The Silver Lining Of The Pandemic Cloud


Life lessons from the pandemic!

How experiences from pandemic and the subsequent lifestyle changes translates to lessons in digital transformation for businesses

The outbreak of the pandemic has changed the way of life as we know it. Similar to how a lifestyle transformation was essential for the human race to survive, a digital transformation was the need of the hour for many businesses to stay relevant and adapt to the new normal.

“You got to look on the bright side, even if there ain’t one.”

Dashiell Hammett

If we look at the pandemic through the lens of this quote, there are silver linings to the pandemic even though it seems like there aren’t any.

COVID-19 has taught us to be quick on our feet, adapt to changing conditions and move forward. If observed carefully there is an interesting parallel between the journey of a digital transformation of a business and a lifestyle transformation when a person comes in contact with the virus. 

The Journey

When a person tests positive, the first step they should take is to identify the symptoms, get a diagnosis from the doctor and undergo the treatment. Simple, isn’t it? Or so we think. While that should be the logical move, but alas we humans give in to the common behaviour of turning to the universal ‘know it all’, Google or the WhatsApp and Facebook support groups to learn, confirm, substantiate or refute the current state. Research says, 2 out of 5 people diagnose themselves with non-existent disorders by googling symptoms. Google has numerous articles around curative measures. That is when we are faced with a dilemma whether to blindly follow suggestions or hearsay on the internet or should we adhere to the guidelines, suggested by an expert? Ideally, it is the latter but sometimes curiosity gets the better of us. 

Likewise, when a brand is making a transformation into the digital space, the first instinct is to turn to Google. There is no shortage of literature on the internet, in fact, there is an excess of it. This can be overwhelming, and many times misleading. Drowning in the sea of information, managers miss the fact that the nature of the literature is often generic hence might not be right for their brand. 

According to the Forrester Consulting report, marketers waste 21% of their marketing budget because of bad data. Check out some campaigns that went horribly wrong because of lack of gaps in research.

Another thing we learnt from this pandemic is that every person’s body reacts to the virus differently, so trying out what worked for one person doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for another.  In addition to not working, some unorthodox methods might end up doing more harm than good. 

In a similar context, every brand is unique, hence getting results from an approach followed by a different brand is difficult. A common, yet fundamental mistake made by brands is to jump into all digital platforms without any goals, or proper understanding of their audience like where they are present and what they want to see. They impulsively take suggestions from various online sources without verifying its authenticity or relevance to their business or without asking the right questions like:

  • What are the objectives – Awareness, Consideration, Purchase?
  • Who is the right target audience? – Geographic, Demographic, Psychographic or Behavioural
  • Which is the relevant platform? – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram?
  • What are the KPIs- Reach, Engagement, Leads or Conversions?
  • What kind of content is consumed and in /which format – Educational, Instructional, Emotional and Promotional? Blogs, Video or Infographics?

Road to Recovery

After a thorough diagnosis, the road to recovery from the virus involves a series of steps and consistently following them. Monitoring the symptoms, completing the medicine course, proper diet and rest are crucial to recovery. Switching medicines in between or adjusting dosage wouldn’t necessarily speed up the recovery rather can mess with the progress. Similarly achieving digital media growth requires some tasks to be diligently followed. 

Keeping consistency in creating relevant content, leveraging popular formats and trends, publishing at optimum timings would be a good starting point. The platform analytics will give the performance statistics of the content. Analysing the metrics after religiously following the routine for a time period will give insights into the number of profile visits, website visits, post interactions, top posts, who your audience are and so on. Observing the patterns will tell you what is working and what is not and what you can do about it. Switching to paid marketing without analysing the metrics or any organic efforts is expecting a cure seconds after taking a medicine without following the due course of actions. 

COVID-19 has taught us to adapt our lifestyles to the new normal. In the same way, we can adapt our digital communication to fit the changing consumer behaviour. We were so overwhelmed by the sudden change, it was very easy to miss the silver lining.

Silver lining of this pandemic cloud is that navigating through these challenges has made us more innovative and empathetic in our approach towards things. It has made us think outside the box, challenged us to be creative in our approaches and emerge as better versions of ourselves. It takes time to understand the brand, the context in the space it operates in and evaluate the relevance and weave a communication strategy in sync with those. It all starts with the basics. Like social distancing and wearing a mask is where the basic pandemic hygiene starts, we should start our digital media hygiene with the basic step of organising your brand, plans and strategies.

We at Zamstars work in building awareness and reach for your brand. Our ‘Design Led – Business Anchored’ approach delivers growth through contextual brand strategy, effective marketing and predictable sales solutions for your business. Contact us at info@zamstars.com to accelerate your brand’s journey.

Sivaram Kuppachi
Quarterback – Zamstars