With at least 42 states under stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both essential and non-essential businesses may think they should pull the plug on marketing, whether to cut costs or avoid the risk of appearing tone-deaf amid crisis.
But that’s not the case.
In fact, your customers need to hear from you now more than ever. They need to hear that you’re here, facing this pandemic with them, and that you’re striving to make daily life a bit less interrupted. You just need to pay close attention to what you say and how you say it.
With that in mind, here are three things to consider when marketing at this uncertain time:
Consider your brand messaging
While your first message after COVID-19 emerged was likely an email to customers conveying your concerns and priorities, ongoing communications need to represent your brand appropriately. So any planned or pre-scheduled content such as digital ads, social media posts, or newsletters must now be re-examined in a new context. Most likely, this will mean adjusting the tone of both your internal and external communications.
Nike, for example, created a campaign that shifted its original messaging from “Just Do It” to “Play inside, play for the world.” The company further brought their messaging to life with a US$15 million donation toward COVID-19 efforts. The former identified with the current state of daily life, while the latter demonstrated goodwill.
The takeaway – your brand messaging should demonstrate how you care.
Consider your product messaging
Likewise, businesses should consider how they currently present their products and identify any necessary modifications. They should ask, what is the value of the product or service your business provides? And does it fit within life as we currently know it?
Panera Bread, for example, recently announced the addition of Panera Grocery to its offerings. This is a great example of adding value to your current products by making them more easily-accessible to customers who are looking to save time and stay safe.
Consider your media spending
Lastly, businesses should consider where their pre-pandemic marketing dollars were going and make adjustments that align with the public’s current media consumption habits.
Consider, for example, that people are spending far more time watching cable television and using content streaming services, but far less (or no) time at their offices, in restaurants, etc. Most likely, updating your marketing strategy and budget with this in mind will allow your business to reach a larger audience than ever before.
In conclusion, be mindful of your marketing among the current pandemic. COVID-19 is no reason for your brand to go silent or for your marketing to cease, especially as the survival of your brand may depend on it.
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