Right at the start of the global pandemic, the supply chain for devices, such as 4G routers, was affected. Factories in China had closed down and for a while devices manufactured there were in short supply.
Conferences were cancelled
Mobile World Congress was cancelled, Margin in Voice and Data went online and Channel Live was moved to January 2021. Opportunities to collaborate and partner were lost, as well as companies being out of pocket.
Fixed Line Services
Installation of fixed line services stalled, and some companies reported a decline in sales, as end users looked for an alternative solution.
The need for fast, reliable internet connectivity increased dramatically, with parents working from home and kids being home-schooled. Many households turned to online shopping and invested in online entertainment such as Netflix and Disney+. Although the need for faster internet connectivity was evident, fear of 5G increased, with online scare campaigns linking COVID-19 to 5G masts.
Changes in behaviour
As customers went online, businesses changed their approach, many offering buy-online options, supported by digital marketing campaigns. Messaging changed to reflect the mood of the nation. Companies started to empathise more and respond with positive messaging. Supporting the NHS and key workers became part of many advertising campaigns. As events were cancelled, so were the sponsorships and alternative ways to engage with consumers were developed. With much more time being spent on social networks across the age groups, new digital campaigns were rolled out.
What can we learn from this?
We need to be aware of the changing needs of our customers, as businesses implement return-to-work strategies. It may not be possible for all staff to return to offices, due to social distancing measures so companies may need help managing their IT and Telecoms in a much more flexible way. With so many companies being influenced by social media, do we need to consider our marketing strategies to attract new customers? With so many companies looking to buy online do we need to consider the way in which our customers are now buying services? Do we need to review what we sell and how we sell it? With social distancing here for a while do we need to re-consider the way we collaborate and partner with others to ensure innovation is not stifled?