Consumer Expectations in a Post-Pandemic World
There is one question on executives’ and individuals’ minds alike right now, and that is, “what will consumer expectations be in a post-pandemic world?” There’s no doubt that businesses have felt the blow of COVID-19 both collectively and independently, where industry’s responses to coronavirus have either risen or fallen to meet the needs of their customers. In a world where consumers are trying to implement social distancing, this anticipation of if and how businesses will meet consumer expectations in a social distancing society is still unknown, with outcomes mostly dependent on a variable of factors. There is a reason for executives to feel optimistic for improved market conditions and to continue marketing efforts as they experience growth compared to March and April when COVID-19 disruptions were at their peak.
So how does this new optimism intersect with consumer expectations, attitudes, and purchasing habits that are likely to remain post-pandemic? Where traditionally, expectations grow and evolve, with incremental changes put in place as new business needs arise, coronavirus has exponentially accelerated this process and, with it, consumer expectations. We’ve entered a new economic world that we have no playbook for and the outcomes reflect what we now value and how and where we shop and work.
This year has most notably changed consumers’ expectations in healthcare, academics, and technology products and services. In our post-pandemic world, where the customer journey has dramatically shifted, businesses should rise to meet these expectations through digital marketing to not only survive but thrive.
Increased Need for Virtual Healthcare Options
The need for increased online visibility and accessibility is vital in no larger space right now than healthcare. During a global pandemic where you’re unsure if the cough or sore throat you have is a potentially lethal respiratory virus or frequent symptoms of seasonal allergies, access to a clinician can be life or death. Telehealth and the ability for healthcare companies to adapt to a virtual world have emerged as a necessity to provide quality patient care, safely.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced primary care and specialty physicians (think behavioral health) to adopt a way to provide virtual care to maintain social distancing.
Healthcare businesses, compared to other industries, have been slow to adopt digital marketing and even resistant to shift from traditional communication. Coronavirus has upended that resistance, and it’s clear there is a benefit to embracing digital marketing. For more insights, read our whitepaper, The Digital Waiting Room: Marketing to Physicians and Patients, to learn how your business can pivot to meet growing consumer expectations.
Education Moves Online
Along with the increased consumer expectation for online visibility and accessibility of healthcare, the need for disseminating knowledge in a timely, concise manner has been highlighted by COVID-19. When schools across the globe closed due to coronavirus, taking over 1.2 billion children out of the classroom, districts were forced to ramp up their online presence. This included the creation and management of websites and landing pages that provided information for parents and e-learning portals for students to learn and complete coursework.
With daily updates and information on where and when classes are operating, changing on an almost daily basis, now is the time for those in academics to invest in a digital marketing strategy that keeps both students and parents informed with the latest news happening on (or right now) off-campus.
This was true for higher education as well, with Cambridge University announcing it will hold lectures online for the next academic year, this follows a trend implying that consumer expectation for the availability of distance learning is here to stay. For higher education, this is an opportunity to increase college admission numbers since schools are no longer limited by the availability of seats in a physical classroom.
Technology Boom Fueled By Social Distancing
In a world where remote work and learning have now become the norm to adhere to social distancing guidelines and safer at home restrictions, the need for new technology to ease this transition is endless, and consumer expectations are high. Platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams have become vital to how we live, work and see our family and friends safely. When you hear about the staggering growth in Zoom alone, with over 200 million daily users in March, and whose net worth has jumped $2.8 billion in two months. One can infer there is a new tech technology boom on the horizon, ushered in by coronavirus.
The software-as-a-service (SaaS) market is forecasting a 15.58 percent compound annual growth rate between 2018 and 2023. There is no shortage of start-ups for application development like customer relationship management (CRM) tools. Meeting the needs of business and consumer expectations for how these tools are thoughtfully implemented to reach customers is often a need that goes unfulfilled. Still, these tools and the strategy around them can be easily managed through a digital agency.
Increased online accessibility and visibility in the areas of healthcare, education, and technology will all become essential expectations in consumers’ minds. Many of these historic brick and mortar sectors have had to adapt and evolve in the interest of public safety. It is in all companies’ best interest to invest in digital marketing strategies to fully inform their customers if they expect to thrive in a post-pandemic world.
Thoughts on Post-Pandemic Digital Marketing Strategy
Want to learn more about how your business can better adapt to the “new normal” to meet consumer expectations in a post COVID world? Download our resource Planning a Digital Marketing Strategy for Business Post-Pandemic.
If you’d like help ensuring your business is prepared for the increased online demands and necessary digital marketing strategy, contact us here.
Updated: Apr 13, 2022