The global COVID19 pandemic has caused massive upheavals and disruptions across lives and businesses. Experts went as far as to claim that the country is currently faced with a recession for the first time since the 1979-80 OPEC oil crisis. While the health crisis shook up almost all verticals, media and marketing are amongst the worst hit ones.
There goes a popular adage, “necessity is the mother of invention”. In the same vein, uncertain times can often be a harbinger for innovation, disruption, and strategic realignment. To wade over the impacts of the pandemic, businesses are readjusting their operations and are relooking at ways to emerge out of the crisis with the least possible long-lasting impact. In the brand marketing and advertising domain, with print media witnessing a revenue crunch, with companies constricting their marketing budgets – to survive, many are adopting a digital-first approach or are devising innovating ways to occupy maximum share in the revenue pie. To keep pace with what is being now referred to as the ‘New Normal”, future-forward innovation and evolutionary changes of everything, has become absolutely indispensable.
Therefore, brand evangelists are actively experimenting with newer game plans to reach out to consumer touchpoints, in smarter and more impactful ways. Today’s consumers have a wide array of options available with many me-too’s in the market; and this, combined with narrowing attention spans and cut-throat competition, are obscuring segmentation patterns. A typical consumer today may prefer to not spend as much on travelling but may buy the latest premium smartphone.
Therefore, with the brand-consumer connect environment undergoing significant shifts, technology and data will shape the marketing landscape in a major way, going forward.
Artificial Intelligence and IoT
For example, IoT, AI, and ML have been in trend for quite some time now, as these technologies facilitate more focussed, real-time analytics and delivery, thereby upping customer support and experience. These technologies are sublimely changing pricing strategies and marketing tactics. AI-enabled chat-bots are addressing 50% of customer queries today, meticulously evaluating complex queries and providing relevant tailored responses. Going forward, as interesting use cases emerge, this technology is poised to witness massive uptake.
Also, as voice assistants permeate our lives more prominently, brands will gain keys to an inventory of novel opportunities. The real-time interactive and customization tools can make voice-ad spends to amplify immensely. As of now, use cases are almost next to none, owing to the embryonic nature of the market, however, their target reach and engagement potential will enhance business value immensely, once advancements continue to happen.
Marketers will also leverage virtual reality as a viable tool, once providing immersive and interactive experiences to consumers get more and more pervasive by the day. Virtual reality-based storytelling promises a brand-consumer to connect on a much more emotionally intense level. Many auto and smartphone manufacturers today are using this technology as a part of their marketing campaigns to create integrated interactive experiences. The worldwide augmented and virtual reality market is projected to reach $571.42 billion by 2025, as per Allied Market Research.
Big Data and Analytics
Likewise, Big data and analytics pivoted marketing, driven by consumer insights will continue to witness a massive upsurge. With IoT penetrating our lives more incisively as ever, connected and interactive devices will allow brands to orchestrate more pin-pointed customer-centric communication, by taking into consideration consumer search behaviours and purchase histories. Brands will increasingly use data to provide personalized experiences to consumers. Targeted advertising will become more commonplace, with data at its core. Security and safety of data will also make way for intelligent safety systems to evolve.
Blockchain is going to feature prominently in marketers’ workbook. As of now, this tech is primarily being used to address privacy concerns, detect bots, and build and sustain consumer trust. Going forward, several innovative use cases will surface in this space.
Thus, in the post-COVID-19 era, as businesses leave no stones unturned in reviving back to normalcy, brand marketing will be more exclusive and personalized, perceptively taking into account customers’ ever-changing needs and aspirations and addressing those assiduously.
About the Author:
Soham Majumdar is a new age content strategist with over 12 years of rich experience in curating creative content for various campaigns. He has singularly managed the mandate for Sony LIV, EMC and WiMAX Forum, leading the content and communications strategy front. Mr Majumdar has noteworthy experience handling domains such as IT, Telecom, retail, education, BFSI, FMCG, healthcare, e-commerce and government mandates, in addition to managing start-ups and niche entrepreneurial ventures. He is a graduate from Hansraj College with PG Diploma in PR and Advertising from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, New Delhi.