There has never been a better time to be in business for yourself, whether you’ve got a traditional brick and mortar store or you’re producing high quality, luxury goods. Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the world is changing and businesses are adapting to stay afloat.
One such business is Fuelled By Coffee, an online marketing agency specialising in e-commerce, web management, and social media marketing for global brands such as Hugo Boss, Michael Kors, and Montblanc.
We spoke to CEO Anand Koli about what entrepreneur and influencers can learn from the pandemic, the state of digital marketing, and the future of marketing in general.
1. How did your business change during the pandemic?
One of the biggest changes for us has been the shift to more online marketing and e-commerce. We started off the year before the pandemic in traditional inbound marketing and gained thousands of new customers and signed up hundreds of new clients in the first quarter of 2020. Now, as businesses slowly open up and people start to feel more comfortable going online, our focus has shifted to marketing and growing our e-commerce business.
This is all thanks to the pandemic. Businesses that could easily have functioned from home are now limited to contacting customers directly through email and online chat platforms. Thanks to the lack of face-to-face interaction, businesses have had to re-think the way they do business, and in many cases, completely re-brand.
2. How does your business specialise in digital marketing?
We’re specialists in digital marketing, web management, and social media for brands in the luxury goods, travel, and technology industries. Thanks to the growing reliance on digital marketing and technology in general, many businesses have had to adapt to ensure they can continue to provide their customers with the best possible experience.
We work with our clients to devise online marketing campaigns that are tailored to their specific product or service, and to ensure that their digital marketing strategy continues to evolve as technologies and platforms change.
3. What was your business model before the pandemic and what is it now?
Before the pandemic, our business model was to get paid per sale or per implementation of a marketing campaign. Now, our model is to get paid per action, such as a click, a purchase, or an engagement on social media. Thanks to the Covid restrictions, many of our existing clients have been able to operate in a much more sustainable way, limiting their marketing budgets and taking advantage of the time off to develop new products and re-brand.
4. How does your marketing spend change post-pandemic?
Since our business model is based on marketing revenues, our spending needs to reflect this. However, due to lower marketing budgets, we’ve had to become more efficient and creative with regards to how we spend our money. For example, we’ve shifted from adverts to sponsored posts and engaged content to attract and retain customers. And since we don’t have the huge spending budgets that most businesses have, we’ve had to become more innovative with regards to how we source costs. Instead of paying big bucks for expensive ads, we rely on businesses that provide us with highly targeted leads, which we then convert into customers for our clients. Our social media campaigns see us working with influential Instagrammers to grow our client base and online store. This means we have to be more strategic with our approach, measuring results and constantly reviewing our performance in order to remain effective.
Many businesses are unable to spend heavily on marketing due to the financial burden imposed by Covid-19. As a result, it’s the small and medium-sized businesses that are being affected, with marketing budgets shrinking by 12% across the board.
5. Do you see any change in consumer behaviour due to the pandemic?
Yes, definitely. Before the pandemic, consumers would often visit a business’ website, make a purchase, and then get in touch via email or phone to complain about a bad experience, or to make an order. Now, with social distancing, and the fear of getting sick, people are operating on purely visual bases, trusting that a product is safe to use before they consume it. This means businesses need to adapt and ensure they provide excellent quality at all times, and can withstand the scrutiny of a customer who might have previous experience with the company.
Thanks to the pandemic, we’ve seen a huge rise in the usage of private labelling. Labels offer consumers the opportunity to purchase products that they normally wouldn’t be able to access, or that would be too expensive for them to individually purchase. For example, many independent fashion retailers offer products from luxury brands such as Paul Smith and Michael Kors, as well as designer-label products for celebrities and royalty. Private labelling allows consumers to spend money that they normally wouldn’t have when purchasing luxury goods, and it provides businesses with a larger slice of the market.
6. How is your business impacted by the changing environment?
We’re fortunate that our existing customers are still willing to work with us during these challenging times, and we’ve been able to adapt our approach accordingly, prioritising their needs and requirements. Many of our customers are very digital savvy and have moved to online spaces to find the products they love and need. As a result, our business has shifted to heavily rely on digital marketing and social media to drive traffic to our website, where we then convert this traffic into paying customers.
We see this time as a great opportunity to build our e-commerce store, gaining brand recognition and engaging with potential customers. With more people working from home and the downturn, people are looking for ways to make money online, and we want to be a part of that opportunity.