Brands are activating new strategies to reach consumers while at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But many of these strategies will remain long after the pandemic is over.
One such category is online grocery, where Mondelez is seeing consumers “broaden the number of channels they’re shopping on” as the pandemic drags on, according to VP of consumer experience Jon Halvorson.
“Some [shop] omnichannel, and some go exclusively to an e-commerce space,” he said on a panel at Campaign US’ Brunch Briefing on Tuesday, adding that he sees online grocery only accelerating in the years to come.
“We're probably at the halfway mark of the pandemic,” he added. “This pandemic is going to teach and engrain new behaviors. Will [e-commerce] be the exclusive way people shop? No, I don't think so. But I think that we will move to a more omni channel world.”
As consumers are embracing a digital-first lifestyle, brands should show up with experiences that are sensitive to their current reality. Streaming platform Tubi, for example, is communicating that its platform is free for people looking for at-home entertainment who are struggling financially.
“A lot of people lost their job during the pandemic, and have their kids at home,” said Natalie Bastian, VP of marketing at Tubi. “Looking for free is really important.”
Peloton, which has shifted to promoting its app over its hardware during the pandemic as more people work out at home, said the company gave new users a 90-day free trial without capturing any credit card information for lead gen.
“We didn't want to do anything that would come across as opportunistic, or looking like we were capitalizing on the success that we were having during a time when a lot of businesses and, of course, people were suffering during a pandemic,” said Jessica Kleiman, SVP of global communications at Peloton.
As brands are forced to adapt quickly to major world events and consumer changes, they’re relying more heavily on their agencies for support. They’re also bringing disciplines more closely together, such as communications and marketing, as the lines between these departments blur.
“[The industry] has been moving towards [a place] for some time where you have to look at communications and brands and marketing and acquisition as integrated in order to be successful,” Kleiman said.
Bastian agreed, noting that being acquired by Fox in 2020 allowed it to have a more unified communications strategy.
Moving forward, flexibility will remain key, even as life returns to normal, Kleiman said.