The appearance of coronavirus recently represents the most difficult pandemic that caused big impact on various economic sectors worldwide. Governments have been enforcing different approaches to minimize the effect of COVID 19 on the public health through lockdown procedures, restrictions on the movement of individuals, and practicing social distancing. These actions have affected most of the businesses as the purchase behaviours of consumers changed drastically which caused significant implication on profitability and the effectiveness of marketing practices. COVID-19 has affected marketing strategies and actions of different organizations, such as corporate social responsibility (CSR), consumption pattern, advertising, marketing communication program, and supply chain.
CSR is one of the main pillar for shaping brand image and determining business success. The pandemic of Covid-19 provided organizations with great opportunities for active engagement with their strategies concerning CSR and programs. For instance, cause related marketing campaigns have become an increasingly prevalent means for firms to link their offerings with noteworthy social impact initiatives to provide care and support for the victims of COVID-19 pandemic (DiResta, Williford, Da'Morus, & Genn, 2020). The brands and all of their charities should be in line with country laws and legal requirements. As firms adapt and anticipate the means for promoting their products and services during the crises of COVID-19, governmental institutions are watching closely likely unfair or unethical business practices in order to safeguard the consumers, terminate the scams of COVID-19, and monitor aggressive marketing. Firms must understand and follow the government regulations and aims at serving customers in the best way to ensure their well-being and safety.
Another important area which was influenced by the pandemic of COVID 19 is the consumption of wellness and healthy items (He & Harris, 2020). There has been an increase in buying and consuming nutrition and medical goods, for instance fever reducers, vitamin supplements, pain killer, which are directly associated with the coronavirus. Consumers also started reducing their visits to restaurants and because of the fear from the infection of COVID 19. This has made a challenge for marketers to attract and serve customers. For policy makers, the post-crisis period will be an ideal opportunity for health organizations and other governmental agencies to creatively promote healthy consumption and product choice (He & Harris, 2020). Overall, it is obvious that the pandemic of Covid-19 has significantly affected the ethical decision making of consumers during the pandemic. Assumed that the pandemic may likely last for a long period of time on a global scale, its consequences are likely to be long lasting after the pandemic; but it is going to end at a time.
Moreover, COVID 19 created a disruption in the supply chains and increased the shortage of consumer goods as the majority of the firms in different parts of the world depend on Chinese products and manufacturing skills (Ansari & Ganjoo, 2020). Due to COVID pandemics and government restrictions, the imports and exports have caused delays in shipping time for firms. For this reason, the prices for many products have increased and customers were unable to find some items easily as before the crises. Due to this, companies leveraged their resources from internal sources and reduce the outsourcing of various resources to support the local economy and industries.
Additionally, the restrictions of social distancing from governments on customers’ movement has created obstacles for many firms in reaching their customers (Omar, Ishak, & Jusoh, 2020). Therefore, the main medium for connecting both companies and consumers is via online and digital marketing. As most of the customers spend long time on mobile screen or online, this represented the fundamental way for communicating with them. The digital marketing techniques involve search engine optimization, email marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, social pay per click, and display marketing. An increasing demand for digital marketers and SEO analyst is also expected to occur in the near future. Consequently, live streaming and e-commerce are becoming gradually common during the pandemic of COVID-19 for online retailing and various businesses (Hamilton, 2020). The shift from traditional media to online marketing has also been noticed during COVID 19 pandemic.
The worldwide pandemic of COVID-19 has also resulted in significant changes in advertising, marketing strategies, spending on media and promotions; thus forcing firms to reconsider their philosophies about advertising program and the campaigns of marketing to retain a stable stream of revenue (DiResta et al., 2020). Although brands at this time search for striking the appropriate tone during a worldwide health emergency, the future signifies market alteration, enlarged competition and a demand for innovative and aggressive marketing practices. For instance, slow consumer demand represents the critical challenges during the crises of COVID-19. Hence, based on the prominent changes in the behaviours and psychology of consumers during the isolation at home, several retailers, restaurants, and companies of different types decided to use e-commerce and improve customer services through home delivery (Wang, Hong, Li, & Gao, 2020).
The Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic is a human tragedy affecting billions of people in this world. The pandemic also resulted in negative influences on the global economy, industries, organizations. The nationwide lockdown in several countries has impacted multiple areas of economy specially the corporates and small business enterprises. Due to lockdown, the traditional marketing strategies cannot be successfully implemented, so digital marketing should be given more importance. During the Pandemic it is necessary to add a social message and relate image of product with general wellbeing. It is also important that organizations leverage the opportunity of the COVID-19 lockdown, by using the internet to increase their brand exposure. Improving and maintaining a brand’s visibility online puts the products and services of an organization at the forefront of consumers who might need them. Firms should also act ethically in promoting their offerings and employ cause related marketing for supporting the society. Brands should identify the appropriate social responsibility programs that could be efficient during COVID crises. Finally, since many organizations depend on China for providing them with raw materials and other important resources for manufacturing, government restrictions and lockdowns have affected the availability, which posed a challenge for firms in meeting customers’ demands and began to look for optimizing local resources. As the supply chain for many products has been affected, organizations should look for alternative means to meet the needs of consumers. By considering the above facts and responding accordingly, brands can maintain their businesses and grow despite the current circumstances.
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