Covid 19 has hit the world in a way that not many people would have anticipated. Its effects are visible on a global level, and most people are trying to survive on a day-to-day basis. Many businesses have had to scale down their operations. In the worst-case scenario, some have had to close shop altogether. However, for those that are still in business, marketing during this crisis is especially critical.
But marketing during a crisis requires a level of empathy and tact. Companies have to find their way back to the drawing board to make the relevant changes to their strategies. Every message and action has to take into consideration the Covid 19 pandemic that knows no boundaries. While before some companies would, for example, have experiential, social distancing and quarantine have now made it impossible. They could decide to focus on content marketing instead.
So what do companies need to do differently?
Rethink Marketing Plans
Anyone who understands marketing knows the importance of a plan. It guides on the activities, timelines, goals, and financial implications. Covid 19 has thrown a spanner in the works for most companies. Some companies are maximizing on the crisis by tweaking their campaigns around the pandemic. Companies are donating time and money towards fighting the disease and sharing the news with the world through press releases or ads.
Some of the things the astute marketer need to do include:-
- Auditing the ongoing activities to see what is working or not
- Put on hold some of the larger campaigns -now would not be a good time to spend money on major promotions as people’s attention is more likely on the ongoing crisis
- List down priority activities, for instance, a greater focus on customer relations. Now, for example, would be the right time to launch something like a hand washing and educative campaign
- Use cost-effective platforms such as email marketing, content marketing, and the use of social media, among others. You get to save money and can reach more people.
Think About Your Messaging
The world as a whole is on edge right now. Every day the media sends out the latest updates on new Corona infections or deaths. Any messaging you send out must be mindful of the current mood. You may, for example, need to change the ‘visit us today’ message to ‘remain safe, call us,’ option.
Show customers that you are a socially responsible company by incorporating positive, educative messages in your communication. People like to know that they are dealing with a company that cares about them.
Do Not Cash In On the Crisis
Do not go overboard in trying to get the crisis to work in your favor. Having cameras following you around everywhere you go can be counterproductive. People already know that companies will try and get some publicity out of the pandemic. Unfortunately, it could have the opposite effect if audiences start to view your activities with suspicion. You could, for example, unknowingly be spreading alarming messages or are being very aggressive with the kind of content you are pushing out to your audiences.
Focus On How You Can Help
You will build more brand awareness if you show people how you can help in this time of need. You can use your blog to provide helpful content to your audiences. Many people do not know about the virus; this could be a chance to educate and provide a platform for discussion.
Covid 19 is a pandemic that we hope will go away very soon. In the meantime, companies must do all they can to communicate effectively with their customers. Provide helpful information and maintain empathy in your messaging.