In this newsletter, we discuss the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and why companies and organisations need to re-invent their businesses post COVID-19, exploring it from a marketing perspective. We also talked about Marketing as a vital aspect of any organization and the most effective form of marketing businesses should adopt during and after the Pandemic.

What aspect of a company's business should be re-invented post COVID-19?

The COVID-19 Pandemic no doubt has affected businesses globally and most business functions within organizations have experienced some form of disruption due to the challenges of the pandemic. Every organisation whether small or medium scale needs to re-strategize and re-do all marketing plans to ensure their businesses can thrive during and after the Pandemic.

Internal and external processes should be reviewed to ensure that the situation will not cause a drastic change in their ability to function and meet their customers or client needs.

Is marketing a vital aspect of any organization or business?

Marketing is the heart of any business and just like the human heart, marketing is vital in the life of any business. One of the biggest mistakes we can make is to completely cut the marketing budget and let your marketing team go. Companies who do not market themselves in economic downturns will be forgotten when the economy recovers.

Coca-Cola, a household brand and one of the biggest brands in the world does not take marketing for granted. They consistently apportion a percentage of their revenue each year to their marketing budget. In 2019, it was reported that the company spent $4.24 billion on their marketing budget. One would think that a strong brand like that does not need to carry out any form of marketing. Coca-Cola has been deliberate about their Go-to-market Strategies, Brand Positioning and Top of Mind Awareness (TOMA) in ensuring the brand remains a household name through the decades.

What do you think would be the most effective form of marketing businesses should adopt post COVID 19?

The best form of marketing companies can adopt post-COVID-19 is digital marketing. In view of the pressure and challenges caused by the Pandemic, companies should adopt digital marketing as a matter of urgency and utilize the best digital marketing strategies for their businesses to ensure their brand reaches their target clients.

What advice would you give to businesses or companies that are finding it difficult to market their products or services due to the Pandemic and lockdown?

Companies should:

  • Re-evaluate their products or services. Is my product or service still relevant?
  • Re-evaluate their marketing strategies and the platforms through which they transmit their messages and be sure it is reaching their target audience.
  • Ask pertinent questions. Should I hire a consultant? Do I want to adjust to the new normal and why? How do I continue to ensure that my business is relevant in this period and after the Pandemic?
  • Create an avenue to get feedback from customers.
  • Be creative and innovative. Think ahead of the curve. Think ahead of the Pandemic.
  • Don't be scared to diversify.

What businesses do you think will face the most impact from this Pandemic and from a marketing perspective, what do you think they can do to bounce back from the fall?

The events industry for example has been hit hardest by the Pandemic, same with the aviation and hospitality sectors, this is because of social – distancing which is a major way of curbing the spread of the Coronavirus. However, while some businesses will die some others will spring up.

Players in these industries need to be creative and seek ways to channel their expertise. For example, the hospitality sector needs to create a level of safety for their customers and sell the safety idea to the customers.

They need to start thinking diversification and think of what other businesses to create from the current one.

Everyone talks about going digital; What does that mean and entail?

Digital marketing is the act of promoting and selling products and services by leveraging several online marketing tools. It is the new currency in the space of marketing. Many intricacies go into digital marketing. Some are listed below:

  1. Social media marketing
  2. Search engine optimization
  3. Website management
  4. Search engine marketing
  5. Content marketing
  6. Influencer marketing
  7. Data-driven marketing
  8. Email marketing

The above listed tools are vital for any business at this time and when done appropriately can be a game changer. Businesses must ensure they are using the appropriate channels and methods to promote their products or services on the internet otherwise they will get lost in the mix.

Is digital marketing cost effective to a business? What are the benefits?

Your marketing cost is an investment, which will yield gradually. It is like sowing a seed and waiting for the harvest. Amazon, Ali Baba, Coca-Cola are examples of companies whose marketing agenda has helped to get return on investment made through the decades. Some organizations spend ₦200,000 and it works for them and others spend ₦10,000,000 and get the mix wrong. It is crucial to engage the experts who can guide on how to utilize their funds.

Does SEO have an effect on my business?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has a significant effect on any business. SEO is the practice of growing the quality and number of website traffic by increasing the prominence of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine. SEO enables an organisation or company website to be visible when prospective clients, customers or consumers use the search engine and this in turn makes the website of any company with good SEO the website of choice. In as much as SEO has a positive effect on businesses, it needs to be effectively done by a professional, as its process is technical.

What are the benefits of engaging an outsourced marketing team?

  • Reduced overhead expenses
  • Expanded marketing channel expertise
  • Innovative marketing strategies
  • Increased efficiency
  • Shifting from tactics to strategy
  • Cross industry knowledge
  • The outsourced team is consistently objective
  • You benefit from a bouquet of experts (all in one and one fee)
  • You are attuned to the latest industry updates
  • You get to focus on the core of your business

What can I learn from the Primark story?

Primark is an affordable retail store in the United Kingdom. In 2019, it was recorded that Primark earned upwards of £650 billion worth of sales monthly. The store is known for their brick and mortar strategy; they had no online presence and did only in store retail. During this pandemic, the store went from earning £650 billion to zero sales. All these happened because Primark took the decision not to have any online presence. If they had made the decision to go online about 5 years ago, the story would be different.

In summary, it is imperative to have the right marketing strategy and plan for your organization. It is also crucial to have the right team assisting the company to win. The truth is your brand and message can get to where you cannot when you go digital. Do not get lost in the mix with every trend but use the right tools and right messaging.

Go digital the right way. Invest in your market. Get the right agency for you.

Originally published on May 2020

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.