New age marketing during the pandemic

02 March 2021 | Opinion

Windhoek • Marlize Maree

What a roller coaster ride it continues to be, especially when all your resources depend mainly on digital marketing.
Not in a million years would I get to see the power of online/digital marketing than right now. With years of experience in marketing major brands, this is a time to respect and use digital marketing platforms to survive.
Much experience and theory, comparing common practices around the world, have been summed up to further assist organisations, especially the marketing departments, to embrace the digital era that has been forced on us overnight.
Now every marketer needs to ensure their relevance, adaptability and survival.

Online shopping
No matter what product or service you provide, we’ve noticed a new following in a Namibian context for online shopping.
In our small population compared to the rest of Africa, recent statistics around online transfers have created a perception that Namibians have shifted to online banking services. A local daily reported in February that electronic money has become the most popular way of sending money in Namibia. In 2020 alone, over N$40 billion was moved through e-money platforms.
So, what conclusion can marketers draw from this information? That there is an increase in smartphone banking as well as ability to trust when sending money via such platforms. We need to embrace such changes!

Social media
Social media influence has been able to determine product or service need.
In the midst of social distancing, limitation to receiving traditional print, this platform remains and continues to transition from the norm to what our new environment will be forced to use.
Through consultations with various institutions, many subscriptions for traditional print have been put on hold due to remote working. This should give marketers the platform to convince boardroom conversations that digital advertising is the cheapest and most effective, which results in detailed insights to their target market.
This is an opportunity for organisations to embrace digital news while channelling their marketing budgets towards online advertising.
In years of brand promotion, it is fair to say that the social media marketing tool has increased dependence on followed individuals or pages that bring more brand awareness and prospective leads to an organisation.
The debate about whether or not the brand matches your organization, may be left for further exploration.

Forge ahead
It is important to take note that according to Deleersnyder et al. (2009), in times of crisis, companies tend to reduce spending on communication/advertising. This should be relooked. After a decade of revolutionising the space of marketing products and management, companies should recognise the power that online digital marketing platforms have, in the midst of any pandemic, the ability to assure consumers of its relevance and need to still purchase or make use of their services.
May every marketer embrace this beautiful time we find ourselves in and use the pandemic as a further motivation to share the relevance and importance of digital marketing.
*Marlize Maree is a marketing expert.