The coronavirus (covid-19), originated in China, has affected the entire world and of course the entire economy of the world during the last few months. We have been seeing that every morning events unfold a new series of reactions.
Covid-19, which appeared in China in December 2019, has already registered almost 10,000 cases globally and more than 3,300 deaths. The numbers exceed 10 times those of SARS (2002). Its infectivity potential is also higher: in some countries, the number of those affected doubles every week, and an affected person transmits the virus to 2.5 more on average. All this helps us understand fear at the health level.
However, in the digital world, we have a question “Can digital marketing be an effective and helpful tool to mitigate the negative results of the Coronavirus that affected the global business?
The answer is yes, of course. Digital Graphiks, a well-known Dubai based web design, and development agency, analyzes the figures and results of the sectors in the same period a year ago and offers the keys to effectively deal with the economic and business crisis of Covid-19.
Google Searches for Coronavirus Outnumber Other Major Global Health Warnings
Google Trends, the tool showing the most popular search terms, Covid-19 reaches five times worldwide the interest of Internet users against other diseases. What’s more, currently, Google highlights the great concern of users, since the vast majority of searches are related to the symptoms that cause the Coronavirus, reaching a historical maximum and completely eclipsing the maximum peak known so far during the Swine flu outbreak in 2009. More specifically, concerns about the Coronavirus also break search records with words such as “masks”, “respirators” or “hand sanitizer”.
Tourism – The Most Affected Industry
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), a travel and tourism industry-related forum industrial cleaning service consisting of the global business community members and working collaboratively with governments around the world, says that recovery times of a tourism destination affected by a health crisis is around 19 months, surpassing causes such as terrorism or environmental disasters.
Along these same lines, the UNWTO (The World Tourism Organization is the United Nations) points out that the smartest thing right now is to promote travel within the country itself; continue to capture demand from Europe, as long-distance demand will seek new destinations that are not ‘focus’ of the virus and, above all, change policies and allow cancellations and reservation changes.
Taking these data into account and comparing online search trends in the same period of 2019, in the Tourism sector, travel searches and reservations have dropped more than 62% in just a few days, already causing the forced closure of many hotels and the fear and uncertainty of not knowing when it will be possible to return to normality.
Teaching and, therefore, the countries, such as United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, United States, and others, as a destination to come to study, falls by around 30%; culture and leisure (for the moment) do so by 14%, but it will surely rise with the new prohibition and the closure of museums and cinemas to avoid concentrations; and Real Estate that, although we deduce that its fall will be more evolutionary, right now is in a drop of around 15% and, as we anticipated, unlike all of them, eCommerce, also known as electronic commerce or Internet, increases by a 30% these days.
Is This New Viral Terror Less or More Dangerous Than Other Infectious Diseases?
According to a study by National Geographic, the Coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, and that has spread throughout the world, currently affects more than 160,000 people in more than 140 countries around the world, and death figures worldwide now exceed 8,000. Thus, he wanted to compare his infection and mortality rate with other viruses that affected us in recent years: severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which left 8,098 cases with a 10% mortality rate between 2002-2003; the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) or EMC/2012 caused 2,494 cases in 2012 with a mortality rate of 34%; between 2014 and 2016, Ebola, left 28,161 cases and 40% mortality; the Zika that, between 2015 and 2016, left 28,616 cases and a 40% mortality rate; or H1N1 influenza, a combination of pig, bird and human viruses with which 18,500 cases were confirmed in 2009, but which a parallel study by the CDCP (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) attributed to 284,000 deaths.
How Can Digital Marketing Help Companies?
eCommerce is proof that the answer lies in the digital environment and that if governments force people to hide indoors, consumer behavior will be addressed online. These days, even the giant Amazon is benefiting from the Online Purchase of its wide catalog of food and drink products due to the saturation of other large supermarket chains that have been overwhelmed with their home deliveries.
In the face of this crisis, the most important thing is to protect our brand and look for alternatives to retain our clients (if possible for life) if we provide them with facilities and help in the face of problems that may arise between client and company. It is important to offer messages of trust and to be more flexible than ever, taking into account the exceptional nature of the situation, offering solutions by readjusting our policies.
We recommend, first of all, to conform and not to take into account the fine print.
Do we want the client to remember tomorrow for having helped him or, on the contrary, do we want him to ‘make a cross’ for us because we did not help him when he needed us? It is time to take losses and win to be able to be, forever, the loyalty of this customer. In this way, we are faced with different answers such as:
- Tell the customer that, if it is not urgent, they will receive the product later and at a discount.
- Offer a change and give the possibility of choosing another product that we can send.
- Give the possibility to cancel the order and proceed to refund the money.
- Make a voucher that they can use later.
- Give them the option to change for another future event and even collect the difference.
New Opportunities Brought About by the Coronavirus Epidemic
Keep in mind that every crisis brings new opportunities and the Coronavirus pandemic (Covid 19) is moving the needle on all fronts, including in the way how many business entities around the world communicate with their target audience.
In this sense, Digital Graphiks reported that worldwide, one of the trends generated by the Covid 19 is not to leave home, except for urgent needs such as going to the workplace or purchasing food and/or medicines.
This simply means that the peak hours that people around the world used for activities outside the home are increasingly being spent at home, from where they consume social networks, web portals of all kinds, YouTube, Netflix, video games or remote communication platforms, and buying food and supplies via applications.
As is evident, this tendency to avoid personal contact is becoming a digital accelerator.
Likewise, on the communications, advertising and marketing side, a large part of the budgets should be reallocated to new strategies, channels, formats and messages capable of correctly reaching the homes of those isolated by Covid 19. More digital, less outdoor advertising!
Finally, our emphasis is on that this new environment will not only drive the greater use of digital resources but will also improve their professionals’ skills, experience and knowledge of how to captivate the consumer.
Companies around that world that dare to look for new formulas to face this context will have gained an important advantage versus those that only resign themselves to hide and wait for the storm to pass. Remember, good sailors, are not made in calm waters.
Wake Up and Reinvent Yourself
More than ever, the answer is found in Digital Marketing, in which we must continue investing and striving without taking into account for a moment that the situation we are experiencing is seasonal and will remit, that is, that we have to look further.
Circumstances are testing us and we must demonstrate that entrepreneurs and/or businessmen can be less rigid and gain flexibility, either by offering teleworking possibilities; family reconciliation; videoconferences. In short, adapting and being tolerant will surely lead us to obtain better personal and professional results.
It is the right time to wake up and start thinking outside the box and make sure if it is achievable to attain the projected key performance indicators (KPI’s) with some other channel that is not a face-to-face event cleaning service, for example, webinars or emailing. Along with this, you have also the option to even combine various strategic approaches such as White papers on the most pertinent topics that were going to be uncovered in the face-to-face event and instigate a series of spaces to begin an open dialogue through creative blogs with the subject’s specialists.