Since the latter months of 2019, the world has been going through many changes due to the ongoing global health crisis. Although many of today’s businesses had already launched online counterparts and social media accounts even before the pandemic hit, current circumstances have pushed even more businesses to operate in completely virtual environments.
With people across the globe undergoing massive new challenges, how should businesses carry on with their marketing strategies?
If you are one of those businesses struggling to deal with these sad realities, here’s a guide to some of the marketing principles your company should uphold during a pandemic:
Be a helping hand (but not literally)
All of us are suffering because of the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean we’re all going through the same thing: it’s the same ocean, but we’re on different boats, if you would. While some are fortunate enough to be in ships and yachts, others are aboard wooden boats, makeshift rafts or are barely hanging onto planks in the middle of the ocean. As a company, it is incredibly important to craft marketing strategies that, despite providing some advantages to the company, obviously still prioritise the needs of the less fortunate or those in dire situations.
An article by Time listed some of the brands that chose to make certain changes to address the current situation. For instance, luxury goods firm LVMH announced a shift in producing and providing hand sanitisers to Parisian hospitals instead of producing high-end perfumes and cosmetics. American multinational automaker Ford likewise promised to make 50,000 ventilators, while one of the world’s major sports footwear and clothing manufacturers, New Balance, pledged to produce 100,000 face masks every week to curb the effects of the virus. Follow in their footsteps, and think about how your company can help ease the burden of the pandemic. Remember that no matter how big or small, everything done to help will surely count – and be remembered. As explained in our previous post ‘Changes Business Leaders Need to Be Planning for Now’, even small decisions such as moving to a local supply chain can have a big impact.
Constantly reassess your campaigns
Marketing strategies that yield great results are usually those that are relatable. However, in order to do that, you have to be in tune with the different realities that plague society. Before launching a campaign, always take the time to reassess it and examine whether it is appropriate for the current situation. Is there any way your campaign can be interpreted as insensitive, racist, misogynist, anti-poor or anything politically incorrect? If yes, then you have to make certain changes and see to it that your campaign comes off not only on-brand, but also morally correct.
Luckily, you’re not alone in this endeavour, as other businesses are struggling to do the same thing. You can use this to your advantage. Digital marketing firm Ayima highlights how you can use data gathered from both consumers and competitors to see what works, allowing you to make better business decisions and curate campaigns that better reach your target markets. Now, more than ever, people want to see campaigns that are hopeful, encouraging and emanate solidarity. Bear in mind that overwhelmed and stressed-out consumers will most likely have a long memory when it comes to how companies made them feel during these trying times.
Make room for creative considerations
In spite of the ongoing crisis, consumers still want to hear from their favourite brands, whether they are in the beauty, fashion, fitness or automotive industries. In fact, according to a survey by PR Week, consumers consider brands that they have heard more about in the past weeks as brands that are handling the crisis way better than the others. When communicating with your audience, remember to make room for creative considerations. Although a lot of people miss “the normalcy” of the pre-pandemic days, and there is a rise in news avoidance, you must still re-evaluate all the creative elements embedded within your campaign/s.
Avoid an excessively cheery tone, visual imagery, keywords, storylines and context. If you have campaigns that are funnier in nature, consider holding off for now. It would also be a good idea to pause campaigns that show interactions like handshakes, hugs and high-fives with everyone currently observing social distancing in order to slow down the spread of the disease.
The pandemic has changed the way most companies do business, and this should reflect not just in your everyday operations but also in the marketing strategies you employ.
With enough insight and foresight, brands can come out of the pandemic with a renewed image that will definitely help them in a post-pandemic world. For more tips on how to keep your marketing strategies on-point, see how High Growth can help you.
Written exclusively for highgrowth.com by Brielle Jaymes
"Marketing strategies that yield great results are usually those that are relatable. However, in order to do that, you have to be in tune with the different realities that plague society."