As countries worldwide emerge from lockdown, businesses will have to adapt to a very different future than they planned for this year in January. In the face of the severe world recession, marketers are going through an extraordinary period, exceptionally long and uncertain for their brands, the global economy, and the consumers they serve.
When Singapore officially started to implement the circuit breaker measures on April 7, people were packing up their laptops and preparing start to work from home, and no one expected that a few months later, they would still be videoconferencing with clients at the dinner table or even in their bedrooms. No one expects those everyday activities such as visiting friends or traveling by public transport will become unfathomable public health risks. However, these have become the ‘strange new normal’ during our COVID-19 period.
As the lockdown begins to ease and the economic challenge’s scale becomes more transparent, and uneasy businesses are scrambling to adjust their pace to a very different future than they had planned.
1. Brands start to cut advertising spending in 2020
According to the WARC April report, brands are pulling advertising spend en-masse, to the tune of a massive $50 billion globally in 2020, an 8.1% plunge from 2019.
WARC’s latest Global Ad Trends report, which re-forecasts the 2020 ad-spend outlook by category, paints a grim picture: almost all product categories will record a decline in ad investment this year. The most severe falls will be recorded in travel & tourism (-31.2%), leisure & entertainment (-28.7%), financial services (-18.2%), retail (-15.2%) and automotive(-11.4%).
For some brands, cuts in advertising budgets are mostly due to factors such as forced suspensions of business (leisure and entertainment industry) or revenue crashes (travel) during the lockdown period.
Other brands are cutting down expenses and fighting for survival with no choice.(up to 12 months in some cases).
2. Online lifestyle will continue to deepen
For many middle-aged and elderly peoples, before the lockdown period, offline physical places such as supermarkets, wet markets, pharmacies, and shops were still their mainstream way of life. However, due to the circuit breaker, many lives, and activities can only be transferred from offline to the online, which is gradually understood and accepted by more people.
Because of the convenience brought by the Internet, people who are staying at home during the circuit breaker period are ‘isolated but not isolated’. For example, people can still use online shopping, online office, online teaching, online clinic, online purchases, car insurance, etc. All kinds of online activities, through this lockdown to accelerate the development, such a new lifestyle may not become mainstream but will continue to deepen.
3. Normalization of products live streaming
The physical stores were forced to switch from offline to online sales as the circuit breaker was rolled out, resulting in a spate of live streaming in the month during the circuit breaker period were become the new sales trend in Singapore. Live-streaming e-commerce is not a recent phenomenon, but the circuit breaker has accelerated businesses’ shift from offline to online. Live broadcasts will be a common way to express product information in the future. In terms of marketing, it will be like product details. Live broadcasts will become a new standard for brand marketing and e-commerce platforms.
While some countries are winning the battle against the Coronavirus, economic changes will continue to affect businesses and consumers. For this reason, companies must adapt to the latest trends to thrive in these difficult times. To sum up the new trends under the above three epidemics, digital marketing will become a significant trend in the future.