Updated: Aug 26
Covid-19 – the global pandemic has turned thousands of life upside down. Many businesses are being hit hard. With business slowly trickling back to live in the US, it’s important to note that a big part of the “new normal” now is people living between the pandemic happening and a period of social unrest.
The business community is also in a crisis as it sorts out how to market brands and products effectively while also being considerate towards challenges people are facing right now. It’s also understandable to want to cut all expenses and anticipate the worst. Things are out of control. None of us should feel bad about these very valid and practical reactions.
Whatever the case, I think it’s best to consider these reasons why we shouldn’t eliminate all possibilities to survive through a hard time, especially since marketing can be your business’s life-saver.
To keep up with these changes, one needs to be flexible to survive. Marketing during these difficult times requires sensitivity to what’s going on in the world and people’s lives. After all, the goal of marketing is to promote your brand and sell your products. But hard times like these render customers’ abilities to purchase any of your services or products.
Let’s adopt digital marketing as another approach to the situation.
It’s important to note that your customers now have moved in-house, and so should you. Digital marketing is the most suitable form of marketing, and social media marketing is the best solution to ensure your brand’s presence.
Kick up your digital marketing plan with empathy
Consumers’ behaviours and habits have changed a lot since the start of the pandemic. People are now reducing their eating out, going out or working out habits. They do everything at home now. According to a survey, almost half (49%) said they are not eating out, 27% are ordering food delivery and/or takeout. Some 44% said they aren’t comfortable going outside for unnecessary things and another 37% said they are buying products online.
What was your marketing game plan at the start of 2020? Consider it useless now. You have to adapt to the “new normal”, and by focusing on the “Online” sector of your Marketing plan now, you can guarantee your company’s survival during the pandemic.
But, what’s the main focus of your marketing plan? Do anything with genuine empathy.
Your research team can help marketers with this, since they can investigate what your customers really need right now, and their feelings towards your products. Listen to your customers, both old and potential, so that you can give out what they need.
Next, be relevant. And before you gain, you have to give
One of the strengths of digital marketing is storytelling. By producing compelling campaigns that speak to the reality of the pandemic, you attract customers with your empathy to them about the situations.
For example, IKEA created an ad campaign encourage people to reconnect with their homes. Their ads conveyed their long-term missions perfectly while subtly tell their consumers to stay at home. Sam’s Club, which rarely does advertisements for their brand, surprisingly released a 60-second spot to run on CBS honoring the efforts of their employees and retail workers during the pandemic.
As much as consumers want to hear about what companies message they want to convey, they also want to know how brands are connecting to the communities. Marketers should encourage companies to give back and provide as many values as possible to the customers and communities.
In the same survey that we mentioned above, 56% of consumers are happy to hear how brands are helping out communities in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In the same report, 43% of consumers find it reassuring to hear from brands they know and trust during these uncertain times. Another 40% want to hear how brands are responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, such as with cleaning procedures.
As such, the most important question business owners should ask themselves is: “What can we do to help?”
Many brands have kicked start their “giving back” campaigns. Kora Organics, along with its founder Miranda Kerr and her husband, have donated more than $10 million in aid to the Covid-19 relief efforts. Miranda also hosted her Master Class to talk about skincare and health care. Obagi has developed a helping hands initiative by producing hand sanitizers not only for their employees and customers, but also to medical workers in dire needs.
Many other brands try their best to give back to the communities. These moves go beyond marketing and may not convert into sales immediately. However, it directly builds a positive effect to your brands, which in turn helps drive long-term loyalty. It’s simply the right thing to do. The faster the world defeats the Covid-19 pandemic, the higher the chance businesses have to survive through it.
Keep your plan running to the end of the year
Don’t be optimistic and think that the pandemic is going to be over soon. Even though the business is slowly going back to normal, the Covid-19 crisis is still out there. Pairing with the current social unrest, it will take a while for things to go back to the way it was before 2020.
We also have to put into consideration how the pandemic will have a long-term effect on consumers’ psyche and change people’s perspective.
No matter when the pandemic and national crisis will be over, these events will forever change consumers’ behaviours. That’s what pushes marketers to convey as much consumer research as possible. By doing this, businesses have a higher chance of reaching target customers and see actionable responses.
Let’s put aside your old data and research. Fresh data and accurate insights are what brands need right now, more than ever. If you haven’t reached out to your customers during this time, now is better than later.
The whole crisis might be a nightmare to many businesses, but don’t let it scare you away from actively push your brands forward. Wake up your business starting with your employees. As long as you have devotion and people to go with you, your company will survive.
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