The Business of Marketing

Do any of us even remember what life was like pre-COVID-19? If you are anything like the majority of us, it might seem a little hazy at best. And for many business leaders, it might even seem nostalgic. In the global language services industry, COVID-19 hit hard. We saw interpreting companies quickly switching gears to provide virtual remote interpreting. We saw just about every annual conference hop on the online conferencing bandwagan. And when it came to content marketing, many language services providers (LSPs) quickly pulled the plug. Truth is, we panicked. We felt the desire to instantly pause, take a deep breath, regroup, and figure out how to survive a very devestaging blow.  But many companies are now realizing that marketing is maybe not as expendable as they thought, and if they’re not too careful, their competitors will take them by surprise.

Differentiate or Prepare for Defeat

Pretty harsh, right? We know. But we are also deadly serious. We are in the fall of 2020. The world we once knew is in the rearview mirror and we are left blinking uncontrollably, wondering where to go from here. We’re talking, of course, about the devestation that COVID-19 has left in its wake – and for some regions, it is still wreaking havoc.

For many companies, content marketing was the first to take a major hit as businesses quickly assessed their reserves and evaluated how to survive the sudden blow to their revenue, And, for many, this might have made perfect sense. When fear, anxiety, and confusion set in, consumers tend to hold back on spending, retreat inward, and prepare for the worst. So, why would companies continue to invest in marketing if no one is buying, right? Wrong. While it does make sense to reassess your products and services, and it certainly makes sense to explore new consumer sentiment and behavior during- and post-COVID-19, marketing, in our humble opinion, should never ever be placed on the backburner. In fact, now more than ever before, we must differentiate or accept ultimate defeat at the hands of our competitors.

Consumer Behavior – The New Normal

From retail to food consumption to healthcare, global consumers are relying heavily on the internet for their purchases and transactions. In fact, in a recent survey by Braze and Wakefield Research, 83% of the 8,000 surveyed consumers across ten markets “said that they planned to shop online as much or more as during the height of the pandemic.”1 

The survey also revealed something that every business should pay attention to. “[T]he vast majority of global consumers cited a brand’s pandemic response as a reason to drop them.”ibid Customers need to hear from you, and that means content. Now is certainly not the time to hold back on your marketing campaigns. Your consumers have gone digital and so should you – don’t be left in the dust.

Mobile Acquisition and Consumer Spend

To state that mobile e-commerce is booming is so 2019. We are well beyond booming. From seniors to Gen-Z, nearly 60% of consumers are using their mobile devices to complete a purchase, a trend that isn’t likely to slow down any time soon.2 It isn’t that folks are no longer willing to spend, they are just more apt to spend online in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In response, there is now a growing trend in mobile touchless payment methods, an increasing number of mobile apps, and more shoppers are even using voice search than they were pre-COVID-19.

The in-app checkout feature on Instagram, for instance, now allows consumers the ability to check out in 2 taps, eliminating the need to open a new browser. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technology are also taking center stage. Essentially, consumers receive an immersive shopping experience without having to walk one foot in the store. If you are not familiar with VR or AR, imagine the touch-and-feel of real life in-store shopping experiences that you are now able to achieve online. But it isn’t just consumer mobile spend that is increasing. Mobile acquisition is quite literally skyrocketing. Before the onset of COVID-19, the typical quarter on quarter (QoQ) mobile acquisition increase was roughly 15.5%. But from the first to the second quarter of 2020, this increase jumped to nearly 60%.. 1 And folks aren’t merely browsing on their phones. They’re purchasing and repurchasing.

Harness The Power of Social Media

Social media has arguably become a behemoth for social interaction and engagement. For academic, professional, commercial, and social reasons, we all flock to our coveted social media channels several times a day, every day. Yet for many companies, figuring out an effective game plan to leverage the power of social media for marketing can feel more than overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to. Regardless of your company’s size or its current level of comfort on social media channels, dip your toe in and start to engage with your target market. Chances are, you’ll be glad you did. 

Your Brand. Your Reputation.

Now is not the time to hide.

We know. We’ve certainly felt it too. Times are tough and we will likely continue to face an upward battle for the foreseeable future. But this is no time to hide your amazing brand, voice, products, and services. Consumers are engaged and looking for innovative ways companies just like you can meet their unique needs, But they are also looking for companies that show compassion and understanding in our new collective normal. Your customers want to know that your policies and values reflect theirs. Have you been listening?

Whether your customers have been struggling with health issues, financial stresses, or general anxiety during the pandemic, they want to feel a human connection more now than ever before. So, what are you waiting for? Start building your content marketing strategy with GIM Content Management and let your customers know they can count on you.

Your brand. Your reputation.

 

Give us a call today.

 

Download the PDF version of this report.


REFERENCES

  1. The Future of Retail. Braze, 2020, info.braze.com/rs/367-GUY-242/images/2020_The_Future_of_Retail.pdf.
  2. “Top 5 Mobile Commerce Trends During Covid-19 Pandemic.” Magenest, store.magenest.com/blog/mobile-commerce-trends-covid19/.

Other sources

Boudet, Julien, et al. “How Marketing Leaders Can Both Manage the Coronavirus Crisis and Plan for the Future.” McKinsey & Company, McKinsey & Company, 7 May 2020, www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/how-marketing-leaders-can-both-manage-the-coronavirus-crisis-and-plan-for-the-future.

“Consumer Behavior September Update – COVID-19.” RRD, thoughts.rrd.com/blog/consumer-behavior-monthly-update-covid-19.

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