Op-Ed: The pandemic push to digital

Op-Ed: The pandemic push to digital
Royann Dean.

By Royann Dean

Digital solutions have proven to be a saving grace for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. From celebrating life’s moments via Zoom and shifting to online classrooms to working from home every day, the pandemic has changed purchasing behavior and how we interact with our communities. Like we learned in school, success lies in the survival of the fittest. Businesses that remain innovative, nimble and aware of how to serve their audience are the entities that will survive.

We’ve seen how digital strategies have dominated the marketing industry and the pandemic push has thrust digital transformation into the spotlight for businesses in all industries. E-commerce platforms have recently seen an increase in demand. In addition to product and service sales, there are upsells like Facebook and Instagram offering gift cards, promotional stickers and most recently shops, which enable online businesses to create a convenient and fun shopping experience on Facebook.

It’s pretty exciting to see how companies are incorporating digital in new ways to not only drive online sales but also to keep consumers engaged even at the depths of the internet. One of my favorite examples is from West Elm. This contemporary home goods store found its sweet spot with customers by creating stylish video conferencing backgrounds, virtual design consultations and a new interactive Room Planner.

 

Three ways to engage customers on digital platforms

Be a resource to your consumer. Use your newsletter or blog to elevate your consumers’ brand experience at home. Give tips on new ways to use your product or service, complimentary information on health and wellness and any additional tips that create value for your clients and help them to better engage with your product or service.

Leverage your partners. Behind-the-scenes content will always be one of the best ways to engage audiences with your brand. Invite industry partners, executives and brand ambassadors to join Zoom calls, Instagram live sessions or as a series behind a paywall.

Amplify existing customers. User-generated content not only makes a customer feel special but can also show brand authenticity. For consumer goods companies, now more than ever it’s important to highlight real people and their experiences with your brand. While peer-to-peer trust is at an all-time high, “Pinterest-curated” marketing strategies might be best for after the pandemic. For other types of companies, customizing experiences and communication can be another way to make clients feel special.

 

Ready for the next normal

There have been a lot of debates about how life will change after the pandemic. It’s safe to say that consumers will want to return to “normal” as possible in their social activities while continuing to seek the convenience of their new online engagement experiences with your brand. In the end, the pandemic push to digital transformation is more than the way businesses will communicate now — it will be the next normal.


Royann Dean is the managing director of ONWRD Advisors, a digital solutions, communications and design agency in Nassau. Find out more at www.onwrdtogether.com. Follow her on LinkedIn @RoyannDean.