Coronavirus: Your online presence is now more important than ever

COVID-19 has brought about some drastic changes to the way we do business. One of the most noteworthy being brought about by “social distancing”. Physical contact, face to face meetings and group presentations are now limited or completely restricted.

By Tanja Lategan, CEO, Enlight Strategic

Discovery recently released a statement encouraging their clients to use their online tools instead, in order to take pressure off their call centre while their employees are working from home. Many business will have to follow suit, and rely on their online platforms to continue supporting their clients and customers during this time. 

As more people will rely on digital technology to communicate, source information and transact, your online presence will become critically important and continue to perform a key role for your business in the new post COVID-19 world.

The national lock down in South Africa has forced many businesses to close their doors for 21 days with a possible extension looming, while others have slowed operations in line with a lower demand during this time.

While most businesses and people currently have some spare time on their hands, we must try to use this time productively and get to the things that have always taken a back seat.

Yes, I am talking about company websites that haven’t been updated for years and social media accounts that have been created but sitting dormant, as well as that e-commerce strategy that gets shelved whenever physical demands are more pressing.

Businesses should use this time to relook at their digital strategies and ensure that they are still relevant. It is now more important than ever before for businesses to prioritise this. A new era has dawned and digital operations are here to stay.

Want to get started?

Here are 5 basic things that need your attention:

  1. Content: Re-evaluate the content on your digital platforms. Does it accurately reflect your products, brand’s personality and unique value proposition?
  • Information Architecture:  Ensure that the order in which information is displayed on your digital platforms is allowing users to find what they need easily and that every end goal requires no more than 3 clicks to be achieved.
  • User Experience (UX). Reconsider your user personas – are they still relevant? Are the user journeys catering to each of these user categories?
  • Customer Experience (CX) Rethink the customer journey. If your physical business is being affected, expand capacity for self-service online and digital sales. 
  • Enable remote experiences with a personal touch. Recorded video content, remote conferences, online learning. Not every product or service is 100% suited to self-service delivery. Sometimes the human touch makes all the difference to customers.

The decisions you make today will shape your business for years to come.

If you require more assistance with your online presence and platforms please don’t hesitate to contact Enlight Strategic on or +27 72 744 7993.

Google’s new cookie policy is big, but savvy marketers can still thrive

Earlier this month, Google made sweeping changes to its Chrome browser, which could dramatically change the way online marketers gather customer data. Essentially, the update places strict limitations on third-party cookies with a view to eliminating them entirely by 2022. 

By Tanja Lategan, CEO, Enlight Strategic 

Marketers around the globe are railing against the change and pundits are suggesting it could see a massive shift to alternative browsers, such as Firefox, as the changes may render some websites unusable. 

Any resistance to change, however, is a little like screaming at the ocean in the hopes that it will stop being wet. 

Marketers should instead focus on ensuring that they have everything in place to take ownership of their customer data. It’s also critical that organisations start collecting this data now in order to build up historical databases before the three-year period has lapsed. 

Understanding cookies

In order to understand how big a change this really is, it’s important to remind ourselves how big a role cookies play in digital marketing. 

For the uninitiated, cookies are essentially pieces of text placed by websites on the hard drives of people visiting those websites. In doing so, they allow marketers to track which websites consumers have visited. As a result, they’ve formed the backbone of programmatic advertising, remarketing and ad targeting.

But they’ve also become controversial in the wake of Brexit and the 2016 US election, where they were used to build profiles of potential voters and target them accordingly. 

There is, therefore, more pressure to give users control over their own data, or at least be seen to be curbing the practices which gave rise to those issues. 

Google isn’t the first company to restrict cookies – Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox have done so for some time. Google’s dominance of the browser market (Chrome accounts for 68% of desktop and 40% of mobile browser traffic) means that it doing so has a much greater impact. 

Is your business ready for transformation? Take our 5-minute Digital Maturity Assessment to find out and get a FREE report.

The future of marketing 

For anyone heavily invested in the current system, Google’s decision to ditch cookies can feel catastrophic. Certainly some marketing tech companies  took a hit in the wake of the news. 

But even if circumstances had been different, chances are marketers would’ve had to move on from cookies anyway. They are a legacy technology from a time when most people’s interaction with the internet was via the desktop-based web.   

Thanks to the near ubiquity of the smartphone, that world has been disappearing for some time now.  And, with the rise of connected TVs, smart speakers, and other technologies will make third-party cookies increasingly irrelevant. 

Savvy marketers have been preparing for that change for some time and are investing in new identification technologies. 

Groups of marketing technologists and digital publishers, for example, are working on Shared ID solutions which allow for a greater degree of privacy on the user side without compromising on the ability to provide relevant, targeted advertising to those who consent to it. 

Adapt and enhance 

That said, it’s important that marketers who currently rely on the third-party cookie ecosystem remember that they do have time to adapt. What they cannot afford to do is pretend that everything will be fine if the status quo is maintained. 

Even those who are ahead of the curve right now will have to adapt again in the future. This is the nature of marketing in a constantly-changing digital world. 

While that can sometimes feel intimidating, there is no reason for a marketer with the right partnerships in place to be overwhelmed and swept aside by change. 

Make sure that you have the right tools and technology in place to own your data starting today. Not sure where to start? Speak to a consulting partner like Enlight Strategic to future proof your business. 

Is your business ready for transformation? Take our 5-minute Digital Maturity Assessment to find out and get a FREE report.

Tanja is the CEO and co-founder of Enlight Strategic. She has more than a decade’s worth of experience as a senior executive in the digital publishing and agency space and is passionate about the role technology can play in transforming businesses.