Coping with Covid-19 disruption by restructuring digital engagement in 2021
Prashant Puri, Co-Founder & CEO, AdLift
Prashant Puri, Co-Founder & CEO, AdLift on mapping strategies for the new normal
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Coping with Covid-19 disruption by restructuring digital engagement in 2021

Prashant Puri, Co-Founder & CEO, AdLift on mapping strategies for the new normal
  • In a guest column, Prashant Puri, Co-Founder & CEO, AdLift shares how there is very little which has remained unaffected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • He further writes how in a post-Covid world, with more consumers online than ever before, agencies will have to pull out all the stops to guarantee their marketing efforts are successful.
The last two years have been profoundly unusual, to say the least. There is little which has remained unaffected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While we are still living through it, we are also collectively and continuously coming to terms with the impact it has left on us.

This change is particularly noticeable in consumer behaviours that have emerged, mainly on digital channels. Ever since we experienced multiple rounds of lockdown, the regular patterns of shopping, working, entertainment and communication have been reshaped tremendously. Customers and users want to be able to connect with products because they can no longer touch and feel them in stores. As a result, the buying journey has now integrated several digital touchpoints.

Unsurprisingly, video content has more than filled this need gap by offering an alternative for direct engagement to consumers. There were around 803 million online video viewers registered in India last year, including streaming services and free-video platforms such as YouTube. These numbers are only expected to multiply in the next few years.

From the brand's perspective in this scenario, incorporating video can add entertainment value while also demonstrating how your product or service may address a customer's problem. This can lead to a major impact on SEO, providing a huge boost to brands in search rankings.

Mapping Strategies for the 'Next Normal'

Some might say that the pandemic has acted as a catalyst for the inevitable changes in consumer behaviour, considering the renovation of the digital landscape, which was already underway for more than a decade. Nonetheless, it is undeniable that the unbelievably rapid adoption of digital has led to unprecedented changes, one which brands and marketers are still comprehending.

Simultaneously, we are continuing to embrace and adopt digital at a tremendous speed, making us the 2nd fastest digitizing country amongst a set of emerging and mature digital economies.As one of the many digital marketing agencies steering brands through the chaos of this lift-off stage, we believe customer empathy, creativity, and adaptability are the solutions. Focusing on this will not only help us stabilize the speed at which we move forward but also create a map as we go.

Ultimately, this will help us figure out the 'next normal' in terms of digital engagement. But for that, first, we must address an equally crucial question.

Is the change in consumer behaviour here to stay, and if so, what does it mean for marketers?

Well, it certainly looks like most of the habits and preferences we've developed will stick with us for the rest of our lives. This has the potential to dictate consumer decision journeys for a long time in the future, meaning brands and digital marketers must be perceptive and agile.

Simply put, we need to understand how customers are sourcing information and what they plan to do with it. Hopefully, this will get us to a point where we can take the wheel and drive consumer behaviour change instead of playing the role of a spectator.

Finding the Intersection Between a Brand's Purpose and Evolving Consumer Needs

As the idealists of the world would say, the upside to change is more opportunities. If there was a time we needed to believe in this, it is now more than ever. While many of the techniques used by businesses in the coming months may appear to be transient, it also means a larger playing ground for digital marketers to reach consumers.

For brands, this can be a time to define who they are and who they will be in the next decade or beyond. It will be the job of digital agencies to strike the correct tone of interaction with consumers as they become more sensitive to marketing communications.

More importantly, digital marketing may be able to reach more people in the future, but getting individuals to take action will remain just as much of a struggle. This means that in a post-Covid world, with more consumers online than ever before, agencies will have to pull out all the stops to guarantee their marketing efforts are successful.