Senior Digital Marketer PwC Mauritius

The aftermath of COVID-19 for Marketers

The impact of COVID-19 on our Mauritian economy is unprecedented. For more than 2 weeks now, the country is running slow. 

While the joint forces are working together to stop the spread of the virus, we can already see the impact on marketing activities. 

Organisations are reviewing their communication approach, paid ads have been halted, freelancers are losing clients and we’ve seen a rise in e-commerce in the past few days.

In this blog post, I will outline how I envision the future after COVID-19 for marketing professionals.

A spur in innovation

The recent restrictions during the lockdown spur an increase in online shopping and e-commerce services in Mauritius. 

Within our own community, we’ve seen initiatives to help local businesses set up their e-commerce platforms quickly and at low cost. One good example happens to be a partnership between LeanSearch and GWS Technologies. If you want to read about it, click here

Another example is the initiative from Visual Communication Mauritius (VCM) and Xavier Coiffic to help local vegetables vendors bring their commerce online. Check out Bazar.mu.

However, sudden digital transformation, without a proper change management in place, often leads to creating more detractors and confused customers. That’s why right now it’s the right time to focus on education and awareness of your clients.

A drop in confidence

I foresee a drop in confidence from local businesses as we will start a period of re-building the economy. 

Sectors of our economy such as hospitality, transportation, and others are among the ones who are deeply being affected COVID-19. This will result in collateral damage to non-essential or traditional sectors. 

According to Bloomberg, Coronavirus will potential cost the global economy $2.7 Trillion and a drop in GDP. Therefore, in Mauritius we can expect a drop in customer buying power in 2020, while it will slowly peak up in 2021. 

Statistic: Forecasted global real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), from 2019 to 2021 | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

However, as I mentioned in the first point, digital marketing will be one of the assets to help organisations grow again. It will be our responsibility as marketers to understand clients and to create a conducive environment to help brands gain confidence again and drive profits. 

A drop in Search for some industries

From an SEO perspective, we can expect a drop in CTR and Search Volume for some industries. The main reason being that customers have fundamentally reviewed their priorities during the crisis time. Basic needs moved to one level in Maslow’s hierarchy 😉

Locally, we can expect a drop in SEO traffic for industries such as hospitality while an increase for e-commerce and news website.

In a recent post, Neil Patel outlined key insights on the topic. 

I believe the SEO industry will take some time to peak up as it is greatly dependant on the purchasing power of the customers and their willingness to buy. However, it’s the right time for organisations to review their Content Marketing strategy and create content to build confidence and retain their existing clients. 

A peak in content creation

There will be a rise in content creation as more organisations will strive to retain and acquire new customers. Whether it is for brand awareness, acquisition or retention, it will be crucial to have a proper content strategy in place. 

As I am writing this blog post, several organisations have toned down their commercial messaging and focused on creating awareness around COVID-19. Unfortunately, some didn’t get it right and are getting thousands of negative comments from their detractors. 

In the midst of the pandemic, I really liked how local agencies are communicating on social media recently. Here are few examples:

Work from home finally in our habits?

The lockdown pushed organisations to review their way of operating by asking their employees to work from home. Mauritius still being very traditional in its working culture and habits, this was a sudden change for some. 

There are countless of tools helping local employees maintain business continuity plans of companies. 

I would also recommend reading the amazing article from Sanjana Jhumun who wrote about how social media boomed with content, sometimes fake, on COVID-19. She also shares some cool tips on how to maintain your normal routine and be productive at home. A good read. Click here to read it.

As a concluding note: Will marketing be the same ever again?

Certainly not. What this pandemic showed us is that customers are now more aware of their purchases. Their attention shifted drastically from high-end products to the necessities only. They are also very much interacting with local organisations and are on the lookout for how brands are helping during the crisis. 

As more challenging months come, it will be crucial for marketers to review their strategy and listen to their customers. I foresee a shift in buying power and decision making to the customers; at least an increase. Purchasing decision will be longer for some products and services, and vary based on the industries.

It is the right time to go back to your customers. So do it now and do it right.

2 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *