Social Media UtilizationConsidering the new marketing trends in the country, Since Sri Lanka is practicing social distance respecting to the behavior recommended by WHO, the digital channels and the social media have received a huge boost. People are trying to find new ways to stay in touch with their relations and friends spending more time on social media including Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber, YouTube, etc. According to the analysts only in Sri Lankan Facebook’s messaging apps including WhatsApp, Instagram experienced 50% suddenly increases in usage. The number of TikTok users has become increased by 27% by the end of February. Viber has spiked massively in Viber communities of Sri Lankan showing growth by whopping 10-fold during March 2020. Sri Lankans are indeed using social media and digital channels to make themselves comfortable with the newly adopted rules in the country under curfews, which were put up on practice to reduce collective behavior. In this period of social distance, to cut off the boredom, to bring their minds out from the epidemic or just to make themselves engage in something productive, people use digital channels and social media and messaging apps increasing the number of users. Considering the digital channels, Google trend analyses of Sri Lanka indicate that the rate of using Netflix has gone up, showing the preference of Sri Lankans to get comfortable with the online streaming services. Online gaming sites also show a massive increase in the rate of users especially for the games run through Facebook. And also since the current rules and behavior of the country always change with the updated count of deaths and tested positive patients of COVID-19 inside Sri Lanka, people are more preferred to stay in touch with NEWS sites relying more on the online news sources.
Brands vs CustomersThe trends of consumer behavior are changing rapidly giving priority to the essentials of living including food and medicines. Since traveling inside the country and across the borders have become limited up to a considerable extent, spending on traveling and dining – out has been reduced in massive amounts. But the demand for online shopping and delivery services has gone up since it’s prohibited for the citizens to walk for groceries under the curfews periods. It’s an obvious fact that marketers living in this era must be aware of these rapidly changing trends of digital marketing so that they can adjust their strategies to meet the demands. For instance, due to the increased rate of users for social media, digital channels, and gaming sites under COVID 19 pandemic, online marketing has become the most preferred trend of marketing since a massive crowd can be targeted directly through Facebook, YouTube, Netflix, etc. Due to the social distancing practiced in the country, there may be some possible changes in the behavior of the Sri Lankans as predicted by the economic experts which will directly impact the existence of brands and marketing. The citizens in Sri Lanka are advised to use messaging apps mostly WhatsApp to order medicines and also food directly from the shops and pharmacies, therefore, the rates of users for these online apps are so be increased even more including the elderly citizens. As a result of increased online activities, including messaging apps, online streaming, and online games, and increased internet data consumption is likely to occur. Visible rice of E-Commerce will be seen as online businesses will be benefited and practiced more with the help of digital marketing. Since traveling has become limited, people will spend more time with families and closer relatives finding ways to entertain themselves maintaining the social distance. Employers will come up with easier methods to work staying at homes and the Education System in Sri Lanka will adopt conduct online lessons, lectures, and examinations for both school and university students. Since the digital connectivity is to be increased to a massive extent, the analytics have predicted that average spending of hours of a person per day on special media will mark 4 hours by 2020 which indicated just 2.5 hours in 2019.
Considering the above mentioned newly growing trends of Sri Lankans under the outbreak of COVID 19, it’s more possible to witness a massive change of digital technology for marketing, communication, and entertainment in Sri Lanka in the upcoming future. To exist the brands will have to follow more innovative methods without being opportunistic visibly. Since the Sri Lankan citizens need aids for living essentials under the COVID 19 Epidemic, promoting the brands through acts of charity kindness will inspire the customers to stay in touch with the brands.
Increase the spending on Digital Marketing and on Result Driven Digital Campaigns would help more for the brands be promoted among the crowd. And also the marketers of the brand should attempt for experiments through different platforms without being limited to a single method of marketing. Indeed, each brand should maintain an E-Commerce model to exist among other businesses since the competition is to become high as the people are more likely to use online services for every single thing during this era. Since Sri Lanka is going through a massive change in spending patterns, brands must anticipate and try to claim for themselves through digital marketing, innovation, and re-positioning to be survived in the prevailing situation in the country under the COVID 19 pandemic.