New Normal - New Marketing?

HISTORY has witnessed, moments of crisis and uncertainty that have invigorated new innovations. It has created a shift in the views on what matters most to people. The 1918 influenza pandemic led to the popularization of the usage of the telephone. And recently, issues regarding climate change and gender equality have people demanding more from businesses.

Now, with the ubiquitous pandemic that has struck us, social distancing has become the norm. From people to businesses, to the government, everyone is trying to find and figuring out new ways to sail in the new world.

Change and Challenge have formed an immediate word association with the pandemic. Change is here to stay and the unprecedented challenges that the pandemic has brought with it have ignited a spark in the minds of marketers to discover new grounds and explore the impossible.

As the pandemic-induced restrictions are getting eased and businesses are getting back to normal, it should realize the shift in priorities that has taken place. Marketers will need to rethink, reimagine and recreate strategies according to what the customers expect in the looming normal.

This pandemic witnessed people engaging more with the brands. People are more connected and are looking out for each other. They are seeking value and the businesses and brands have to take a step towards authenticity and creation of value rather than tying everything to revenue. Customers are looking for brands that give them more than a product or service, their expectations from the brand have become more human and personal. Marketers should take note of these aspects to keep the customers involved.

Nike saw a 150% jump in demand on its app in 2020. It revamped its marketing strategy and came up with a slogan that said, “Play inside, play for the world," with relevant hashtags and introduced a campaign that waived fees on the Nike Training Club app embracing the more human aspect of the brand.

Even though Nike’s offline stores were open, people preferred to buy through online platforms observing a growth of 82% in online sales proving the strategy to have worked out well.

This crisis has affected the business but it has also increased internet usage, opening a reservoir of opportunities for the brands to experiment. The change from physical to digital is likely to stick for a longer period since people have become comfortable with the new normal. Therefore, for marketers, this calls for reshaping the strategy of connecting with the customers.

Emphasis on digital channels will be important in revenue recovery for brands. Brands might have to direct their investments towards strategies and tactics that drive online sales, the shift of budget to delivery-based options, keeping up with the trends that will increase engagement and connect with the customers.

Analytics will play a significant role in the upcoming change of scenario. It will help in managing the data and help marketers in curating personalized offers to niche segments. It will give birth to personalized and memorable brand experiences. Marketing Analytics will step in to monitor customer trends, preferences, and behaviours. The previously used analytics will have to be trained to adopt the new behavioural changes in customers. This will help the brands create more convenient and user-driven shopping experiences.

Since customers are now accustomed to the online shopping experience, it becomes important for companies to derive and boost organic traffic. How can marketers focus on that? The answer lies in the content. Marketers need to build people’s trust in different ways since they are unable to visit brick-and-mortar stores. Creating relevant content and constant updating will be beneficial in addressing the concerns of the customers. It will align the brand’s interest with that of the customers.

One thing is certain, businesses have no choice but to update their playbook or create a new playbook altogether because the pandemic has already impacted the world in prodigious ways and this effect will only continue to grow. The brands have to be prepared for this world with new norms and adapt to those differences.

This new world is certainly going to be more value and purpose-driven as the societal dynamics have changed and, customers will support brands that make the right choices and decisions.



 Anjali Nair
PGDM Div - A
Vivekanand Business School