The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted industries and businesses across the world, even those considered big-ticket ones like Apple and Google. Consumer electronic brands suffered big in terms of sales as they faced difficulties in sourcing raw materials and getting the manpower needed to produce their products. While tech giants like Microsoft said that the pandemic had little impact on their profits, there’s no denying that COVID-19 shook big brands to their core.
In terms of their marketing tactics, small businesses, and big brands couldn’t help but make changes to how they promote their products, both current and upcoming. Here, we’ll discuss just how the COVID-19 situation has forced them to make abrupt changes to their marketing techniques and what these changes are specifically.
Here are some ways COVID-19 made big and small businesses to do monumental shifts in the ways they do product marketing:
1. They are re-focusing on building a strong online presence. While businesses, both big and small, have traditional online reputation-building efforts that include running an SEO campaign and email marketing strategy, many of them allocate a big chunk of their advertising money elsewhere. Businesses and big brands typically spend big money on TV advertisements and spots in glossy magazines, they are now making a huge shift towards their online presence campaigns. This is due to the fact despite businesses and industries gradually opening up, there are still people who would rather stay at home and order the products and services they need at the comfort and safety of their couches. And no one can deny that a lot of the brands’ products and services are seen on social media and brand websites.
2. Big brands are going virtual. Apple used to have lavish product launches that become the talk of the tech industry for days, even weeks. However, if we are to judge by the tech giant’s decision to do an online or virtual product launch just recently, we can glean just how the ongoing pandemic situation is making even one of the world’s most profitable companies to make a dramatic shift in brand promotion. Since an approved vaccine for COVID-19 is yet to become available, we can expect more of these virtual product launches soon as people are keeping their cautiousness and keeping themselves socially-distanced given the fatal nature of the disease.
3. They are associating themselves with good deeds. One of the great things that came out of the pandemic is that big brands began focusing more of their efforts on making people associate them with good deeds. There was Adobe’s decision to offer their Creative Cloud product to K-12 schools for free, as well as GE, Ford, and 3M’s unified move to turn their respective manufacturing plants into production lines for the much-needed ventilators and respirators. Even the not-so-big brands such as AB InBev and Diageo chipped in by manufacturing hand sanitizers instead of adult beverages that they originally produced in their plants.
4. Online deliveries are exploding. While it’s true that most consumers were already fond of using their smartphones and other internet-capable gadgets to order food, goods, and services because of how convenient it is, the COVID-19 pandemic made online procurement more of a necessity than a matter of convenience. Accordingly, businesses that would otherwise stick to traditional marketing techniques and not mind giving their customers and buyers the option to place online orders are now forced to do so. This is why there is a sudden boom in online deliveries in countries where there are high cases of COVID-19. People would rather spend a few extra dollars on delivery charges than risk getting infected and dying from the disease.
5. Manufacturers are changing their product lines and advertising such shifts. Aside from some businesses and brands giving away their goods or transforming their production lines to manufacture essential COVID-19 supplies instead, a lot of manufacturers are changing their entire product lines into ones that consumers are buying in hordes. These products include alcohol, hand sanitizers, face masks, respirators, ventilators, and toilet paper (you read that just fine). This move is following what companies see as an urgent need to capture whatever upside they could find about the current pandemic, and one such upside is producing the goods that people are willing to fall in line for hours just to get their hands on. And yes, they do make conscious efforts to let their loyal customers know about the decision to manufacture something else.
With the COVID-19 situation not showing any indication of ending soon, we can see more of these dramatic shifts in how businesses and brands promote their products and services.