As we discussed in Part I, we are experiencing a paradigm shift for brands and businesses that are finding that digital transformation is affecting all aspects of life
No one wants to go to the doctor, for instance, but at some point, we will have to go. Fortunately, doctors have pre-empted health insurance regulations by offering online visits, leading to a new trend and paradigm shift. Health insurance companies have accepted that telemedicine is good business. After an efficient video consultation, who wants to sit in a crowded waiting room? The ability to talk virtually with patients will not replace the one-on-one appointment.
Artists, psychologists, lawyers, decorators, actors, teachers, and a wide universe of professionals are seeing their audiences expand thanks to the massive consumer acceptance of new digital channels. The array of offers range from online classes, to surprising your partner with a Thai massage, to party entertainers performing on Zoom. We see this across all sectors and locations. Coach Rodrigo Garduño, who stands out with the success of his R54 platform, is getting more than 25,000 people in full quarantine mode to train, do gymnastics, and be inspired together through Instagram.
Logistics and means-of-payment firms like Novapayment, Mercado Pago, PayPal, Zelle, CashApp, Stripe, or Ualá, are key allies to accelerate the processes of digital conversion. While “free” shipping has become the norm, and digital transactions travel at the speed of a click, the cost of the missed opportunity for those who have not updated their models yet has already become clear. Governments, which have pushed society so hard to digitize in order to improve tax collection, are other major sectors benefiting from the current digital boom.
Predicting the present
We are using technologies that have been available for some time, but the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing us to adopt them en masse and immediately. There is no turning back; the technology accelerator will stay. A study conducted in Spain by Good Rebels, in collaboration with the local marketing association, shows that most of the companies surveyed believe that after the crisis the communication of the brand purpose will be strengthened (84%), new lines of product innovation will be explored (72%), new digital awareness channels will be discovered, investment in loyalty programs will be strengthened (69%) and aggressive recruitment strategies will be launched (55%). These trends are likely to get replicated in most markets.
The time “earned” during this period of solitary confinement due to virtual experiences have given rise to another phenomenon: more people have downloaded applications related to spiritual growth such as mindfulness and meditation and this has led to the proliferation of meeting spaces and online experiences. This phenomenon of “virtual spirituality” has been enhanced by the decline of household incomes and changes in routines which have pushed people of all ages to seek ways of coping with their new reality.
The transition process that we are going through until it is safe to socialize again will be a long and rough road. Those companies and brands that decide to adapt will have to embrace new technologies and become creative in their business models approach. This will demand a comprehensive and holistic revision of the business and its culture. Only those who dare embrace the challenge of taking on today’s reality, will survive and emerge triumphant into the post-pandemic world.
[Claudia Gioia and Silvina Rodriguez Picaro collaborated on this article.]