04 Sep 2020
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Life is the best teacher of all. And the pandemic just sharpened its teaching skills!
This lockdown has divided businesses into two very prominent groups – one being the dying ones and the other being the ones who “just killed it” with their evolved digital marketing moves.
So without beating around the bush, let’s get into three inspiring stories that we picked up, two from Kolkata itself and one from Chandigarh, and tell you how these businesses have transformed this lockdown into significant learning phases of their career arcs.
They survived the pandemic as they chose to learn from life when the others chose to be its victims.
Story 1: PonyUp Salon
A salon-worker is possibly the one who needs to see you from the closest for his or her professional needs. To be precise it’s this person who literally does a hair-splitting analysis (of your grooming needs), and thus the proximity involved in the execution of this business is a strict no-no at a time of social distancing.
But the salon industry is neither a small one nor does it provide a service that leaves you with a choice of not opting for it. The demand was there as bodily cycles did not give a damn to the lock down, yet hair-stylists and other salon workers were sitting at home, jobless, owing to the absence of a safe bridge that could get them connected to the masses.
And that’s when our first inspiring story’s nominee was born.
Providing quality salon services at their three stations based in Kolkata was giving Abhinav Saraf, the founding person of PonyUp a good edge in the revenue race. Till came the lock down.
Shutters closed and minds behind them begun working. It was in the lockdown that they came up with two brilliant ideas that would help them serve their clients with their safety assured.
Initially they began promoting an animated video that showed the complete process that they had adapted to in this lockdown to assure 100% safety to their clients. From walk in to walk out, the video was highly self-explanatory, simple to understand and assuring.
They promoted it through social media marketing to reach out to an expanded client base.
Secondly, they began launching innovative salon taxis that they called ‘salon-on-wheels’. These were absolutely sanitized movable salons travelling around the city and all you needed to do for a salon service would be to get in touch with them and they would be at your doorstep at a provided time with completely safe beauty solutions.
Check them out on Facebook / Instagram and you will know how they have ushered in a change in the way people looked at salon services.
Change is the only constant, be it in fashion or the fashion business!
Story 2: Umesh Earthmovers (UEM)
Reading the name of the company must have heightened your interest by 2x.
Wondering how exactly could a spare-parts manufacturer, come on our list of inspiring digital marketing stories through the pandemic? Well no great story is written in a day, but several great business transition stories were written during COVID-19.
UEM had been a spare-part provider firm, founded by Umesh Kumar Singh, lost in the crowd of businesses that are born and that die without making a mark. UEM could as well become one such lost-firm this pandemic, unless they took up a radical move of switching to producing sanitization facilities based on a supplier’s suggestion.
So they started manufacturing sanitization products! Nothing new in that – right? But you know how they made themselves different? Within the lockdown phase, they not just created a website for the same but also started social media marketing for their products over their facebook and instagram pages.
And before you question us how successful this transition proved for them, let us tell you that they have already sold 1,500 units of Sanitization Fogging Machines and still counting.
So, the strategy was simple: identifying the need of the hour, choosing to change, investing in the change and simultaneously investing in digital marketing to tell the world about the change.
Needless to say, when everything was locked, the digital marketplace was the only thing open.
UEM came online. And UEM is still open.
Story 3: NameFame
Certain consumer forums got most deprived during this lockdown. And one of the topmost among them was the children. Just imagine the transition that they went through!
No school, no playing out, no tuition classes. And if that wasn’t enough, the transit in their parent’s attitude towards the use of smartphones got absolutely inversed. The same parents, who were previously against them using smart phones, were now ordering smart phones home so that their children could attend the online classes.
Moral being, the change that these children adjusted to was difficult. This brings us to our reason of selecting our third inspiring story.
It’s about a brand that created and got delivered innocent pleasures to the Indian homes this lockdown. NameFame had begun in Chandigarh, with the idea of taking Mandeep Kaur‘s embroidery creations for children to a commercial level.
The family business that was taken ahead by the daughter took the concept ahead and delivered personalized gifts for children through home delivery services. Everything was fine till the big villain COVID19 struck and led to the closure of all courier services.
Instead of being hit by it, the brand thought to use the lockdown period to devise strategies that would give them a stronger comeback. With the son-in-law of the family, Sandeep Singh, being a prominent blogger with a strong follower base, the brand decided to strengthen up their online strategies over Facebook & Instagram and begin creating a website too.
Digital was the only market that was on. And NameFame came online.
Around April courier services began getting restored around the nation. And this was chosen to be the correct time for NameFame to start promoting their Instagram Page. In a short span of time, the follower base of the page went up by a whopping 2,000 counts. And the response that they got online has led them to complete the structuring of their website- fast enough & its live now.
NameFame’s fame was a result of no rocket science. They penetrated the minds of the children and their parents at a time when they had nothing to do but come online. And the conversions followed.
The Ending Bell
The world is darker for the ones without a teacher.
The marketplace has become darker for the ones who are not online.
Post lockdown, there will be only two groups of businesses-one, the learning students of the class, who made the lockdown a milestone and took to the digital shift and the other, the non-learning ones, for whom the lock-down will mark the end.
The market-syllabus will change. Not much of the previous business reports will hold value. And many performers will vanish, because they were not present in the online classroom.
The pandemic is not a dead wall. It’s a door with a key-whole. And the problem that life, as a teacher, has challenged you with is if you can find the key to open it and survive to see the post-COVID phase.
The Key is Digital Marketing. The clock is ticking. Your clients are waiting on the other side of the door.
And the question is will you learn the lesson before your business is over. Will you choose to come online? Or will someone else answer the door?
Mohammad Junaid Salehin | Date : 16th November, 2020
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