“It’s like déjà vu all over again”. Capital city, Kingstown has been rather quiet, no doubt due to the rising COVID cases.
Inevitably, as the cases increase, the business community will feel the effects. What is striking though, is that we seem not to have learnt from the past. This virus is reshaping the way we live and work; the transformation extends to how your organisation, business or brand operates, how you sustain and grow your customer base inclusive of how you attract consumers and promote your products and services.
It’s remarkable that there is still a lack of investment in the digital space and digital marketing; it’s 2021 in the middle of a pandemic with deadly variants and persons are still having to line up outside pharmacies, physically go to hardware and other retail stores to purchase items, stand in supermarket lines, physically go to doctor offices/labs to collect documents or results as well as stand in long lines to make payments. The pandemic has become a reality check for businesses that have been reluctant to embrace digital transformation and now find themselves unprepared.
Here are a few things to consider as we continue to navigate through the pandemic:
1. Until you see Marketing as an investment, it will always be ‘out of budget’ – Adapting to new ways of working so you can keep delivering, is a must. You invest money into purchasing raw materials, buying inventory and equipment for your brand, so why not invest in securing more customers, increasing sales and brand awareness as well as protecting your brand against unforeseen changes in the market? By going digital, you will have more tools at your disposal to not only weather the storm but to come out stronger on the other side. Having said that, be mindful that you can start with limited resources that are scaled up once the kinks are worked out and the results are proven.
2. COVID has accelerated digital transformation –Think about the number of eye balls glued to digital platforms at the onset of the pandemic; the dilemma concerning whether there would be face to face classes or a blended approach. Everything has changed and some of the behaviours developed including digital adoption- will outlast the pandemic and to stay competitive, your brand must respond to these behavioural changes and meet emerging customer demands e.g., if during a year period, you have gotten into the habit of ordering your groceries online and having them delivered, would you want to go back to standing in line? As a farmer, think about using digital technologies to sell your produce directly to consumers; as we approach the festive season, brands with both an online and in-store presence will thrive- any way that you can connect your physical and digital experience will resonate with consumers.
3. Don’t neglect the human element – Whilst planning to go digital, there are a few key business competencies that you need on your team such as social media marketing, crisis management and customer experience management. If improved customer service sits at the bottom of your goals for digital transformation, you need some help to determine how to make this step work for you.
Remember you also have to mitigate risks to the customer experience by thinking realistically from the outside in.
Candice Sealey is a freelance content writer, advertising copywriter, voice-over talent, media personality and the Founder & Principal Consultant at Ignite! a Full-service Marketing & PR Consultancy that helps businesses/brands to stand out and communicate the right message to the right people through Strategy, Marketing, Media services and Design solutions. Follow us on FB & IG @igniteresults