The Corona epidemic has profoundly affected social and business life worldwide. Even though the process of normalization has begun, we are going through a unique period, the effects of which are still experienced in all areas of life. This period, which deeply influenced the behavior of consumers and the way businesses work, brought the points that were forgotten, underestimated, or unaware, to the fore. In this article, we wanted to summarize the important points underlined in the business world in general, especially in the digital marketing of the challenging period.
1) We Serve People, Not Numbers
While the epidemic changed the order of importance in the needs of consumers all over the world, it made the main impulses such as being healthy and protected from danger come to the fore. We took actions to maintain our social life and work order by remembering our basic feelings again. At this point, brands especially brought forward messages that give confidence, empathize, and direct hope rather than commercial targets. We have gone through a period that reminds us that the masses are not just consumers but individuals with common feelings. This situation will actually differentiate the perspective of the groups from which basic notifications are reached. Strategies to better understand the customer and offer more personal experiences that go beyond offering benefits or promoting products and services will become even more important. We can say that brands that strengthen these ties especially in difficult times already have an important advantage in the name of loyalty.
2) Digital Transformation Is a Must
The outbreak led to measures to minimize physical contact. This situation has deeply affected the industries, especially the physical aspect. Firms with digital preparation from communication to service-product provision have gained an advantage in business continuity. We can say that the companies that have completed their digital transformation are leaving the process with the least damage, by excluding the sectors that are not likely to change service, such as aviation. This period has shown that every business must have transformation completed, regardless of its size and its field of activity. The issue has now gone beyond a preference in order not to be out of competition, especially in a period when consumers are turning to digital channels.
3) The importance of digital channels has increased
We observe that brands use many digital channels in different densities today. The importance of different digital channels once again emerged in order to increase transportation power and customer satisfaction during the epidemic period. The research we made as SmartMessage, which includes 71 sectors shows that brands significantly increase their e-mail and SMS sending with COVID-19. In addition to the frequently used digital channels, we see that chatbots provided significant benefits especially to customer support units in this period. They supported the disrupted workforce as channels where customers can get information quickly. The institutions that had orchestrated the inter-channel orchestration with efficient omnichannel marketing strategies before this period had an advantageous period in order to prevent customer experience from being interrupted. They made a difference in competition with actions such as shifting notifications to alternative channels in accordance with customer preferences, following processes until the information was received with simple automation scenarios.
4) The necessity to be Ready for the Worst
We have gone through a period when the developments in the business world, which no one could have imagined, took place very quickly. We have clearly seen that from giant company groups to SMEs, all sizes of organizations were caught off guard everywhere in the world. This situation actually revealed the need for plans B or C, financially, administratively, and operationally against uncertainty situations. For the sake of business continuity, reviewing all details from end to end, taking necessary precautions, especially health and safety, and making preparation to subsidize financially indefinite periods were among the topics that came to the fore in this period.
We hope that, as the whole world, we will not go through similar situations, we continue to work with what we learn from this challenging period, to increase our sensitivity about people around us, our environment, and the whole world for a healthier and more hopeful future.