The Covid-19 pandemic has upended the projections of every business across the board, including digital marketing. As the pandemic compelled businesses to transition online to continue to promote their products and services, marketers had to shift gears and generate content that is contextual and relevant to ensure continuous growth for their customer base.
Additionally, the transition to work off-site triggered by the physical distancing measures demanded the need for virtual marketing of brands, customer engagements and the overall business operations. This, in turn, highlighted the immense importance of digital marketing in sustaining a business, so much so that it has promoted several digital marketing trends that have proven to be relevant throughout the pandemic, such as hosting virtual events and utilising social media platforms at its fullest.
The National Immunisation Programme kicked-off on 24 February, and as we are now in the Covid-19 recovery phase, what does the future hold in stores for digital marketing?
Digital Marketing Is Here To Stay For The Long-Run
Long before the Covid-19 outbreak made itself known, end-to-end digital transformation was a long-term goal for many marketers hailing from all industries in hopes of driving incremental changes to usher in a digitalised era that is in line with the Malaysia 5.0 vision. In fact, the Covid-19 pandemic helped shift the goal from aspirational to essential as businesses were demanded to implement a truly integrated, fully-digital customer experience remotely and overnight.
By adopting a digital-only mindset coupled with the ability to quickly pivot and bring innovative digital solutions, businesses were able to weather the storm and continue to ride the wave whilst keeping tabs on the latest Covid-19 developments. While the vaccination rollout has graced many marketers and business owners with a renewed sense of optimism, it does not diminish the significance of digital marketing during the recovery phase. In fact, it actually heightens the need for digital marketing to continue to stay connected with prospective and existing customers.
Marketing Attribution And ROI Will Be Priorities
Understandably, the business woes and disruptions prompted by the pandemic emphasised the need for marketers to quantify the tangible results of their marketing endeavours. In other words, are their marketing efforts bringing in money?
The vanity metrics and figures garnered from integrated, omnichannel marketing campaigns driven by digital platforms may not always be meaningful to a brand’s overall financial success. That is why as marketers and businesses continue to explore how the rapid advancement of technology and the rapid shift in the social media landscape can be used to their advantage, it is important for them to ask three vital questions about revenue and cost to measure how their marketing budgets are performing:
- What has the marketing campaign cost?
- Has the revenue increased?
- How can marketing efforts be attributed to growth and profitability?
As a tip, it would be wise for marketers and businesses to evaluate the effectiveness of their digital marketing strategies from a Chief Finance Officers’ point of view to achieve cash flow optimisation, profitability and supply chain efficiency. In short, the recovery phase will require them to prioritise quantifiable ROI against pandemic-induced pressures.
Advertising Budget Will Depend On Shoppers Digital Footprint
LinkedIn projected that the shift of advertising budget allocations and the pandemic-driven surge in e-commerce activities will continue throughout 2021. As a matter of fact, eMarketer revealed that advertising on e-commerce platforms increased by 39% in 2020 and is expected to grow another 30% this year. This is heavily due to the fact that in spite of the vaccination rollout, customers will still rely on e-commerce platforms and social media to purchase goods and services. Moving forward, it is pivotal for marketers and businesses to keep a keen focus on measurability to capture more ad spend as well as optimising ROI.
The Internet Remains A Window Of Opportunity For Digital Marketing
The fact that people were confined within the four walls of their home throughout the better part of a year resulted in surges in traffic and search volume as people have been spending a lot more of their time online than before. For those who took advantage of the low cost-per-click (CPC) rates, they enjoyed a much higher ROI than prior to the coronavirus pandemic while the number of users continued to increase by the day.
Meanwhile, the increase in number of users will demand companies and influential brands to produce more content for users to consume, laced with marketing strategies that will help them stay ahead of their target audience to ensure their business stays relevant. In fact, with customers showing no signs of halting from making purchase decisions, marketers need to be on top of their game in researching for relevant keyword searches that are meaningful to consumers.
Some New Digital Marketing Practices Are Already In Motion
One of the practices that have already been implemented is identifying and prioritising revenue opportunities, which includes launching targeted campaigns to wow loyal customers; providing health- and safety-centric customer experience; adjusting pricing and promotions based on the latest data; and reallocating spending to focus on growth.
Additionally, some businesses have also refocused their digital effort to reflect the changing customer expectations, such as creating a seamless e-commerce experience and providing an online end-to-end consumer experience. As health and safety will continue to be a priority amongst consumers, marketers and businesses are expected to predict the customers’ expectations to develop a digital marketing plan.
Businesses have also utilised new social media platforms, such as Clubhouse, to conduct market research in hopes of obtaining customer insight and data, that will help grow their business, customer base and eventually, revenue.
Here’s the bottom line: digital marketing will continue to be a necessity so long as the Covid-19 pandemic is in the midst, including during the recovery period. That is why marketers need to always be two steps ahead to develop a recovery plan that will minimise losses and shorten their own recovery period.
As the trusted full-scale digital marketing agency in Malaysia, FiveDot is prepared to assist businesses of all scales and sizes from various industries to develop a comprehensive recovery plan. If you are looking to enhance your digital marketing endeavours to give your business an edge over its competitors, then speak with our consultants today.