Economic Shift in Digital Marketing: Understanding Behavioral Changes in the Global Consumer Mindset
Written By : RICHARD FONG
Published on February 15, 2021
The Covid-19 pandemic that the world is going through is one of the most catastrophic events that the world has experienced in several decades. With devastating effects on public health, the virus has seen more than 2.2 million deaths worldwide.
To boot, the pandemic has disrupted social structures world-wise. Mass gatherings have been prohibited in many countries, and most schools have resorted to online classes. Several countries have also imposed periodic and strict lockdowns in an attempt to stem the rise of Covid-19 cases.
The economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have also affected a wide swath of the globe’s workforce. According to the World Health Organization, the pandemic has placed nearly half of the world’s workforce at risk of losing their jobs—that’s almost 1.7 billion people in danger of losing their livelihood source before this pandemic is over.
A Look at The Vulnerable Industries and Their Losses
Although this pandemic has affected many industries, some are more vulnerable and suffered significant losses compared to others.
The industry of tourism is one of the most affected during this health crisis. Countries are closing their borders and barring crowds from entering tourist spots and attractions. This led to countries reporting record-breaking drops in visitors’ number.
A policy brief published by the United Nations estimated that the tourism industry would suffer up to $1 trillion in total losses. The same article also anticipates that up to 100 million tourism-related jobs will be at risk because of the pandemic, while the number of international tourists is expected to decline by up to 78%.
Tourism and the airline industry are interrelated. This and the drop in tourism numbers reflect on the losses that airline companies incurred this past year. Air travel went down by as much as 60% in 2020 because of Covid-19.
Those engaged in hospitality businesses such as bars, resorts, casinos, restaurants, lodges, and hotels also felt the effects of Covid-19. During the first few months of 2020, restaurants were prohibited from operating due to lockdowns in many countries.
A study estimated that more than half of the total number of restaurants worldwide would cease operations before the pandemic is over. Those in the hospitality business also have to deal with additional expenses as part of the new normal. A year after the beginning of the pandemic, restaurants that managed to survive are required to operate in a reduced capacity as part of the efforts to stem the spread of the infection.
New Normal Business Mindset
The numerous changes set in motion by the pandemic forced many to adapt to the new normal of doing things. Businesses started implementing social distancing protocols, and companies have shifted to a work-from-home set-up.
However, businesses are not the only ones who changed how they do things because of the pandemic. The global consumer mindset also changed as a result of the health crisis. These changes are the results of prolonged periods of lockdowns, self-isolation, concerns about one’s health, and the uncertainty regarding the state of the economy and one’s financial future.
New Buying Patterns
One of the most noticeable changes in consumer behavior is the renewed interest in health-related products. Because of the threat of a highly-contagious virus, boosting one’s immune system and improving one’s health and well-being became a primary concern.
Health-related products such as health supplements became hot commodities. Because of most people’s inability to go to gyms and fitness centers, home gyms and exercise equipment became popular. More people are now interested in enrolling in fitness tutorials to exercise and stay fit in the safety of their homes.
The long periods of isolation also resulted in many people engaging in new hobbies and skills to keep themselves busy when they cannot socialize with others. Home cooking and baking became common pastimes, which increased the demand for baking and cooking supplies. Some engaged in taking care of plants, while others tried entertaining themselves through viral videos.
A Shift to Online Shopping
Another noticeable change in consumer behavior is the shift to online shopping. Buying necessities online became a practical alternative, especially for those living in areas where lockdowns are commonly imposed. Online shopping is also a way for most people to get the products they need without going outside and potentially exposing themselves to Covid-19.
This surge in online shopping also gave way to the need for an increase in companies offering deliveries as part of their services. Uber Eats, Grubhub, Instacart, and other delivery companies saw an increase in their usual number of customers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people employed as couriers and messengers increased by around 26% from February to December of 2020.
As mentioned above, more consumers now prefer to do their shopping online. This can be challenging for businesses that only have physical stores. Although having a brick-and-mortar shop attracts customers, not having an online presence means that a business is missing out on customers who prefer shopping online.
However, note that the rise of online shopping also affects even businesses that have online counterparts. With more competitors, businesses must up their digital marketing strategy to stay ahead of the competition.
That said, building a strategy to entice this new type of customer is crucial. Companies need to be on the right channels at the right time while offering the right information. If a business sells tech gadgets, it might be best to tell the customers how critical such devices are in keeping in touch with family and friends when physical gatherings are limited and travels are restricted.
Another way of marketing a business during this pandemic is to market how the business itself. Owners can inform their customers about the health protocols they’ve come up with to ensure the safety of their employees, products, and customers. After all, customers only want to deal with companies that take their health seriously.
Owners can also market the safety and security of their online shopping platforms. For the longest time, one of the main concerns of customers about shopping online is the danger of exposing their personal and financial information to digital thieves. Identity theft is a severe concern after all, as stolen identities can be used for fraudulent activities.
It is also vital to pivot digital marketing to convey a powerful message to customers. Businesses can craft their digital marketing around a central message to customers. Possibilities include creating a digital marketing campaign around the importance of health and well-being or a campaign about the importance of digital security in the age of online shopping.
Important Digital Marketing Tools
If a business wants to excel in digital marketing, it is essential to utilize digital marketing tools and their full potential. Here are some digital marketing tools that might help a business’ digital marketing campaign be a success.
Search Engine Optimization is one of the most effective digital content marketing tools that businesses can utilize. Although a marketing campaign’s content is essential, it is equally vital to ensure that it is optimized. When we say that content is optimized, it should include keywords that are easily recognizable on search engines like Google.
Optimized content can help increase a content’s visibility to its target audience. This is important because no matter how important and informative content is, customers won’t benefit from it if they can’t see it.
Social media posts and advertisements are some of the best ways of reaching a wide range of customers. Almost everybody has at least one social media account, making social media an effective vehicle to launch a digital marketing campaign. According to Statista, 3.6 billion people worldwide use social media—that number is expected to jump to 4.5 billion by the year 2025.
Aside from its broad reach, social media-based campaigns are also cheap. It is even possible to launch a digital marketing campaign just by creating a social media page. With enough informative and exciting content, a social media page can attract more customers, leading to more sales.
The pandemic has forced changes not just in people but in businesses as well. The new normal that the world is experiencing has altered the way that people conduct business. This means that businesses should also assess their business models and find ways of adapting to the new consumer mindset to survive.
The pandemic also shifted the focus of digital marketing. Marketing campaigns are now not just about which products look more attractive or have more features. It is now more crucial to campaign about how products can help customers, especially in these trying times.
If you want to know how to make an effective and productive digital marketing strategy, read more about digital marketing here at Blissdrive. Get ahead of your competition, call Bliss Drive today!