fulfillment will be set and reset like Lady Gaga’s look.
Surplus of men, machines and material with some, and shortage with others will lead to collaborative swapping. Networks and internal market places will thrive. There is too much time lost in hiring, training, rehiring, installing, uninstalling. It’s easier to collaborate, co-work, lend, loan, borrow between networks. Collaborative movements will rise. The threat of the virus is not going to go till there is a victory over vaccine. Regions will keep shifting on the risk continuum. Short term strategies will be more at play. Collaborations will allow for resources to be available on demand without long term commitments.
This crisis has opened our eyes to a new meaning of life, relations and obligation to the planet. This understanding will hopefully lend itself to businesses and communication as well.