Since it first emerged in late 2019, the novel coronavirus rampaged its way around the world, leaving a trail of death and destruction in its wake. However, while the health risks and death toll of the virus have been disturbing enough, the financial and commercial impact of COVID-19 has left the business world reeling.

Through the lockdowns caused by the pandemic, commerce was turned on its head as populations moved online en masse for everything from work to socializing and shopping. With the real world closed down, the firms that survived (and even thrived) through COVID-19 were those that already had a strong online presence, powerful branding, e-commerce facilities and the capacity for remote work. 

Habits are unlikely to change overnight

While it seems we may be over the worst of the virus with the promise of global vaccine rollouts, the majority of scientists suggest we’re far from being completely free of COVID-19. Indeed, it seems highly likely we’ll see distancing and possible temporary lockdowns continue through 2021. Just as we saw in 2020, if governments impose isolation measures, people move online in their droves – so, if you haven’t already, there’s no time like the present to start thinking seriously about your online branding and marketing plan. If you’re unsure where to start, consider partnering with a specialist marketing agency like that will guide you through every step of the marketing process.  

Our world changed significantly through the virus – habits changed and new practices have become commonplace. Regardless of how long COVID-19 remains with us, sociologists suggest there’s been a pattern shift in our behavior and we’re unlikely to simply revert to our ways of old overnight. As a result, preparing today for the possible future tomorrow is the best way to try and future-proof your company.   

The irreversible changes to traditional retail

The traditional high street has been in decline for many years but experts suggest COVID-19 accelerated its demise by around five years. As more and more of us moved online through the virus, the e-commerce sector exploded with many online firms reporting record profits. 

For example, internet behemoth Amazon posted a 200% profit increase by the middle of 2020 due, in most part, to the pandemic. Bottom line: If your firm operates in any form of retailing, you need to be e-commerce-enabled and have a strong online marketing plan if you’re going to have any hope of survival. 

Marketing through the virus – you simply can’t afford to ignore online branding

Considering the internet only turns 30 in August 2021, as a medium it has matured at a tremendous rate and afforded businesses previously unthinkable penetration into global markets. However, if you’re to take advantage of the web’s potential, as a starting point you need the following base items as part of your online marketing strategy:

A well-designed, easy-to-use website – The absolute baseline for all internet marketing is a branded website – one that is simple to use and projects a clear message. 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – If your site isn’t seen, your site isn’t working. An estimated 71% of all consumer journeys start with a search, so not being found on first page search engine results could be the downfall of your company. After all, when did you last use a telephone directory service? 

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – Using Customer Relationship Management software could see you automating the entire customer journey while building a strong relationship with your clients. 

Positive engagement with social media channels – Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter being the main ones but also, possibly, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.

By Eddy

Eddy is the editorial columnist in Business Fundas, and oversees partner relationships. He posts articles of partners on various topics related to strategy, marketing, supply chain, technology management, social media, e-business, finance, economics and operations management. The articles posted are copyrighted under a Creative Commons unported license 4.0. To contact him, please direct your emails to [email protected].