As a digital marketer of many years, it has been a curious thing to be a part of the technological revolution that has swept the world alongside the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst digital first movers have been predominately online for over a decade, those who have been sitting with a foot on either side of the digital divide have been forced to make the move to digital. And they have done this in timelines that have been swifter than anyone would have thought possible. The human fight or flight reaction has kicked in for businesses, groups and organisations globally. Whilst some have chosen a graceful exit or an uncertain hibernation, others have embraced the new era and stepped up to the fight.

 

The Digital Peak

In a previous blog, we spoke about how the coronavirus has moved the lives of even the most introverted amongst us online, even taking to new platforms such as TikTok (beware fledglings of the  TikTok time vortex) with bright-eyed vigour. We are spending more of our leisure time on screens, with other options having disappeared, Netflix on a Saturday is the new norm.

In our 9 to 5 lives a similar thing has happened. Everyone from schools to orchestras and restaurants to retail have gone online in just a few months. Unbelievably, as an online community, we are still calling for more. More concerts from living rooms, more online shopping, more uber eats delivered straight to our doors. And for marketers, there have been more eyes than ever before to digitally display our wares to. So, have businesses risen to the challenge? Well certainly some have.

Those of us who have been in and around business for long enough to remember that economic growth charts don’t always go up have a different perspective. Our longevity lets us understand that the “more, more, more” which accompanies growth, whilst hypnotic, will reach a peak. The digital colonisation that has occurred slowly over the last 10 years and more rapidly in the last three months, will reach an inevitable saturation point.

 

The Inevitable Technological Bursting Bubble

Without meaning to spread doom and gloom there is an inevitable truth in the statement that what comes up must come down. Whilst at the moment we are spending more time on a screen than ever before, many are yet to feel the financial constraints that will most certainly come as the full force of the economic side of the coronavirus pandemic hits.

When government payments are phased out, home prices drop and wage growth is halted, the proverbial “pinch” will be felt, not just by those who have lost their jobs in the initial coronavirus repercussions but by all of us. It is at this point that discretionary spending that has been the boon for business of recent months will plummet. Whilst many of us are insulated from immediate economic impacts and are isolated in our homes, a $6.99 delivery fee for Uber Eats seems more than reasonable. But as the economic consequences hit, those delivery fees, premium hair and beauty products and expensive new hobby supplies become less important.

Coupled with this decrease in discretionary spending, as social distancing restrictions are lifted and we as a society start to navigate the new normal, we will inevitably spend less time on our devices, leading to fewer opportunities to be marketed to.

 

Opportunities ahead

Whilst COVID-19 has indeed led to a new era in the way we use, consume and navigate the technological world, in digital marketing, there are distinct opportunities for businesses and organisations to not just get online for the first time but to strengthen their online presence and make it the cornerstone of their business. It is also an important time to take advantage of the increased number of eyeballs that can be reached through digital marketing and to do this now when usage is at its peak.

If any of the concepts that I have touched on here are resonating with you, or have got you thinking about opportunities for your own business, then do not let this incredible moment in our societal digital evolution go by without talking to us.