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From high touch to high tech: Service marketing beyond the pandemic

/ 05:30 AM April 29, 2022

As restrictions on mobility have loosened in the past two months, we are seeing more people moving around—in malls, shops and restaurants. However, most are still working from home and online schooling prevails, as companies and schools are still cautious of another possible surge of COVID19.

We asked Maricel Gatchalian-Badilla, our resource person on marketing, for some of her insights on the marketing opportunities this hybrid reality could bring.

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Here are her thoughts:

Indeed there are opportunities that we can maximize moving forward, considering this hybrid setup we face, with some activities remaining virtual. These are:

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(1) pent-up demand from the “revenge” market segment;

(2) digital sales strategies to move browsers into bookers; and

(3) the availability of multiple touch points to encourage repeat purchase.

First, the revenge market is real and establishments which can service this pent-up demand are going to recover fast from the losses absorbed during the pandemic. For example, destinations that are ready to accommodate tourists who are excited to finally be able to travel will benefit from this market. Boracay has exceeded its carrying capacity during the Holy Week, which is proof that people are traveling again.

Second, the digital revolution is giving small business players who are digitally savvy the opportunity to be seen in a very crowded marketplace. Online purchases have grown 10 times more than prepandemic figures. With the proliferation of mobile selling apps, training and teleconferencing platforms, small businesses are able to sell their products and services to a wider market.

Lastly, the availability of multiple ways by which service providers can stay in touch with their customers encourage repeat purchase and loyalty. The presence of email, social media marketing, telemarketing and websites help establish visibility and constant communication with customers. Hotels send email messages for feedback after one’s stay, inviting you to subscribe to their newsletter or loyalty program. This way, they can frequently be in your inbox and get information on their latest product and promotional offerings.

The pandemic has taught us new ways of doing things—primarily innovating through technology. Moving forward postpandemic, these can be used to improve the way we do things in the new and better normal.

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Badilla will facilitate a virtual workshop titled “Service Marketing: From High Touch to High Tech” on May 26-27. The course will be beneficial to entrepreneurs, marketing and sales professionals from the tourism and hospitality industry, education and other service sectors.

For more information, you may write to [email protected], or send an SMS to these numbers: 0919-3428667 and 0998-9641731.

For your other online learning needs, Inquirer Academy could assist you in designing and facilitating a virtual workshop, a webinar, or a self-paced online course for your organization.

The author is the executive director of the Inquirer Academy.

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TAGS: Maricel Gatchalian-Badilla, marketing opportunities, pandemic, Service Marketing
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