Shalini Gupta

Test of Resilience and Communication

Written by: Shalini Gupta
About the author: Innovative Product and Marketing Evangelist│Ex-VP Brand Head Inox, Lokmat│Ex-CMO Reliance Broadcast | Regional PR & Brand Head – Bharti Airtel


An article drawing focus on changes induced by this pandemicnEW NORMAL

Most of us civilians have grown up hearing stories of bravery while our soldiers have braved the enemy facing them at the front. This pandemic has probably shown us at every step how it is fighting a battle at our doorstep, in our locality, protecting our loved ones and for the 1st time probably gave a sense what really is the experience of our soldiers at the front.   

Today, we have started living with the fear of the uncertain; as if the enemy is lurking outside the door, suddenly health has become of prime importance and we are waking up with efforts to be ready, armed and prepared.  Perhaps that is one of the biggest take outs of this situation which has shown us that we are capable of looking after ourselves, we can tide over this and most importantly we can face all challenges thrown to us unknowingly.

We have learnt to be self-reliant and try and do everything or learn from the start. Yes time to restart as I fondly say as per the popular song of the movie -The Sound of Music – let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start!

At this juncture, it is critical to watch out for few things especially in Marketing and PR 

Watch out for the Neo Consumer

Consumer world is undergoing a transformation. The world of professionals unfolding into the world of entrepreneurs; parents and kids are opening up to online education and the explosive growth of the internet and use of social media is enabling creative outpouring of consumerist expression. The human mind needs a diversion and perhaps that is where learning has a role to play to refocus on our strengths and core areas. 

In the world of advertising, this pandemic has led to emergence of the biggest dichotomy – while one industry faces tremendous hardships and business downturn, few others have emerged successful. While multiplex, aviation, hospitality, media have been impacted, on the other hand media as TV, digital, OTT have shown tremendous increase of viewership during these times. Content makers have tried with newer content, consumers have embraced the new online world very easily and thus emerged more resilient.

News genre on TV witnessed a 43% rise in viewership in H1 2020, as per BARC-Neilson report. The report also highlighted that GEC and movies viewership grew by 2% and 19%, respectively in the full day viewership.

Very interestingly as per RAM (Radio Advertising Report) June’20  findings reveal traditional sectors as banking, insurance companies both life and health, have continuously advertised even in these trying times. New categories as sanitisers, education, online facilities have emerged as top advertisers as per Adex report by TAM in June over April 2020. Similarly while people are still reeling under the fear of touch, spending on home delivery, sportswear, food, personal growth and hygiene continue to dominate the online delivery world

Echoing the Consumer Story – Enter the Masked World

Whatever the consumers are going through is what the external world is all about, hence echoing the sentiments of consumers, their mental agony, the work from home scheduling – all of this needs to be addressed. Re-building old ties, doing business without physical meetings, creating new propositions are calling for empathy, transformative thoughts and re-modelling of the business. It is important to market a few things and as required. Brands are connecting with customers interestingly or some are doing launches online using influencers and opinion makers. OTT has shown a tremendous growth and fast movers here have thrown up interesting customer analytics on trends and behaviours around content. A new media of advertising is through the OTT world post the television and digital. Needless to say, a lot of SMEs have resorted to quick easier ways of regaining their business loss by manufacturing various kinds of masks.


Top few takeout

  1. Digital continues, storytelling, SEO, constant talking to customers, forming your own tribe, own community, social media marketing and use of influencers can compliment the consumer mood.

  2. PR & Social Media has to marry and bifurcation of the two is unthinkable. New impactful campaigns can be built by successfully blending PR and social media using digital marketing tools. 
  3. Agility and devising newer creative ways of doing business is futuristic 
  4. Roles reversals, restructuring, new profiles and functions are emerging which will through up newer opportunities

Today we are living in uncertainties when business underwent a massive change, life is threatened and fear is all around. However at the same time it is time to bounce back, embrace the new. And digital is the way to go which is why learning around digital is the new trend and everyone is geared to learn this new phenomenon and this hunger is good for a society to evolve and develop. 

With this context of braving the odds and a new world, comes the strength to overcome all challenges, build resilience and stand together embracing a world of collaboration, communication and a firm self-belief to withstand this. And together we will!

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