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How Marketing Funnels Evolved During the Pandemic Whenever a crisis looms, it is the ideal time for bold and creative marketers to learn from it and disrupt the market

By Joy Chatterjee

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has subsequently influenced the way marketers and advertisers strategize and execute the marketing plans for their respective brands. Last year, the industry witnessed a surge of changes in business paradigms, which also unveiled new ways of marketing channels to approach consumers.

Without a second thought, the crisis has changed the business landscape and the consequences have been felt around the world. Whenever a crisis looms, it is the ideal time for bold and creative marketers to learn from it and disrupt the market.

The COVID-19 has altered the consumer behaviour pattern, pushing marketers to not stop but re-invent themselves. Hence, there is a definite shift to e-commerce across industries. Though the e-commerce model has been a hit among various brands, but it was seen as a go-to approach when everything was closed. Other than this, it initiated brands to work on D2C channels and create their shopping portals rather than just relying on other e-commerce channels.

Another thing which marketers have focused on instead of betting big on premium products, brands are conveying more on everyday used items. Marketers are adjusting marketing spends as per the industry dynamic. For example, companies during the testing times are not focusing on contextual advertising but are more focused on personalised ads to relate with the audience on an individual level. With such insights, brands are in favour of creating positive engagement with consumers, and by this brands have the window to develop a feeling of connection.

Vernacular ads

While Internet penetration deepens across tier II and III cities, the demand for regional content has been growing at a trajectory speed. In the last few years, regional content has led to a surge in media consumption among native people, and the COVID-19 induced lockdown has further accelerated the thirst for more content among viewers. This has led advertisers to prioritise their ad spends accordingly, in which regional spending has seen an upward rise in the latter half of the year. This year as well, the trend will continue to grow. With the increasing reach of content to every corner of the world, brands have started realising the potential. While defining the advertising strategies, brands are effectively focusing on regional ads to diversify their reach and talk to their audience in the affable regional expression with the right regional nuance.

E-commerce/D2C approach

When the retail shops were closed for consecutive months, brands were in predicament to run the business. Though e-commerce played a crucial role and aid people to order from the comfort of their home, the situation gave an added advantage to e-commerce portals in the consumer supply chain.

However, many brands decided to expand their business shelf with the help of D2C channels, this phenomenon increased the number of online shoppers and-sales gradually increased. Mankind Pharma also launched their D2C channel to target the consumers directly. COVID-19 has transformed consumer behaviour buying patterns and people have become more inclined towards e-commerce to buy daily essentials. This trend indicates a massive opportunity for D2C brands to succeed.

Digital media

Digital media has taken the centre stage in the brand's marketing strategies. The key focus areas which have been in the highlight are social media, influencers and content marketing. The shift happened due to the restrictions imposed due to the lockdown leading companies to extensively focus on influencer marketing, one of the best ways to reach the target audience.

Though the brands have associated with influencers earlier as well, COVID-19 has completely transformed the industries approach. Companies considered influencer marketing as a short-term framework but now the marketing campaigns revolve around it. Due to the vast shape up, brands are focusing on regional influencers also. To share a glimpse of it, we have also roped in multiple regional influencers for our diverse brands such as Manforce, AcneStar, Gas-O-Fast, Prega News intending to connect with them on better grounds.

Considering all of these changes happened so swiftly; it is always better to go with the time, instead of just relying on the traditional methods. As innovation is essential to evolve and grow the business.

Joy Chatterjee

General Manager-Sales & Marketing, Mankind Pharma

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