The COVID-19 pandemic has upturned almost all previous marketing logic. What works in the new normal isn’t necessarily what every business has been used to. Businesses would have to pivot to new government guideline policies and meet the challenges of an increasingly shrinking consumer wallet.
Mckinsey & Company, a leading global management consulting firm, is therefore advising businesses to re-strategize. The case for a strategy rethink has become so important since the market is undergoing different levels of structural and psychological changes that is transforming consumer behaviours. Any failure among businesses to adapt to these new ways of thinking would generate disconnect between the businesses and their current and prospective customers.
The management consulting firm highlighted eight changes that demand urgent attention in the consumer market:
- Work [Rise of unemployment, on-the-go consumption, remote work] – These call for a tweak in the way retail businesses serve consumers. Adopting a pricing strategy to rebalance products and offerings into ranges that appeal to different wallet size isn’t a bad idea; pivoting to e-commerce should help to reduce expenditures as well connect to consumers adhering to the health safety protocols.
- Learning [Spend on learning adjacencies and remote learning] – Whereas 35% of subscribers now turn to Netflix for e-learning, the lockdown and safety concern among consumers call for the development of educational content by media businesses. Without tailoring a sizeable quota of daily programming to meet school aged consumer academic needs, some radio and television media houses may lose relevance for a while.
- Communications and Information [In-person sampling decline, Shift in media consumption] – Experiential marketers and event management agencies have been badly impacted by the lockdown. Therefore is no better time to shift conferences, seminars and product education to virtual platforms.Experiential marketers should look for some ways to tap the mood of the season to connect products to consumers by conducting ‘marketing’ Corporate Social Responsibility campaigns that resonate with targeted market.
- Travel and Mobility [Reduction in tourism spend and travel retail, increase in local tourism] – As policies enforcing compulsory a quarantine window are being installed across choice destinations, travel and tour agencies need to market more local touring services . This should keep business healthy until society/ tourists regain confidence in flying or travelling to distance destinations.
- Shopping and Consumption [Surge in e-commerce, decline in discretionary spending and trading down, a shift to stores closer to home] – As most economies go into recession, the consumers are expected to sober up.This means that they would hardly allow emotion to drive spend. The market for the shoestring, tight-budgeting consumers will stay around for a while until thing loosen up. In the meantime the consumers are expected to trade down. It is up to businesses to face up to this new reality and adapt their product portfolios to the thinking of the new smart-spending consumers.
- Life at Home [Nesting at home, surge in online activities] – Businesses need to strengthen their online presence. A Switch to Microsoft Team and Zoom to organize meetings with clients is very important. Business websites will need to incorporate AI which will help remove IT infrastructural constraints that make it previously impossible to cater to customers request real time 24/7.
- Play and Entertainment [Preference for digital entertainment] – Mckinsey noted that ‘Disney+’ achieved in 5 months what took Netflix 7 years to achieve’. If There is any time for Print and Broadcast media to restructure and leverage mobile apps, it is now.
- Health and well-being [E-pharmacy and e-doctor at scale] – As safety concern lowers society confidence in meeting people in close proximity, players in the health sector need to find ways to connect with service users online via mobile apps or AI-driven web portal in order to run diagnoses, prescribe drugs and sell other services.