Mr. Prime Minister shows you the way out from this pandemic-struck situation
The Singapore Government is up in arms to deal with the stubborn Covid19 as it threatens its variants. In a bid to accelerate the pace of vaccination and mass testing gov.sg released another motivating video – Together, towards a new normal.
“In the new normal, covid-19 will not dominate our lives. To keep our people safe, while reopening progressively, we have to test, we have to trace, we have to vaccinate,” says honourable Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. The video reflects the nation’s assertive stance taken by the government to deal with the pandemic that’s growing in intensity with every wave.
The video opens up with a refreshing view of the iconic Jewel at Changi Airport. A lady resembling an air hostess reminds the viewers about the ‘new beginning’. The three new strategies to get to it are test, trace and vaccinate. It introduces the audience to the covid19 self-testing tool that’s easy to use and authentic. Characters in the video are young and vibrant with oozing positivity that captivates viewers’ attention and makes them open to the message; without any sign of difference. It takes the audience to the solution of a critical situation that they are in. “In the likely event of our country’s reopening, vaccinate, stay safe. It’ll keep Singapore going.” It is what we all wanted to have for so long.
The latest video gives you hope and build a sense of inclusive responsibility in all of us to make it happen.
Human civilization is going through one of its darkest and most challenging phases. The days are dotted with unprecedented threats and nights with uncertainty. The coronavirus pandemic blew things out of proportion, pushed us to the brim, where fighting for survival is the only way out.
Besides health and life, business, too, suffered through a lot of brutal blows. When the world was on the verge of returning to everyday life, the second wave struck. It ruined things with a more significant impact. Repeated lockdowns and forbidden movement affected supply and hit revenue generation like never before. The damage was pretty the same for brands across the globe.
Despite all, there is hope, and that’s what I will be discussing elaborately here. Robert Kiyosaki, Founder, Cashflow Technologies Inc., said, “When times are bad is when the real entrepreneurs emerge.” There’s oozing positivity in these lines, and it’s real. We need to push through the limitations; that’s how we overcome them!
Marketing In 2021 – Reimaging Marketing In The Next Normal Trying To Survive In A Changed Business Ecosphere
Any given crisis hurts the market – consumer behavior. The pandemic triggered by covid19 created an enormous dent in trade and commerce across the world. Brands and marketers working for them are on their feet, trying to find ways to sail out of this crisis.
Businesses of varying size and age faced unprecedented challenges. They had to ensure the safety of their employees and consumers, modify business operation and management complying with government policies. Besides these, brands had to support the activities with cash and other liquid assets.
Different lockdown norms restricted the movement; it affected supply, purchase volume and related elements. A lot of people also lost their jobs due to the pandemic. There was a decline in purchase resulting in lesser sales volume and revenue.
What caused this change was a few dominating factors.
The inevitable and enforced lockdown affected the livelihood of many. While the enterprises are struggling to survive, smaller ventures and industries suffered significant loss. It even led to the closure of such businesses. It affected the livelihood of many and marginalized their purchasing power. It directly affected demand in a chain reaction.
Consumers made more conscious purchasing decisions; they tried not to spend their money on anything they are not sure about. They opted for value-based products and services and online shopping experiences. Consumers moved to online platforms and apps for their everyday essentials and luxury buys.
There was a restriction on the movement of public transport during the lockdown, but even after unlocking, people tried to avoid it. Demand for online service platforms surged high, to unexpected heights, and they switched to remote working or working from homes.
You cannot avert a crisis and other challenges, but you can surely overcome them. In the face of a notorious situation, you need to be your strongest self and cut through it. You must commit to bold decisions and execution of the same. The covid19 pandemic and its impact on business is not something that you cannot overcome.
Ian Davis, a Managing Partner, McKinsey, was recently quoted in an article – “The New Normal”, “For some brands, near-term survival is the only agenda.” He elaborated on the finer details, but it stroked me hard because that’s a brutal truth. Survival is the only goal but stopping there isn’t. The article has meaningful implications for marketers. Brands need to revive; otherwise, they will not stand a chance in the grim market condition. So here I will be elaborating on a few central mechanisms that can make it happen. Stay glued!
