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Nielsen Webinar offers solutions on how businesses can navigate Covid-19 period

An average global consumer is today displaying different attitude to consumption and purchase pattern as a result of Covid-19 pandemic which has also upended various sectors. This is largely informed by the pandemic implications on businesses and wallet and the need for consumers to stay safe by staying at home.

It is therefore important for consumer companies to understand these shifts in different product and services categories to enable their distribution planning, segment targeting and effective marketing strategies. This understanding informed the Nielsen recent Webinar. Nielsen is a global provider of consumer research and analysis

Speaking during the Webinar, Ailsa Wingfield, Executive Director, Global Intelligence and Thought Leadership, Nielsen Global Markets, who spoke on what the future horizons look like and how companies can navigate forward based on the changing scenarios said that companies must therefore re-consider and plan on how to solve and adapt to future dynamic conditions propped by Covid-19.

She said at the Webinar entitled ‘Life beyond Covid-19: Rebound, Reboot and Re-invent’ that conditions and consumer behaviours require different business strategies. For economies to rebound, reboot or reinvent, it depends on the severity of the effect of the pandemic and the strategies applied by business managers and the government.

Read also: Once reviled, IMF could become Africa’s best friend in time of covid-19

She said partial impact of the pandemic on certain economies will enable economic rebound, while exacerbated consequence will cause economies to reboot and intense shocks will cause reinvention in economies affected.

For countries to move, government needs to assist with a multi-dimensional and complex strategies and they need to balance and assume economic activity with the need to contain the virus and safe lives.

Also speaking during the conference, Ged Nooy, managing director of Nielsen Nigeria agreed that the pandemic has come with some disruptions for industries and businesses. It equally came with challenges and opportunities, he said.

Covid-19 impacts countries around the world as consumers have been forced to change their behaviours.

For the pandemic, there are unlikely to be any major solutions in the short term, so what next for businesses and consumers.

“As FMCG manufacturers and retailers reflect, rebuild and reconsider the orientation of their businesses and brands for the future, they will need to predicate their ecosystems and strategies upon a deep understanding of what economies and consumers have endured and how they will emerge”, Nooy further said.

According to Nooy, the market research company has looked at emerging scenarios that spans for the next 18 months. These are accelerated conditions where the pandemic continues to spread which requires accelerated response; mixed environment where the virus becomes manageable and certain conditions are lifted to rebuild the economy; where the virus naturally dies out and fourthly where vaccines are found. It is not sure whether the last factor is likely in the short term.

He predicted that there will be conditions and innovations based on the mixed scenarios as consumers are increasingly concerned about the virus and catching it with businesses and organisations readjusting as consumers attitude change.

Nielsen said as a consumer research company, it can help organisations understand the shifts and plan their marketing strategies as consumer preferences have been altered.

The Webinar revealed that 75% of Nigerians were very concerned about their families while 47% believe that the pandemic will intensify before being controlled.

Due to the pandemic, Nielsen research showed that more Nigerians, 57% are eating at home and less number of Nigerians is visiting malls and less number of Nigerians are using public transport systems.

According to Nielsen, more shopping habits will become entrenched as 70% of Nigerians reduced shopping in supermarkets and 29% increased online shopping for foods.

Nielsen advised economies in rebound stage to reinstate marketing investment, adapt messaging / tone relevance to altered circumstances and engage where audiences have migrated. For brands in rebooting economy stage, they need to repair relationships based on purpose and meaning, hone communication around reassurance and caring and brands in reinvent state, need to apologise and reposition to win back disillusioned consumers and Communicate changes / improvements in conduct.

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