In regards to commerce, COVID-19 has thus created less new topics, but rather a sharpened awareness of the old ones says Germany's Chief Operating Officer Ingo Marx.
Everything will be the same as before. And that's good. The list of predictions is getting longer every day, and yet they are all based on an isolated snapshot.
What is pleasing is entire industries have made a quantum leap in digitization overnight. ‘New Work’ is no longer a Berlin buzz word but lived reality. Even the last German offline household now knows how to order online. The local retail trade with regional products and our health care system have never been talked about so much. And the supposedly new collective consciousness manifests itself in 9 o'clap sessions for our medical heroes, which admittedly feels good at first sight.
Let's take a look at marketing: the nation's strategists in particular are flooding the system with predictions on the "Opportunities in the Corona Crisis”, or promising considerations of what ‘new trends’ the crisis will produce. A little less would be more here. After all, the much-criticized reform backlog in German industry and commerce will wait patiently for us even after the crisis is over. At its core, it is still about digital transformation. Not with the aim of driving the entire corporate and retail landscape into eCommerce, but to create a great brand, service and product experience across all touch points. This requires a strong focus and consistent orientation towards the consumer.
In the past, customer centricity was already a regularly recurring term in agency and board presentations, but the implementation of such concepts failed because of the lived company and agency reality. This is not only due to the conceptual ability of those involved to develop customer-centric approaches, but also to the costs of implementation: it requires high investments and the establishment and expansion of technical infrastructures. A great challenge and no surprise that the pandemic won’t last long enough to resolve this issue.
On the contrary: In regard to commerce, COVID-19 has thus created less new topics, but rather a sharpened awareness of the old ones. This alone is a good thing, as we are emerging from the crisis with a stronger focus today, we also have the knowledge that the economy will pick up again.
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