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The Inevitable Shift In Marketing Strategy & Opportunities During COVID-19

Mandana Rafat

Director of Digital Marketing


Apr. 20, 2020

A number of retail industries have been faced with steep decreases in revenue, the forecast for the quarters to follow will likely follow suit. Of course, there are some who experienced the opposite and will continue to see sales climb. For retailers, many brick and mortar exclusive establishments have quickly shifted to eCommerce and those with existing eCommerce platforms have moved marketing efforts online.

The New Normal – Shifting Your Business Model

The Inevitable Shift In Marketing Strategy & Opportunities During COVID-19

Without a doubt, acquisition strategies have now shifted to retention-focused models. While brands are changing their communication to share messages to empathize with consumers and engage with their audience, the understanding is sales won’t return to previous projections immediately. Instead the focus is on what can be done now, to meet sales quota further out than originally expected.

While there is chatter around “the new normal” the pandemic will certainly bring about permanent changes to business models and consumer behaviour. Online and digital channels will be a big part of that. So how are brands navigating the online world? Whether they were already present, changing strategies is dependent on decision-makers, not the tools, so the ease of which decision-makers are willing to adapt will be instrumental.

Move Marketing Strategies in Tandem with Consumer Behaviour

The Inevitable Shift In Marketing Strategy and Opportunities During COVID-19

What are businesses considering when adjusting their marketing strategies during COVID-19? Many seem to focus on keeping it light, so to speak, until business resumes where they plan on investing more. It’s important to distinguish that retention isn’t always “light” in effort. While consumers are spending less, they are consuming more digital content than ever before.

According to this Forbes article, large media buyers have temporarily paused advertising, travel and hospitality, which also means ad prices are decreasing as well. For those retailers in a competitive space, right now may be the ideal time to go after competitive market share and gain more visibility. If there are fewer advertisers and exponential growth in content production and consumption, then advertising can secure an online audience.

Right now, during COVID-19 enforced business closures and this period of quarantine and self-isolation, businesses should take note of the shifts of behaviour and meet their audience where they are with the content they need. Exercise empathy and sensitivity. Ask yourself how you as a business can provide value and engage with your audience as opposed to positioning your offering as the focal point of the messaging in your marketing channels. But, keep in mind, shifting from acquisition to retention isn’t the same as a shift from marketing to abandoning marketing efforts. A crisis marketing plan is a way to outline your short and medium strategies and evaluate the efforts. It will help you outline the current state of the business and help make sound decisions without being reactive.

As you navigate your new messaging and marketing strategies, feel free to reach out and speak with us today. We understand you may have a lot of questions and our expertise in digital channels can help navigate some of that uncertainty.

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