COVID-19 has become the new trigger word for everyone around the globe. People around the world are grappling with fear due to the outbreak of this pandemic. The whole world is under shutdown and has turned out into a ghost land, resulting in a huge decline in foot traffic. With no exit strategy currently in site, many events have been cancelled world wide, including the Olympics, Indian premier league and other major sports tournaments which led to a crash in the pre-planned campaigns and strategies and budget plans of many advertisers and brands. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised its global GDP growth estimate from 3.3% just 3 months ago to a contraction of 3%, something not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s. We are not battling with just health consequences but an economic downfall. However, the battle is never lost until we choose to surrender.
As Jack Ma (co-founder and former executive chairman of Alibaba Group, a multinational technology conglomerate) once said, ‘Crisis is the best opportunity to retool your business for the growth ahead.’ He further added ‘ Learn digital methods and adopt Internet technology’. This is the time to explore the opportunities, many companies have already started to build strategies based on digital marketing. E-commerce sites like Amazon have shown an increase in their sales amid the lockdown. Where most of the people preferred to buy daily essentials through online shopping. The data released by Adobe Analytics shows that the percentage of people buying cough, cold and flu medicines through online portals has increased by 198%. Meanwhile , as the rest of the world is terminating their employees, Netflix has hired 2000 customer support staff, thanks to the lockdown that helped to earn 16 million new signups on Netflix. Food delivery partners like Swiggy and Zomato have taken advantage of this lockdown by expanding their delivery options from just food delivery to delivering groceries.As social distancing is put into practice, companies like Zoom, Microsoft, Google etc. have been filling their pockets with their new promotion strategies with less physical contact and more virtual contacts by offering free video conferencing to all the people, which is the perfect game to turn them into paid users in the future. This is a time where the whole economic cycle is facing a brink, resulting in less competition. If marketers implement the right strategies and investments now, it can lead to an upscale in their business graph. This is the right time to acknowledge the threats faced and explore the opportunities ahead. In other words, now is the time to ‘ Think Digital!’