Going digital: Greater emphasis on online marketing needed in midst of COVID-19 disruptions – Appier

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Greater emphasis on online marketing needed in midst of COVID-19 disruptions – Appier

Related tags COVID-19

The uncertainty caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is highlighting the importance of digital marketing for cosmetic companies.

Appier is an artificial intelligence start-up that develops AI-powered solutions primarily for marketing for businesses looking to maximise their ‘customer lifetime value’.

The company currently represents several beauty and personal care brands. Most recently, it partnered with John Masters Organics in Japan to introduce AIQUA, a customer engagement platform to help the brand improve its customer experience.

Magic Tu, senior vice president of Appier told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​ that the fallout of the pandemic has forced companies to revaluate its online efforts.

“The virus situation has encouraged people that were lagging behind in terms of internet presence to increase their digital footprint,” ​said Tu.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the firm has observed cosmetic companies relying more on their digital platforms to connect with their consumers.

Tu highlighted that in the current climate, people are spending more online, creating opportunities for companies to engage with their consumers online.

“We can’t deny that COVID-19 is big news. It makes sense that many people are talking about it, going online to find out more, and buying products to help protect themselves. This has presented a unique opportunity for brands in sectors such as healthcare, wellness, and medical products to drive more conversions,”​ said Tu.

Tu elaborated that he has observed two ways in which personal care brands are communicating with the public via digital media.

“The first is conducting digital outreach to consumers around products that can help with personal sanitisation. The other is leveraging digital channels to share how brands are helping their communities and broader society during this period.”

An example of this is the LVMH Group announcing they were converting its perfume manufacturing to produce hand sanitisers to aid in this crisis.

With all this uncertainty, Tu highlighted that AI-based platforms can offer help navigating today’s uncharted waters.

For example, brands can use AI to identify customers who are concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic and deliver targeted content around the right products.

However, companies must be cautious not to appear opportunistic.

“Overall, the most important thing brands can do is show their customers that they are here to support and help them during this time, rather than appearing overly focused on sales,”​ said Tu.

He added: “Any solution that beauty and personal care brands use during this period – or at any time – should be able to help them deliver the best possible user experience and reach the largest number of relevant customers.”

Tu emphasised that companies have to think long-term in terms of their COVID-19 strategies.

“Brands can certainly expand their multichannel online strategies, but the focus should be on providing a good user experience of their products and services during this time, so that customers are more likely to stay engaged even after the COVID-19 situation.”

Moving forward, Tu believes the COVID-19 will result in long-term changes in the digital landscape.

For instance, he foresees a demographic that have newly migrated online due to the circumstances of COVID-19.

“People who were not big internet users are likely to begin to rely more heavily on digital services, and brands can find ways to connect with this new group of potential customers.”

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