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What coronavirus means for marketers

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Saroop K P

Numerous businesses spread across various sectors have knocked down to a grudging halt, with only a few essential services running. The coronavirus outbreak has caused anxiety amongst consumers across geographies as they are baffled not knowing how to respond to a changing world. After taking a macro view of the food and agriculture business post lockdown in many countries, the Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) stated that the sales will decline further along with the production.

Businesses are going to struggle even after the containment of the virus. In China, the pandemic caused retail sales to drop by 20.5 percent and the unemployment rate skyrocketed to 6.2 in February. However, the ongoing crisis will come to rest eventually erasing the pandemic from the earth.

At that point, countries will have to rely on their businesses, small and large, to vanguard the steps for economic revival. This unprecedented situation has not just shaken the economy but has also brought considerable change in consumer behaviour and business models.

How do brands continue to remain relevant in the coming years? What strategies do they put forth to assuage the concerns of tomorrow's consumers?

As there are many other questions remained unanswered, let’s have a look at what marketers need to consider while dealing with the new normal in the coming days.

“Many people are feeling the pinch financially at the moment, but if they see a brand willing to help them out with access to products that can help them during a lockdown, they may end up feeling greater loyalty towards it,” reminds Ayelet Noff, CEO, SlicedBrand.

Rise in Online marketplaces
Examining the flourishing e-commerce market in India, IBEF predicted it to reach USD 200 billion by the year 2026. With a doubt, the e-commerce market is likely to thrive in the state of continued concern over social distancing. This will be one of the key areas for entrepreneurs with vast scales would focus to leverage its digital infrastructure. Today, business owners can partner with e-commerce enablers to enable customized and sophisticated online stores that envelop the managing of payments, promotional programs, logistics, and multichannel sales.

Communication with stakeholders
Work-from-home has become more than a trend, as a mandated process that is likely to continue for some more time. Thankfully, in this era of robust and lightweight availability of technological tools, marketers are flooded with the choices to stay in touch with partners, employees, associates, and customers. For marketers, it is equally important to communicate with both customers and employees.

Therefore staying relevant in the market with proper messaging and on top of the minds of the customer would help them in staying afloat in these hard times.

Complex consumer behaviour
To unravel the knots of the complex consumer behaviour is a part of the aforementioned communication strategy. Business people have to funnel their energy on reassessing the consumer sentiment and jot down the demand clearly for products and the services offered.

Online sellers need to have a complete picture of the essentialities and non-essentialities of the customer among others and methods to provide such offerings through digital channels, resulting in maintaining a steady stream of revenue for the entrepreneurs in respective domains.

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