Firstly, you need to harness the power of digital platforms and technology. The internet is accessible to almost every corner of the world, by everyone. That’s the best way to reach the mass, and you have a broader market than you could ever wish for. Why not use these platforms and transformational technologies to connect with customers – existing and potential? Build a complementing infrastructure, even a new team for the groundwork is good, to serve demands through digital channels and apps. Try digital transformation through technology, communication, data, the internet of things, AI, and exclusive networking.
Secondly, you must pick up accurate data, analyze them correctly, and use it quickly, responsibly and effectively. Data is the key to creating compelling brand strategies, both for sales and branding exercises. Business automation solutions are ideal for making this happen; specifically, a CRM solution will be the best one to serve this purpose. When you implement CRM software, it fetches data from regular interactions, analyzes flawlessly, finds real consumer needs. It also predicts market and product trends. You can use this for offering what the market would need and cash such opportunities.
Thirdly, what matters are not exclusive products but trustworthy products that meet consumer needs. It is essential, especially when you want to create brands they trust. Invest in good image building exercises because the messages they send are very effective in building your brand image.
Fourthly, if you want to find a perennial market demand, you will have to be a bold brand. By this, I mean, as a brand, you need to stand up for a cause that makes a real difference and act on it. When you start doing this, you will begin writing a new future for your brand.
Fifthly, localize your operations and consumer experience. The idea of exported products is not as effective as offering something of their own. Frequent lockdowns have boosted the idea of enjoying local products and experiences. You are restricted to a specific area, so are the producers, sellers and buyers. There are a good number of brands that have benefitted by localizing their marketing exercises.
Social media connected people from different pockets of the world. Similarly, online platforms, technology and digital avenues joined the business to consumers during the pandemic. Whether digital or physical, you must keep supplying to meet the demand. The current situation favors digital or online services, though. The trends and indicators commit to a promising future if you are willing to take that leap of faith and transform your digitally. Trust me; now people prefer home entertainment and home deliveries!
In line with Deepavali, SingTel has released a short film featuring two of its Hindu staff preparing for the festival. This year’s Deepavali celebration is definitely different due to the ongoing pandemic. However, all hope is not lost as SingTel wants to share in their latest ad.
With a sombre piece selected to play in the background, the camera follows as two of SingTel’s Hindu staff decorates for the holiday and shares their favourite memory of Deepavali. As we get an idea of what Deepavali means to them, the topic gradually switches over to the current situation and how Covid-19 has impacted them.
For these SingTel staff, they were unable to see their loved ones often for fear of putting them at risk. Having to work from home every day also meant that tensions at home were constantly on the rise and it was easy to clash with family members.
Deepavali this year, then, meant something even more than it usually did. A signifier of light and new beginnings, this festival is a good chance for everyone to put the bad behind them and come together as one. As one of them mentioned, Deepavali is a time to put all negativity aside and to only focus on the positive ahead.
This film aligns with SingTel’s ongoing brand campaign, which encourages Singaporeans to stay positive amidst the current climate, showing examples of how ordinary Singaporeans display tenacity in such trying times. If they can do it, so can you.
The ad, aptly titled “There is light”, follows behind SingTel’s other campaigns including the films “Keeping the spirit of Hari Raya alive” as well as “This is the year”, both of which were released a few months back to commemorate Ramadan and National Day respectively. Of course, the circuit breaker meant that these events had to be celebrated in a different manner than usual, but the spirit was still kept alive by our sheer determination and unity.
Similarly, the spirit of hope brought about by Deepavali can be applied to all of us as we look forward to the rainbow after the rain that is this pandemic. It could even be said to be a happy coincidence that Deepavali comes around as fewer infections occur, resulting in Covid measures easing up and a sense of normalcy returning.
This personal narrative definitely serves to add a sense of comfort and encouragement as a reminder that even the hard times will pass. Indeed, SingTel’s latest ad is a note to us all to stay together and to be there for one another, for that is how we thrive.
In the face of the Covid-19 era, many businesses and individuals have had to adapt to the new normal. From social distancing rules to travel restrictions, these measures to combat Covid-19 have affected the modus operandi of many businesses. The introduction of circuit breaker has seen many defaulting to having their employees work from home as a consequence. On the other hand, consumers have begun shopping online more voraciously.
