Life after COVID: what changes can we expect?4 minute read

Our world has been turned upside down and we have no idea when things will get back to normal. Or if they ever will. It is more than likely that our lives will change forever. A new definition of normal will evolve.

We know from looking at past events that technology and society advance far more rapidly in times of global crisis than they do in peacetime. So what will be the lasting effects of the current pandemic have on the way we do business and live our lives? And what will this mean for our marketing strategy?

How we work

Working from home has grown in popularity for the past decade. Driven by technology to support remote working becoming accessible to almost any business. Fibre connectivity and fast mobile internet mean workers can remain constantly connected from anywhere. Software solutions have followed, making it easier to stay connected. Although there has been some hesitancy to go remote even in the industries that are able.

The current global pandemic has forced the world into remote work. As a result, we have learned to rely on chat apps, video conferencing, email and just plain old phone calls to connect. As well as a wide selection of software solutions to facilitate working from home.

Social distancing requirements are set to stay in place for some time. Meaning remote work habits will become engrained as society gets accustomed to the new norm.

These are habits that are likely to persist

Karen Harris, Managing Director, Macro Trends Group, New York

When the crisis is over? Expect remote work arrangements to stick around.

How we travel

Air travel restrictions were among the first actions governments took to control the spread of infection. And they will be the last to be lifted. The downturn in air travel will be well received by supporters of the #nofly movement – the pressure to reduce air travel due to environmental concerns. Others are feeling stifled already.

The use of public transport for work is less affected in terms of restrictions. Although commuters are avoiding these where possible to reduce risk of exposure. So we can expect a rise in private vehicle use when lock-down is lifted. On the upside commute via walk or bike may increase where this is an option.

Travel plans will bounce back post-virus, but by then we will have become familiar with new ways of working, so it’s unlikely business travel will return to anything like previous volumes. We can only hope that the habit to commute by bike or foot will stick. 

How we shop

The trend for online shopping, especially groceries and ready-to-eat meals, was already booming. The pandemic has only accelerated this.

We have seen home food delivery businesses flat out. Habits formed and the desire to avoid crowds should mean that this trend is set to continue post the pandemic.

Retail malls had already witnessed a downturn before Covid. Online shopping is the clear winner in this space.

As the online delivery market grows, so will the logistics back end needed to support it. Growing business right there.

How we market our brands

Potential changes in work and lifestyle habits mean that you need to reconsider your marketing plans.

An increase in working from home means that you will need to continue to find solutions that promote collaboration and workflow. PageProof is an online proofing tool to ensure that your review and approval process of creative work is simple.

Remote work also means that people commute less. Your OOH advertising strategy should also be reduced. Digital advertising will still dominate. Explore podcasts for those on foot or bike.

With online shopping dominating ensure your website is up to date, products checked and reviewed. Ensure your SEO is optimized.

Summary

No one is certain when this will end or how our work, travel or shopping habits will be impacted. We can be confident that this will inevitably drive change. And you should adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.

We will adapt, change and innovate, just as we always have in the face of global threats.

Vaughn Davis, The Goat Farm Social Media Consultancy