Crises like the coronavirus pandemic often evoke powerful emotions in us as individuals and a nation. Amidst the uncertainty, knowing what consumers expect from your business can help guide your marketing and efforts towards the crisis. By making the right decisions, you can protect the future of your company and help it recover as quickly as possible from the economic implications of the situation.
Unprecedented times like these can be difficult to navigate. Change is relentless and sudden. Constants we are used to relying on in business have changed drastically. The COVID-19 crisis calls for responses that transcend normal marketing.
South Africans who have smartphones, computers, and smart devices across the board were included in the data collected. The report was created from data collected from 400,000 private networks or profile panels in the country and 500 individual interviews to collate the statistics referenced in this article. Data was collected for the first and second wave of the COVID-19 crisis, dated 14-16 March and 27-30 March in 2020. The statistics can help us see into what consumers want from us right now and respond in the right way.
For consumers, things aren’t going back to normal. The pressure, stress, and anxiety caused by the situation will have lasting effects on our society. Things like working from home, a shift to eCommerce shopping, down-scaling, limited freedom, and changing habits during this time will impact South Africa and change the way things have been forever.
The shock of the lockdown and pandemic makes consumers question their values and what has been prioritised in our world. Things like community and connectedness, simplicity, wellbeing, and doing good will matter more in the new post-corona era.
Based on the information collected, South African consumers expect companies to prioritise the safety and health of their employees. Second in priority, according to South Africans, must be making plans to protect the supply of services and products.
Companies can apply various strategies to adapt to our new, emerging reality. If your company has forced down time, use it to accelerate digital transformation in your organisation. The time can also be used to train teams and increase their capacity to respond. Develop a recovery strategy and use shopper sentiments and behaviours to guide it.
South Africans want brands to keep communicating, but our messaging and our focus must be guided by consumer sentiment. With a captive audience whose eyes are on the screen now more than ever, brands have the opportunity to make a real connection with consumers. What companies talk about and how they talk about it should be guided by what South Africans are looking for.
According to the report, 89% of South Africans want brands to talk about practical ways they could be helpful in the new everyday life. A strong sentiment against corruption and exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to promote one's brand was observed, while three quarters of South Africans craved brand messaging around the brand’s values.
To make the most of marketing during the COVID-19 crisis, offer a positive perspective and talk about the values of the brand. Communicate your efforts during the crisis and talk about how your brand or company is practically making a difference to help everyday South Africans. Your brand can alleviate the stress and anxiety many South Africans are experiencing now. Your company can make a difference in our economy and communities.
The idea of not exploiting the situation for the company or brand’s gain is reinforced by South African government managing the market pricing on essentials. In times of change, adaptability and flexibility bring about positive results. Companies who take on the challenge and work on out-of-the-box solutions and plans to bring a better future to the world are more likely to survive the turmoil.
Your brand and company can be remembered for its response to the current crisis. Will you be remembered for making a positive impact and for contributing in a useful way? You can also learn about how to digitise your business during the COVID-19 lockdown and make the most of a world that has gone online. You can use the information in this article to come up with fresh ways of communicating with your customers and innovative ways to take your company forward.
Interested in more Digital Marketing Insights? Read more on our Insights page today. All statistics and information discussed in this article is relevant at the time of publishing and may be subject to change without notice.Sources: Kantar Report South Africa – Wave 1 and Wave 2