The COVID-19 Impact On Customer Preferences & Digital Marketing

  • Urmi Sengupta
  • 09 Jul 20
  • COVID19,Thought Leadership

The pandemic outbreak has brought in colossal transformation in the business world. In light of it, we spoke to Saddam Hussain, Manager - Digital Marketing, KredX about the ripple effect of the COVID-19 on consumer behaviour & the ensuing push towards digital marketing. Here’s an in-depth article about this.

COVID-19 has taken the whole world by storm. Though this pandemic has affected many industries, few have gained more importance and competence in the prevailing scenario. With a dip in revenue and consumer behaviour due to the pandemic and ensuing lockdown, companies are trying to become more cost-efficient by cutting all the unnecessary expenses and focusing on needs rather than requirements.

In this current pandemic situation, businesses are heavily depending on digital platforms and digital marketing services to achieve their goals. The contagion has also had a deep impact on consumers - customers are increasingly using digital platforms for their day to day activities. In fact, with the help of digital marketing, it has become easier to reach out to the target audience and help them with their requirements better than ever before.

What this pandemic has done is that it has changed the customer's preferences, how the customers perceive, evaluate, and measure brand value and success. These changes in customer preferences are influencing digital marketers to think out-of-the-box, forcing the digital marketing fraternity to come up with the better optimisations, better strategies and solutions which could be planned, measured, and executed efficiently.

Unlike customer behaviour, COVID-19 has also changed how businesses look at their customer preferences or behaviour and optimise their strategies accordingly. This has resulted in companies becoming more customer-centric than product-centric.

Sometimes I wonder, does It requires a pandemic for us to become more human? 

The Ripple Effect Of The Pandemic On Consumer Behavior:

  • Customers Don't Need A Bot, They Need A Human To Interact

We have seen many businesses using Chatbots & AI's to collect the data and help their customers quickly and efficiently. However, the pandemic has ushered in a shift in consumer behaviour - customers are now okay to wait for a while to talk to humans rather than interacting with bots. It has increased the customer’s willingness to talk to a human rather than getting automated replies from bots.

  • Social Media Platforms Have Become More Like A Business Community

Customers want their voice and emotions to be heard and answered, they want the business to understand their feelings and emotions and act accordingly. In fact, "56% of customers stay loyal to brands who “get them.”

Customers have started reaching out to the brands on social media channels to voice their requirements which have resulted in brands to be more proactive on these channels than ever before to hear their customers and solve their queries.

  • Customers Love Brands That Helps Them Without Thinking About Profit

During this pandemic, many companies have gone above and beyond to help their customers without thinking about profits.

KredX had recently started an internship program - The “Do More With Your Time” – A KredX Internship Initiative For Young Minds - a unique internship program conceptualised for children (age 3 – 17) to spark creativity, learn about the basics of business & finance, and have fun. 

These types of initiatives will help a brand to enhance the trust factor and results in a better understanding of their customer’s preferences.

In the end, customer satisfaction is what defines the success of the brand.

A recent study shows that 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers

  • Communication, Information & Transparency Plays An Important Role

Though we are fed with the various information from many sources every day, customers are heavily dependent on the information coming from trusted sources like the brand itself. Content can be in any form - images, infographics, videos, podcasts, eBooks, emails, etc.,

These timely communications loaded with informational and educational content will not only help a company to educate its customers but also helps in building transparency, credibility and in retaining its customers. A study conducted by Bain & Company reveals that increasing customer retention by just 5% boosts profits by 25% to 95%

The Bottomline:

I believe this pandemic has got us back to where we started everything. These testing times call for a strategic approach to make your brand resonate with the customer. Going ahead, companies should be more focused on building a robust customer base with out-of-the-box marketing strategies while sticking to the basics and the core values of digital marketing which is a customer-first approach and focus on building loyalty, reachability, transparency, education, and communication.