This small article does not seek to go through the state of the art – Kotler’s marketing 4.0 – nor the implications of the second wave of COVID-19, as the title might suggest. It intends to match the similarities of companies response to constrains (as COVID-19), and the adoption of new tools (as Marketing 4.0).
In today’s connected world, “social” thrives among all the tech innovation: we have social media connecting and absorbing more time from the users than any other online platform; we have social apps to communicate and social groups to address to; above all, we can socialize privately as easily as globally.
Global is part of today’s social concept. Local companies, as well as governments, can no longer think locally and act locally. Social collective thinking sets the rules of public opinion.
Apart from few exceptions, we witnessed how world leaders address the pandemic with combined and unified strategies. The proficient development of the vaccine attests this line of thinking. On a business level, we are see fierce competitors united in common causes, or even further, with Burger King publicly asking consumers to don’t forget about competitor McDonalds. These kinds of actions were instantly viral, and replicated in smaller local businesses.
In short, we can very much say that the pandemic’s global political and medical response, was as global as the companies’ marketing solutions. Further more, they were addressed similarly in a social way. Lockdowns showed how socially we acted to protect our society, namely the health system. On the other hand, individual non-political citizen appeals turned into social movements; to stay home and raise public awareness, to change habits and routines in a global scale. This set the ground for a new user/consumer, and how brands should address to them.
In today’s social digital world, where consumers speak louder than brands, it’s imperative for marketing departments to be flexible and reactive as they never were before. Prior to COVID, reviews and rating systems, together with powerful disseminating channels (such as marketplaces and social media), have given consumers the upper hand when it comes to products, services and brands informationals.
With COVID, and its new social reality, brands are even on a thinner layer of ice. We can say that is becoming a common marketing policy to avoid huge budgets in ATL big productions and campaigns, with the fear of being perceived as irresponsibly overspending in today’s harsh reality. This investments are being converted into social actions, and recycled later on, as (as valuable) positive reviews and awareness (viral shares).
The world is in constant change, and bigger changes require faster adaptations. If marketing strategies seems different it’s because they are, but the very base foundations of marketing principles are the same.
Good marketing is flexible and always delivers.