Fears over the spread of coronavirus have prompted a record plunge in the US stock market, as analysts warned the outbreak could wreak economic havoc on a scale not seen since the 2008 financial crisis.
The Dow Jones industrial average suffered its worst one-day fall – 1,190 points – losing 4.4%, as fears of a global pandemic hit investor confidence. The FTSE 100 slumped by 3.5%, extending a losing streak that puts the blue-chip share index on course for its worst week since the euro zone debt crisis in 2011. Thursday’s slump in financial markets came as countries stepped up efforts to contain the virus by banning travel, closing schools and postponing major sporting events and business conferences.
A flurry of big names joined the lengthening list of companies reporting a serious impact on their finances and warning of further pain ahead if the outbreak’s progress cannot be halted soon.
- Microsoft, PayPal and Standard Chartered all forecast disappointing profits.
- Facebook cancelled its annual developer conference in California where the company usually unveils new products to thousands of software engineers and entrepreneurs.
- Goldman Sachs warned coronavirus could wipe out profit growth at US companies in 2020.
- Aston Martin predicted falling sales and warned of disruption to its supply chain.
- Property firms pulled out of the industry’s annual Mipim conference, due to take place in Cannes next month.
- Budweiser beer owner ABInBev reported a $170m hit to profits.
- Advertising firm WPP quarantined staff returning from Asian countries.
- Cosmetics firm L’Oréal banned travel for its 86,000 staff.
- Shoemaker Crocs said Asian disruption would cut its revenues by up to $30m.
Some of the world’s best-known brands such as Apple, McDonalds and Starbucks have already counted the cost of the outbreak, while entire industries such as tourism, aviation and the automotive sector are struggling to cope with disruption.
Analysts are now warning that the combined effect of the virus and measures put in place to prevent its spread could weigh heavily on the global economy.
According to the consultancy Capital Economics, the outbreak turning into a full-blown international pandemic would trigger severe upheaval for world trade, markets and currencies on a par with the financial crisis, when global GDP fell by 0.5%. The Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered, which is listed in London, said it would miss its financial targets this year but it was too early to predict the total cost of the coronavirus outbreak. Many major banks could come under severe pressure if companies struggle to repay loans at a time when debt levels have surged beyond the previous peak seen before the financial crisis, hitting a record level of $188tn.
All these outrages the business community & an alarming state to manage anyhow the running business operations & the only way left to greet new opportunities of new business coverage is via Digital Marketing.
The massive penetration of digital technology is pushing communications to an advanced level, resulting in the creation of virtuous data systems to transform the way we make, sell and buy. The Internet fast emerged from a modest research network to a robust commercial infrastructure with an exponentially growing number of user base. Consequently, novel business functionalities such as E-Commerce and Digital Marketing are redefining the way businesses reach and interact with customers.
The emergence of mobile technology and the growing accessibility and affordability of Internet-based devices such as tablet-PCs and smartphones with huge storage capacities, fast computing capabilities and data transmission speeds is further pushing the popularity of this concept.
Impact on businesses
Digital Marketing allows businesses to reinvent their marketing strategies to better connect with target customers and to stay relevant in the customer’s perspective. In the process, businesses leverage the technology-enabled tools such as emails, blogs and social media to expand the reach of their offerings.
It is penetrating deeper into the worldwide market, driven largely by innovations such as the Internet of Things (IoT), extensive data integration and Big Data technologies. Businesses now realize the importance of customer behaviour information and usage data to draft new marketing strategies. Furthermore, this has reinvented the advertising approaches to providing more focused and accurate messages to customers.
It provides considerable cost benefits to businesses in terms of affordability. Unlike the conventional marketing media such as a print or television, using digital media such as social media or an email can convey the message to a greater number of audiences at just a fraction of the cost. Another significant advantage of it is the ease of tracking and monitoring results through customer response patterns.
Despite the quick penetration, wider customer base and other potential benefits, few businesses, including small and large face trouble in using digital technology to effectively communicate their brand information. One of the fundamental concerns is several companies fail to appreciate the need to invest in resource training and technology.
Businesses need Digital Marketing professionals to plan and execute digital campaigning techniques. To stay competitive in this digital age, businesses should focus on hiring professionals with strategic, creative and people skills. Such professionals should possess the digital talent to tap t technology-habituated customers. The reality however mirrors a serious shortage of digital skills, even in few of the leading, well-resourced organizations.
Rapidly advancing industry demands cutting-edge skill-sets including Web designers, social media community experts, data analysts as well as strategic managers. Also, it comprises comprehensive functionalities and seemingly demands distinctive skill sets.
Governments all over the world, as well as global businesses, started identifying this type of marketing as a potential field for government-sponsored education and training campaigns. Additionally, numerous private education services providers (including online and classroom) started offering comprehensive This marketing courses ranging from mobile marketing, analytics, digital advertising, content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing and social media.