Why Digital Marketing Will Continue To Grow In Importance Through The Pandemic.
In recent years we’ve seen the majority of marketing move into the digital realm. Many sectors find that digital marketing reaches potential customers in ways that traditional methods can’t achieve. The group of potential customers that are found online is a much larger group of people than you are likely to be able to attract locally. Using digital marketing, you can reach an enormous audience in a way that is both cost-effective and measurable.
Having all of the correct digital systems in place prior to lockdown meant you could still communicate with customers and generate sales. So surely all of the big dogs would have had these systems in place, right? Wrong!
Giant retailer Primark’s sales dropped from £650m per month to £0 as a result of all its stores closing in Europe and the US, and not having an eCommerce store set-up. But for other retailers online, sales in loungewear and sportswear skyrocketed during the lockdown. Primark missed out by not having the correct digital services in place, with all of its focus on the high street.
It goes to show that budget isn’t everything. Even companies with the biggest budgets don’t always apply it in the right places. Even with a smaller pot, you can still achieve the essentials. Read this blog to learn more.
Are We Relying On Digital More Than Ever?
The first weeks of lockdown didn’t allow any of us to do most of the things we love to do like going out for dinner, drinks etc. However, most of us were sat in our homes relying on technology to keep us occupied.
In a recent report, mobile network provider EE revealed there was a 45% increase in data use for communication services and online browsing, during the months of February to May 2020.
With people confined to their homes so much, there were several ways in which the internet became the focus of life:
- Online shopping and delivery services soared at the beginning of lockdown with people being confined to their homes.
- The consumption of online services such as Netflix increased for those deprived of normal means of leisure.
- Isolation from work colleagues, friends, and family meant the increased importance of video services like Skype and Zoom.
- Social media saw a boom in engagement as users were online more than ever.
- Services like Deliveroo and UberEats had some of their best financial months in history.
- Popular fitness app Strava’s usage more than tripled.
EE created these graphs below, which show how popular online services (e.g. Zoom, Strava and Deliveroo etc.) were used on their mobile broadband network during the lockdown.
We were contacted by many businesses wanting to up their digital presence as an effect of lockdown and only being able to trade physically. Of course, the last thing any of us want is a second lockdown, but to have all the correct digital systems in place now means that should this ever happen again, businesses will be more prepared.
The Rise of Ecommerce and the Fall of the High Street
The wider economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is clearly a recession, although economists are divided about what sort of recovery will take place.
The initial damage is evident. A multitude of companies have made staff redundant and it is particularly notable how this has hit in-store retail. Prime examples include John Lewis Partnership, Intu Shopping Malls, Monsoon, Clarks, and many more.
Trouble was already brewing on the UK high street, so it can be argued these are simply further displays of a trend that has seen the UK high street decline for years, with the pandemic merely accelerating the process.
Ecommerce will be gaining an ever-greater share of retail, which means the marketing for it will be increasing online too. Not only will shoppers be spending more time online with more intent to part with their money, but a reduction in footfall on the streets will also mean fewer people see out of home advertisements such as billboards. Similarly, the more people use digital media, the less they read physical copies of newspapers and magazines.
Why not read our previous blog about companies whose online sales grew or declined during lockdown?
In conclusion, the world was already becoming more digital and as a result, digital marketing was already the way forward. What the pandemic has done is created conditions for a clear acceleration of an already-established trend.