covid19,inbound marketing,digital marketing,pandemic


4 min read

2020 (and 2021) has been an interesting year, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. For digital marketing, you could say that it has been revolutionary, shaping the way the industry operates.


Between working from home, enforced government lockdowns and our need to social distance for our safety, there’s never been a time more apparent in the changing behaviours of consumers. Gone are the days of traditional purchasing processes; instead, customer needs and behaviours have transformed rapidly into the digital sphere with your usual buy-and-sell activities now taking place almost completely online.


In Malaysia itself, we see e-commerce experiencing a stupendous boom within just a short time frame. One platform that really took off thanks to COVID-19 is Lazada Malaysia, having reported an increase of 80% on average compared to its pre-pandemic days.


What does this mean for the digital marketing industry? Opportunities as more businesses turn to digital marketing to create a digital presence! Online consumer spending will only continue to grow as we get used to the new normal, and like all other industries that have been affected by the pandemic, the digital marketing industry also needs to quickly adapt and change to really take advantage of the current situation.


First, let’s see how COVID-19 has affected digital marketing and what marketers need to know to keep their strategies relevant.


1. More businesses turning to digital marketing

When you take your business online, you cannot expect it to just take off without doing anything. You need to grow your brand awareness and with the pandemic, this can no longer be done by traditional marketing methods. In fact, with the digital sphere becoming really crowded with brands, it is even more important now to build an impactful online presence to stand out or risk fading out. Hence why many businesses are turning to digital marketing agencies to help spread the word digitally and reach out to both existing and new customers. This equals to new businesses for digital marketers from brands that would otherwise not even consider digital marketing if not for the pandemic.


2 .The rise of social media marketing

Let’s face it – the pandemic has caused many of us to turn to our screens to see what’s happening out there. One way to connect while at home and stay up to date on someone’s life is via our social media accounts. With so many potential customers always online, it makes perfect sense for a digital marketer to focus on social media marketing to announce any relevant business news: promos, opening hours, specials, flash deals. For smaller businesses, social media marketing might be the better option to get in front of your target audience if budget is a consideration. As a digital marketer, upgrading your social media marketing skills will come in handy to fully utilise its potential.


3. Realising the true value of digital tools

Imagine if we didn’t have the digital tools right now while going through the Coronavirus pandemic? How would we cope? With video call apps like FaceTime and Zoom, we are able to keep in touch with our loved ones far away. Thanks to delivery platforms like Grab and Food Panda, we can still order our favourite foods for takeaway and keep the F&B industry afloat in these difficult times. With online platforms, smaller local businesses can transition to e-commerce almost immediately without having to suffer too much from business losses.


As digital marketers, this is a welcomed fact as more and more businesses and individuals alike begin to realise the importance of digital technology in their lives, especially during the pandemic. This realisation will remain even after the pandemic as we’ve come to appreciate the ease and flexibility digital tools can offer, making digital marketing even more relevant and necessary for the years to come.


4. Changing the way brands interact with their customers

Now that many businesses have gone online, the way they interact with their customers has also changed. It is no longer just about making one sale and that’s that; instead, now more than ever, it is about building a loyal customer base that will continue to purchase from you.


From a digital marketing point of view, this equals to a more purposeful and sincere communication between brand and customer. Marketing solutions need to be customisable and personal in order to retain brand loyalty, especially when everyone is fighting for the same piece of pie. It all boils down to how your customer perceives your actions online and the persona you have created that will determine if a customer stays or goes. The right digital marketing and digital advertising solutions will help you craft the right story to engage and hold on to your customers.


5. Digital-first approach

With almost the whole world tuned in digitally during the pandemic whether it is for work, shopping or entertainment, businesses must adopt a digital-first approach to be ahead of their competitors. If before digital solutions are in the background (or not considered at all), today they have become the most important methods, if not the only, to take advantage of the new normal we live in now. This change in mindset puts digital marketing in the forefront when it comes to deliverables, and digital marketing agencies are becoming even more relevant and important for business viability during the pandemic.


Marketing – and the way we do business – has fundamentally changed forever due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the goal remains the same: To generate brand awareness, increase leads, create customer loyalty, and ultimately grow a successful business. The only difference is that now, we are living in an increasingly digital world, accelerated by the global pandemic. In order to survive the new normal, marketing solutions need to change as well and the answer is digital marketing.