With the Covid-19 pandemic causing significant changes in consumer behaviour, businesses need to embrace hyper-localisation, create virtual experiences and build messaging around new habits such as increased focus on health and hygiene, a report from Facebook India and Boston Consulting Group said on Wednesday. The report titled "Turn the Tide" shares actionable guidance for brands to build for the new consumer journeys in times of Covid-19 and beyond.
The research revealed that only one in six companies emerged stronger in past crises.
Looking at customers, the report stated that three fundamental themes will impact consumer behaviour, with an ~85% decline in retail and recreational visits in public spaces due to physical distancing, an increase in the purchase of vitamins, herbs and vitamins as they focus on health and hygiene, as well as increased income uncertainty. The pandemic will lead to changes in consumer behaviour, as well as accelerate current trends.
The report especially calls-out the massive acceleration in digital led by social media, the emergence of micro-market opportunities, and a definite increase in spends on health, hygiene and wellness, and a rise in do-it-yourself (DIY) trends.
At a time like this, the report suggests that businesses which show the agility to reinvent their value propositions, go-to-market plans and business models to address these demand shifts are more likely to emerge as a winner.
The research showed that it is important to engage with consumers in their context and connect with them where they are. Micro-targeting can help brands get the first-mover advantage, it added.
It lists seven main steps which brands can use to connect with audiences.
> Building social connection by engaging with consumers by leveraging creators and celebrities who are on social media extensively in order to drive engagement.
> Micro-targeting can help brands get the first-mover advantage as different areas of the country have different zones, which have different regulations
> By doing virtual launches and product demonstrations, brands can liven the virtual experience, as virtual experiences are already a big facet of their lives. An example of this would be the explosion in the number of celebrities and brands using Instagram and Facebook Live to connect with followers and customers.
> Optimising the product and offering it to the relevant audience segment will become more crucial as people are becoming more value conscious
> Brands will have to relook impact analysis techniques as they increase spending on online campaigns in order to understand outcomes
> The study suggested that people may resort to spending more on e-commerce than in traditionally offline categories, which may be the right time for brands to bolster their online presence.
> Customer relationship tools will have to be strengthened to solve customer needs and improve messaging for post sales communication.
"We have seen massive growth in use of our services since the outbreak of Covid-19. Going ahead, I think the role of the influencer will increase significantly in marketing or products," Sandeep Bhushan, Director and Head, Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook India, told IANS.
The Facebook family of apps continue to be popular and valued in India with 328 million monthly, and 195 million daily users on Facebook, and 400 million on WhatsApp.
In April, the social networking giant announced that for the first time ever, there are now more than 3 billion people actively using Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or Messenger each month globally.
That includes 2.6 billion people using Facebook alone, and more than 2.3 billion people using at least one of its services every day.
"The â€˜Turn the Tide' report outlines the opportunities that businesses need to embrace in the context of new consumer journeys and category needs," Bhushan said.
"In response to consumers embracing the digital medium, brands need to focus on solutions that are relevant for the new normal such as hyper-localization, creating virtual experiences, re-looking at the media-mix to build efficiency, or building messaging around new habits such as DIY and the increased focus on health and hygiene," he added.
With IANS inputs