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Ankita Kulkarni, Group Account Manager, Brand Strategy, SoCheers, describes how people are going online like never before

Ankita Kulkarni

It’s not news anymore that the pandemic has practically changed how we used to live. Going out is now a task with a whole lot of restrictions. Naturally, staying in is the new ‘in thing’ and brands are trying their best to make products, content, services; everything available to their audiences inside their homes, for their convenience and safety.

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An interesting article I came across the other day spoke about how the pandemic has brought to us all a digital revolution, which otherwise would have taken at least five more years. Majority of Gen X who are slower in adopting technology are taking this opportunity head on, going beyond just emails and WhatsApp. The children in the house are proudly donning the teachers’ hat, showing them how it’s done! From bill payments to banking, from ordering essentials online to meeting their old friend, the newspaper, now virtually; they have proved to be quick learners. With family get-togethers becoming Zoom meetings, it fills my heart to see all the oldies virtually meeting and talking to each other with either their faces massively zoomed in or them shouting into their devices, not trusting the technological advancement audio has made at all. There is something about older people and technology that makes the entire interaction immensely cute. No logical backing, it just does.

Online purchases have now become so important with people not wanting to move out of their houses as a precautionary measure. Previous occasional clothes and shoes online orders have now become regular groceries and home essentials delivered safely at the click of a button. Big Basket, Supr Daily, Dunzo, Amazon Fresh, etc., have seen revenues and requirements rise immensely. The companies and their workforce have also seen a lot of appreciation for functioning smoothly and making others’ lives easier in these tough, uncertain times.

What does one do when close to 75% of the entertainment options due to the lockdown are stopped? One takes to the next best available option. Go online!

Devices and entertainment apps are one’s go-to for all things entertainment. Reports showcase a phone time increase from an average three hours to 5.5 hours, which is as much as 30% of an individual’s active day.

OTTs for sure are seeing more consumers than they ever have. No wonder all of them showcase a stellar line-up of series and films releasing in the forthcoming months. Platforms like Insider arrange home concerts that one could attend which are also loved by the audience.

So many people are taking to YouTube to learn a new language or try out a recipe. Home workout videos are a fun way to keep fit and a lot of users are exploring that too. With everyone at home and more time at their disposal, DIY videos are becoming popular too. WhatsApp and gaming apps see usage increase multi-fold while they keep people entertained during the lockdown.

With outdoor advertising as a medium gaining close to zero traction and radio consumption diminishing as a result of people’s reduced travel time, brand's marketing budgets for the financial year should be directed optimally towards digital campaigns.

We see more people take to their own social profiles to let the world know what they’re up to because it is their ideal route of outward communication too. Also, your audience has never been more attentive on digital than it currently is. Scrolling online is no-more just an activity to while away time. People are invested and actively searching for something that interests them.

Since your audience is most active here, there couldn’t be a better time to use funds wisely on digital media and explore different avenues. Be a brand which brings to customers an experience digitally; something that the customers are currently missing, and they’re sure to have your brand etched in their mind. From interacting with customers on IG stories like friends would to keeping them engaged with gamified content and from entertaining them with witty memes to leaving them with recipes or DIY art to try, this is the best time to bond with your audience.

The new normal thus comes with a new outlook to communication too. Wittily as a brand, letting people know that you’re around, understanding and empathising with what they’re going through should be a good strategy to adopt. While we all further continue to decipher the new normal and create actionable strategies for the same, here’s wishing you more power, more positivity, more patience and innumerable eye-smiles on the road.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of BestMediaInfo.com and we do not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)

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