Expert Tasks Marketers To Rethink Strategy As Social Distancing, Others Disrupt Marketing
The Group Managing Director of GDM Group, a marketing innovation firm, Victor Afolabi has disclosed that social distancing and other trends will disrupt the marketing landscape in post COVID-19 era. He therefore urged marketers to rethink their strategy and brace up for the new reality.
He made the disclosure during the Live Instagram Chat organised by Brand Communicator, Nigeria’s leading brands and marketing communication publication, where he spoke on the topic, “Disruption, Innovation and the Future of Marketing in Post COVID-19.” It is noteworthy that the live chat was hosted by Joshua Ajayi, Publisher /Editor-in-Chief, Brand Communicator.
Afolabi said “Social distancing is likely going to be around for a long time,” adding that “In this new normal, brands and agencies have to go back to the drawing board.”
Taking a look at the marketing communications industry, he explained that the lockdown of business activities due to the pandemic has been challenging for most organisations. He said that even after the lockdown, it might be difficult for experiential marketing agencies to do activations in some places like schools and others.
He added that a lot of things will change including how people seat in the plane, bars arrangements and how people seat in worship centres and others. He said moving forward, the focus of marketers and brands will be on how to engage people without close priority.
Furthermore, he added that mobility will reduce as people turn to Zoom and other video conferencing platforms for their meetings. He said the implication would be that Out-of-Home industry would be affected as eyeballs to their boards would reduce and clients would begin to demand more values for money.
He pointed out that marketing budget including public relations budget and others would be cut as recorded during the last recession, meaning that a lot of consumers’ habits are going to change as consumer wallets are shrinking.
As regards the upsurge in digital deployment, Afolabi stated that what brands would be after would be their engagements online translating to sales. However, he urged experiential marketing agencies to take advantage of the platform and also deploy Artificial Intelligence (AI) and others to make their operation seamless. “There will be a lot of innovation around digital; we also need to rethink the strategy,” he explained.
In addition, he said that brands will have less to spend, consumers will also have less disposable income and there would be intense competition among brands, which will make brand to demand more value for money from their marketing agencies, vendors and others.
Stating some of the trends that will shape the future of marketing, he said more brands will deploy technology to engage people; also how brands deploy innovation will change and they will be more concern about return on investment as the era of wastage will be gone.
To stay relevant in the post COVID-19 era, Afolabi said marketers would need to rethink their marketing mix and offer great value to consumers and equally understand their changing behaviour. This is because what they consume is changing considering that during the lockdown most discovered that they can do without a lot of things.
He concluded that the e-commerce sector will grow remarkably in post COVID-19 era as more people turn to the sector to buy goods.