Here’s a real-time scenario stating importance of digital marketing and social media marketing. Let’s see how digital marketing played a vital role in one of the greatest disasters that hit our country in the recent times..
The recent deluge in Kerala has been nothing, but heart-wrenching for the entire country. The death toll is estimated to be more than 200 and thousands are still waiting to be rescued. As stubborn monsoon flood batters the south of India, the state has come to a standstill and is facing severe shortage of essential services.
People across the country are contributing towards Kerala Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund and every responsible citizen are trying to do their bit to get the flood-ravaged state out of this dire state.
Importance of digital marketing and how social media marketing is used can be seen in below examples:
The importance of digital marketing during disasters is not new to India. In November 2015, we faced a similar unfortunate crisis.
How many of you have come across tweets such as?
Or, marked themselves safe during a disaster in their city or locality? Or, have checked on your friends’ safety?
Digital space is no more just a platform to browse for research or exchanging emails or chatting on social media. It has become a source of information. In recent years, it has become a medium of rapid communication, especially during disasters, be it natural or human created.
With the increased rate of disasters around the world, we are witnessing the imperative role of Digital platforms. It just doesn’t spread awareness among people; it is a vital tool aiding government and rescue teams to get into action with a much exact location, know ground reality, fetching information and so on.
It has come to aid at every stage of disaster management:
During Uttarakhand disaster, widely used messaging application, WhatsApp was used by stranded people to locate a spot.
During Chennai floods 2015, social media played a significant role by coming up with ‘Chennai Flooding safety check’ and disseminating information such as boat vehicle availability.
Facebook allows mapping for lack of medicines, food and other things required for relief purpose. This helps NGO and public-spirited individual to supply the materials needed at the relief site.
Below is an example of how Social Media was used to share information about the affected site and a link on the comments thread helped in raising a relief fund.
The indispensable role played by digital marketing in disaster management can be enumerated as:
- Makes the broadcasting of information or ground realities faster and to a broader audience without waiting for news or government agencies
- Enables 2-way interaction between various victims and rescuing team
- Easy tracking of affected people due to advanced features available through social media tools
- Helps to raise relief fund and material by easy collaborations
- Makes relief operations more effective and timely
- Improves the chances of taking preventive measures by alerting authorities during the onset of calamity
- Data collection and updating notifications and alerts become easy
Digital Marketing is a tool which helps you reach millions within a second, helps both before and after a disaster occurs. However, many relief organisations are not able to develop strategies and allocate resources for the practical use of the web for disaster management. This may be because of a lack of understanding and knowledge regarding the different functionalities of Social Media.