With phase 3 of Singapore’s circuit breaker on the horizon, here are some things that one can expect.
Phase 3: The New Normal
Social, cultural, religious and business gatherings or events will be allowed to resume during this phase. However, gathering sizes would still have to be limited so as to prevent large clusters from arising. Individuals would also have to be aware to avoid close contact with each other.
“With advisories and guidelines that were applicable to different sectors as the COVID-19 situation evolved, the Enterprise Infoline provided business owners with help to navigate the compliance requirements; procedures that can be complex particularly for small and micro SMEs. ”
Ms Chew Mok Lee, Assistant Chief Executive
One phrase which has gained momentum in the past few weeks is the ‘new normal’. Despite the fact that things are looking up, it is important to note that the impact of Covid-19 will still be felt far beyond 2020. Remote work will most likely be retained in the ‘new normal’, so don’t expect the current situation to change too drastically. Until a vaccine is uncovered, it will be a fixed aspect of our lives.
What this means for businesses and their employees
Singapore’s phased approach to open the economy could mean that the ‘new normal’ may involve a cautious approach of alternating between remote work and the office. However, working life as we know it might never return to the normal we all remember.
This is not an indicator that productivity, creativity and profitability levels pre-Covid will not return for businesses. In fact, the changes that arose due to this pandemic may as well have presented more business opportunities in Singapore. Human beings, after all, tend to resist change and the ‘new normal’ allows businesses across the world to reimagine the impossible and shift to new ways of working and collaboration.
Leaders are redesigning their business operations to navigate this significant change and evolve the business for it to continue thriving. This has seen the acceleration of some non-traditional workforces. For instance, flexible working arrangements are expected to be the ‘new normal’ in some industries. Take Twitter as an example — CEO Jack Dorsey announced that employees can keep working from home ‘forever’ if they wish.
As everyone transitions through this period, the best way to ensure businesses’ survival in a post-Covid era would be to adopt a blended approach. Take the most efficient working methods from pre-Covid and combine it with the best methods mid-Covid, and we will see a strategy fit for commercial success.
When we look back at 2020 from hindsight, there’ll certainly be questions raised around company conduct. Organizations will be judged not only on how they managed the financial crisis, but how they supported their employees as well.
“People will remember how leadership and businesses dealt with the Covid-19 pandemic. They understand that it’s a difficult time for businesses and in most cases acknowledge that changes may be required due to changing business pressures. If these conversations are managed and handled in a human and authentic way, reputation and employer brand will be maintained and amplified.”
Robert Stone, Chief Talent Officer at McCANN
What this means for businesses and their consumers
“Many marketers had hoped that once the Circuit Breaker restrictions are eased, life would get back to the way it was. Singaporeans, at present, do not feel that way as seen from their reduced spend intention at dining out or disinclination towards going on holidays or attending large events or gatherings.”
Prasad Shinde, Senior Client Officer at Ipsos in Singapore
Due to the circuit breaker, online shopping has seen a tremendous boom in activity. With digital shopping becoming increasingly pervasive in our everyday lives, it would be a smart move for businesses to grab this opportunity to go digital in order to expand their customer base. It is where most consumers’ attention have turned in the face of the lockdown.
“There are clear shifts in the adoption of e-commerce for the purchase of items that were typically purchased in brick and mortar stores — groceries and fresh produce for example –- as well as an introduction to different omni-channel purchase options. It has become quite common for example for a purchase to be made via WhatsApp and for collection to be made at a curbside pick-up. The awareness and familiarity with such possibilities, as well as the perceived greater convenience to shoppers, may mean that demand for these options remains long after life goes back to normal, so it will be interesting to see whether any retail sectors look to make some of these permanent.”
Nick Hunter, Director of Market Strategy and Understanding at Ipsos in Singapore
This could very well signal to businesses the type of change they need to undergo in order to adapt to this ‘new normal’. Covid-19 has proven across all industries that it is possible to maintain high quality outputs and relationships even with remote work at the core of their strategy.