The Power of Digital “Experiential Marketing” to Stay in Touch with Consumer
Stepping into the second month of COVID-19 spread, the impact of this pandemic has shaked almost all aspects of life including the economy in Indonesia., And unfortunately, there hasn’t been any signs of significant improvement that can encourage public optimism to resume their activities normally. This was reflected in the decline of consumer transaction activity during the pandemic reported by Bank Indonesia (BI) survey on the Consumer Confidence Index (IKK) in February 2020. This survey showed a decrease of 0.4 points from the previous month of 121.7 to 117 .7 points. Questions were raised about how a "normal" life would look like after the recovery phase. In some of the hardest-hit countries such as China, Italy and Spain, it is predicted that the imminent second and third waves are likely to coincide. So how do we prepare ourselves better to deal with this possibility? From the perspective of business and operational readiness in dealing with new "normal" situation, many brands are now considering the option to push the investment of digital assets. This approach is taken to remain relevant for consumers, especially during the time of the latest product or service launch. A report excerpted from the digital and creative company MediaMonks urges brands to become more observant in offering their unique selling point during the lack of public attention due to pandemic reporting. In addition, the challenge is also from the possibility of the fact that target market spends more time in the digital space during the stay-at-home order. According to MediaMonks, though the brand has limitations in directly reaching consumers, the needs and demands of consumers remain the same. Hence, a strategy in place is crucial to stick the brand with its consumer in avoiding tight competition from another brands during this isolation period.
"Experiential Marketing" needs to be considered as a strategy to create more engagement with the potential customers and to support brand awareness. Limited access to in-person activities needs to be supported by strategies to maintain the brand sustainability. With this situation in mind, an adjustment to allocate budget is also required to provide new experiences for consumers.
The first important point that supports the success of this strategy before developing further relationships with potential customers is to determine list of priorities. It is important to set what you aim in shifting the market transition digitally. Setting the goals of each activity synergised with creative ideas and adjusting the target market become crucial. Meanwhile, brands can still calculate the success of this strategy through the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) that is tailored to the selected digital activity. Secondly, brands need to build emotional engagement with audience during the digital activation. Even though a direct activity cannot be entirely interpreted and therefore transferred into digital activities, a brand can still build emotional ties with its customers by creating the right content or messages delivered to the target audience in the midst of the current crisis situation. While at the same time this approach can provide new experiences for consumers and brands can also build solidarity and provide social support for the audience through digital activities. Thirdly, anticipation towards audience disappointment during the current crisis. Targets must be set rationally, both before and during the crisis. These situations are exceptionally different and it would be unwise if brands act as if it was business as usual. However, brands should be able to utilise this momentum to inspire the audience of positive values and behaviours. When people of the world are being advised to stay at home, the brands can recommend other activities that can still be accessed by an audience during this difficult time. Some of the examples include holding digital concerts like in China the country of origin of the Covid-19. The United States also conducted a digital concert with hashtag #OneWorldTogetheratHome in collaboration with three major TV stations: NBA, ABC, and CBS which are enlivened by actors and musicians and streamed through Youtube Live Streaming ‘Global Citizen’ to share optimism and positivity across the world.
In Indonesia, marketing methods based on consumer experience is presented on how the mineral water brand Out of House (OOH) advertisements with unusual narrative. The second example is how several smartphones brands offer their flagship devices through the Pre-Order system after posting outdoor advertisements with the theme "Countdown". Both of these brands attempted to build engagements among consumers to raise brand awareness and perception towards the brands are slowly developed. As the result, these two brands are more than just a smartphone and mineral water provider, but a creative company capturing momentum through socio-digital activation that attracts audience attention. Although there was a decline in direct consumer transaction activity, the social distancing movement implemented by a number of companies affected the online shopping trends to the positive direction. In Indonesia, the increasing trend of online shopping affects both health and generic products. Reported by iPrice using data impressions on Google Analytic, during February to March period there was a significant increase in health products followed by home appliances, outdoor and indoor hobbies, food and beverages. This shows and concludes that, brands have the chance to increase optimism in the current digital strategy transition.
Getting closer to your costumer is important, but letting them get a taste of experience to learn your brand, is beyond greatness. We believe that as customers, could grow accustome to a certain loyalty toward brands. That at least, can be proven on my long lists of personal hygine brands in my bathroom, or basic staple foods in my kitchen! The key is to enabling your brand speaks wisdom and communications may boost the significance even bigger. As public relations agency, we understand the situation that you are going through. Check on our portfolio and brand new offering for ventures who wishes to kickstart the branding and communications strategy within the new normal.
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