The pandemic has been one of those times in history where momentous change happens. Businesses aren’t immune to the seismic shift. In many cases, what we were thinking about and planning for down the road, has exponentially sped up in an effort to survive in an unprecedented market.
If your business survived the shutdown the pandemic brought about, it’s probably because you swiftly pivoted your business model. The decisions for business owners today are:
- Go back to the way things used to be;
- Stay with what got them through the shutdown, or;
- Create a hybrid of both.
Truth is, despite our expectations that once COVID retreated, we would be back to the way things were, that’s not happening. Normal has changed, because COVID changed us.
Yet, the good thing about change is that it prompts innovation. Case in point: we didn’t realize we need services that will shop for and deliver goods to us until going outside of our homes meant exposure to a deadly virus. With that reality, the personal-shopper industry emerged, thrived, and is going strong, even as we emerge from our homes, now vaccinated.
Evolution Results from Pandemic
Businesses that evolved during the shutdown can’t rest on the laurels of success. Customers need information to show how these evolutions make things better for them going forward. One key component in promoting the advantages of the changes made is how businesses and customers now utilize technology.
A good example is health-care delivery. When providers were forced to shift care delivery to telemedicine in 2020, they realized their ability to analyze patients’ needs weren’t diminished. Diagnoses are just as effective and patients like the convenience, comfort, and privacy of being at home, while receiving care.
While the health-care industry was moving in the direction of using telemedicine, the shutdown from business-as-usual pushed providers to immediate adoption. Telemedicine is now an entrenched reality that has changed care-delivery systems. The window of opportunity to increase business with telemedicine exists now. Providers are seizing the opportunity to market the benefits telemedicine provides.
New Marketing Tools
Marketing to existing and potential customers requires tools not used prior to COVID. Apple’s highly stylized product reveal events, with hundreds of people packed in an auditorium, may have changed forever because of COVID, but didn’t stop the company from releasing new products just before the holiday season. Unable to bring high-profile celebrities, business executives and reporters into an auditorium, Apple pivoted to a virtual unveiling, streamed across social media channels. Some presentations were pre-recorded, ensuring flawless performances. Rather than the hands-on events of the past, Apple sent review devices to reporters and social influencers for further news coverage.
The necessity of providing online shopping, take out, curbside delivery and home delivery brought about innovation and massive growth for companies like DoorDash, Instacart, Carvana, Uber Eats, Vroom, Grub Hub and others. The good news? Customers appreciate these innovations, are opening their wallets, and responding with enthusiasm.
When the pandemic took hold, people learned new ways to fulfill their needs. Nowadays, we’re marketing services we never imagined. But the innovations created in a new world of business require modernizations in how we market them.
One marketing tool hasn’t changed, though. Understanding what customers think today is the first step in knowing and evolving how we speak to them.