Marketing is serving the human in the consumer: Yan Han, International Business Chairperson, Topline Consulting Group

While COVID has left a deep impression on both the people and economy, marketing around the world is going through a very apparent shift writes Yan Han.


The world of marketing came to a sudden halt in the wake of the deadly Coronavirus. With the growing impact of this unrivaled tragedy, the global economy is at its lowest slump leaving marketers aimless. While COVID has left a deep impression on both the people and economy, marketing around the world is going through a very apparent shift.

The Marketing Truth

In my experience with learning and executing marketing, its definition has always remained universal. Marketing is the transformation of internal power into external, to achieve the desired objectives and targeted position in the ecosystem for the organisation. All services of Marketing including digital marketing are different type of methods to achieve one goal.

From this point of viewing marketing, stronger internal power will deliver bigger possibilities are for the companies. Both ways need to be strong and united as a one around the strategic plan at a high level.

It is significantly important as, after Covid19, we as a marketer will have to see people with more humanity. The marketers will have to rewrite the definition of marketing. Our duty will change, it will influence the market. And the mantra for good marketing will transform to “treating the customer as a human being, not as a buyer”.

What has never changed?

With the rise of this pandemic and the isolation dragged in by the lockdown, everything evolved to digital. However, as we know, isolation does not change the structure and mechanism of how marketing does for businesses.

Human in Consumer: Empathy-based marketing is understanding the emotional needs and motivations of your customers and aligning your plan to meet them. The need of the hour is clear contact with a compassionate approach. Customers can see that opportunistic communication seeks only to sell. However, you could reach your audience in a meaningful way and create trust by using empathy to craft an insightful social media strategy or internal communication program.

Online Reflection:

Digital life is a real reflection of the offline world. It gives larger scope and faster access for companies to communicate with the outsiders. Technological advancements have been changing the way people consume content and hence, disrupting the traditional way the advertising industry functions. With the advent of the data-driven era of marketing, strategies can no longer be based just on intuition, they will have to be backed by data.

This demands a change in roles. For better productivity, we need to destroy the middle channels and unify sales and marketing. This brings the right composition for broadcasting and the ecosystem becomes one platform, everything is digitalised. Brands can use data to inform current and future developments. Brands must call for full participation by getting customers to act as part of the brand.

According to the report by Digital Advertising in India, 2020, the adoption of programmatic has evolved the digital media by offering market-ers increased flexibility, greater control over creative and smart optimization capabilities which result in increased ROI.

What has changed?

The market has changed and so has the consumer behaviour. Strategies like 360 degree and results-driven marketing aren’t the best practices for business after Covid-19.

Dual Fountain: The journey from attention to sales is too expensive and slow and it only gives room for broadcast marketing to generate sales. People always thought that marketing was isolated. However, all layers are cracking down post-COVID. It has become about the values of the society, the community and the customer.

Time Share: Time is the gravest challenge for marketing today. The attention span of the customer decreases by the day. Marketing has shifted from traffic to attention economics. And while people have less time and more choices, marketing has to be quick and effective. According to Zee media’s report “Impact of COVID on Media”, there is an 87% rise in the minutes spent on digital platforms daily. Average Time Spent has surged by 1.8X since the onset of COVID-19.

The need for Evolution in Influencer Marking: There is a need for consolidation in influencer marking. The right content drive to build closer online communities is the core value. It requires intellectual influencer marking instead of basic engagement such as posts and comments. The content, today, is generated by the user and the marketing world is no more about just influencers, it is about the KOLs. A recent Social Proof statistic states that content from influencers earns more than 8 times the engagement rate of content shared directly from brands, especially among younger millennials. 14% of consumers aged 18+ say celebrity endorsements have an effect on the things they buy.

Digital is where the customer is today. Although brands have successfully concentrated on the various sophisticated marketing strategies available to acquire consumers within the digital world, there is a gap in creating a consistent brand experience. Holding the customer at the heart, interactions must be developed through the entire buying process from the very first encounter. Digital humanity has become essential to bring more trust and culture.

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