If you have concerns around the Coronavirus (Covid-19) and its impact on your business (large or small) and the economy in general, you’re not alone. Regardless of channel or device, Covid-19 is at the forefront of all news media – and even then it’s still difficult to keep up with developments or predict the overall economic impact over the next few months.
It was announced last week by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that Coronavirus is now officially a pandemic, and many economists have predicted that due to the global impact of the virus we may be entering a recession. What this means for marketers and how it will affect digital marketing and brands over the coming months remains to be seen.
Likely Impacts For Your Digital Marketing
In New Zealand, the hospitality, tourism and travel sectors are already feeling, and seeing, significant impacts from the crisis. For those businesses affected, a recovery plan and strategy for when the crisis is over will be an important step in rebuilding revenue. Digital marketing will play a key part in this as if consumers are not travelling and are instead staying here in New Zealand, their discretionary spending will likely stay local too.
Aside from any broad economic slump brought on by the crisis, the practicalities of avoiding crowded areas and the “social distancing” encouraged by health authorities mean that e-commerce is likely to experience high growth over the next few months, with more volume and new customers switching their shopping habits from in-store to online.
Sales of luxury goods, automotive sales, travel and sectors tied to brick-and-mortar locations may suffer. Grocery delivery, meal ordering (hello Uber Eats!), health supplies, pharmaceuticals and alcohol sales are likely to grow, as these have all been shown to thrive and grow in similar economic downturns (2016 – Zika, and previous recessions, e.g. 2008).
The impact on supply chains is also starting to be felt here, even by companies with external suppliers outside of affected areas being impacted by freight limitations. Businesses who manufacture locally and primarily target the domestic New Zealand market may find themselves at an advantage in the coming months.
A Focus On Digital
While a downturn means that business spending and investment may need to be limited, we also see the opportunity for businesses to grow by working to reach new customers and capitalise on the likely increase in online shopping over the coming months.
Rather than pulling back on marketing investment, many experts recommend that digital marketing be used to expand reach during downturns like this – to target more people as well as existing customers, particularly within those businesses facing challenges. This approach has seen success in the past as a way of combating economic fallout from global downturns.
Coming up with creative, innovative ways of engaging existing customers and reaching out to new potential customers who may be shopping online more than ever before is key for Kiwi businesses who wish to stay ahead in this landscape.
The key to mitigating the impact of Coronavirus lies in putting your customers at the heart of your marketing strategy and keeping a close eye on changing consumer behaviour, throughout all of the potential touchpoints for your business.
There’s also that other kind of virus on the rise at the moment. There has been a notable increase in the number of reported cyber-attacks and scam emails in circulation. In large part, this is due to the Coronavirus increasing the number of people opting to work from home. We will cover this in a separate blog post which includes an online safety checklist you can share with any team members who are working remotely more often at the moment. Please click here to read our Covid-19 IT security post.
Our On-Going Service Levels
Conversion Marketing is committed to supporting our customers and their ongoing digital marketing throughout this period. We have plans in place for secure, remote work for all of our team members if required, and we will continue to provide the same level of service on client’s accounts as normal.
Your Digital To-Do List
Some tips you can apply to help your business online at this time:
- Communicate! Email your customer database with your plan for managing any changes necessitated.
- If you have social media channels (including Google My Business), keep your customers in the loop by creating regular posts to communicate your plans and any changes to service levels or product availability.
- If it’s relevant to your business, make sure your e-commerce platform on your website is up to date, and that your supply and delivery systems are all in place.
- If you’re a retailer, and you don’t have e-commerce in place, this is a great time to consider developing this!
- Practically – if you’re a location-based business – put your customers’ minds at ease by implementing additional anti-septic cleaning throughout your store(s), and make sure you communicate this to your customers.
We understand you may have concerns and that there very likely will be some impact on your business over the next period. Please keep in touch with our team to discuss any concerns you may have and how your digital strategy may need to adapt to suit.