COVID-19: The Catalyst of Digital Marketing

By Lee Zhao Hui (BAC Apprentice)


COVID-19, one of the most dangerous viruses in thousands of years, has affected the entire world. Spreading at such a high pace, it is difficult to predict when it will end. The impact of the pandemic has led to different social changes, and profoundly altered how we live. Indirectly, the COVID-19 pandemic accompanied by the increased usage and popularity of the internet in recent years, has also significantly changed fundamental marketing theories.  

Marketing includes strategy, theory, and methodology. The COVID-19 pandemic, has forced previous ideologies and marketing goals to be reassessed. In the face of the COVID-19 crisis, fundamental changes in consumer behaviour, supply chains and routes to market are knocking off the balance of businesses. Readjusting business models to be adaptive to these changes is important.  

In recent years, the era of internet, technology and social media has risen. It is an integral part of our life for different purposes, including work, entertainment and purchasing products. Due to COVID-19, people all over the world were staying at home but this did not mean entirely. Many people resorted to spending most of their time online. As of January 2021, there were 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide, which is 59.5% of the global population. Currently, business initiatives including advertisement, public security campaigns and social media campaigns are mostly organised virtually on different platforms including Skype and Zoom. This circumstance shows the disruption caused by COVID-19 in the marketing environment, and indirectly this has become the catalyst that helped in popularising digital marketing. The way businesses work has changed because the global supply chain has become highly fragmented and technology now is used to replace personal communication.  

The Global Development Report on Digital Dividends from World Bank in 2016 states clearly that digitalisation is the current major trend in the business world. It can give new value to the business by reconfiguring services and establishing friendly relationship between suppliers and customers. If you are still thinking of why you should choose digital marketing, you are falling behind. To increase the competitiveness of your business, you must watch what your competitors do, and opt to do better. Many businesses have already taken to digital marketing, for instance, transitioning to social media to engage and connect with customers. Furthermore, social media also works by helping the growth of online businesses. For example, Instagram has the ‘support small businesses’ sticker, which allows online businesses to get more exposure.  

One advantage of digital marketing is the ability to achieve higher level customer engagement. Traditional marketing does not encourage direct interaction with customers. If your target audience is instantly connected to your business through various digital marketing channels, digital branding can easily build better and long-lasting relationships with customers, indirectly improving the performance of your business. 

Secondly, when it comes to spending money on marketing strategy, the returns will indicate how successful the strategy is. Undoubtedly digital marketing leads to a better return on investment because it is always cheaper to conduct marketing plans and strategies online. In short, digital marketing allows businesspeople to spend less while gaining more.  

Digital marketing is valuable to business growth in today’s world, and it is a necessity for businesses to master all the skills and components of digital marketing 

With initiatives such as Project DEEP (Digital Enterprise & Employee Programme), built for Malaysians, to connect enterprises and employees into the modern digital era, you will be able to upgrade yourselves to meet the latest industry standards. There are many courses offered on this platform, including Professional Certificate in Digital Marketing, Digital Sales, Digital Office Administration etc. 

Trust me, if you attend any of the courses, the benefits will keep assisting you in terms of digital marketing for the rest of your life. Wait not to upskill and reskill yourself.