In times of crisis, we’re all adjusting to this “new normal” — both personally and professionally. Working from home- #WFH, has already become the trendiest hashtags on all social media, being mentioned approximately 550 times per hour. In these unprecedented times, companies must rethink their strategy in order to be able to keep their heads above the water and continue their growth against the backdrop of budget cuts and hiring freezes. What to consider in your marketing strategy in times of crisis? Here’s our take so far.
Talking to our colleagues and clients, we know that different marketing experts offer different takes on how brands should react in terms of scaling back and adjusting their message. However, we all agree that falling off their target market’s radar is not a good option.
While a one-size-fits-all approach never works, there are some principles and concepts any business can apply during this current public-health, or any other, crisis. So it’s time to get out of our comfort zone, be agile and act fast.
Come up with a plan containing short\medium\long solutions
In the short term, what’s most important is to take control of things that are easily changeable, such as social media advertising, search engine ads, video ads and other types of digital promotions that can be closely monitored and adjusted as needed. Make sure that you don’t have creatives that are not in the spirit of the time and pause that Easter promotion getaway you had on your agenda.
As for the longer term, as none of us has a crystal ball, it’s hard to predict what will be. Therefore, it’s highly recommended not to make any big or dramatic changes that will hurt you in the long run.
As our physical world is more and more confined to our homes, the global attention to online feeds and stories has grown exponentially. Yes, people are consuming more content than ever before, lots more news than ever before. Remember, most of your prospects are there (at home), looking for inspiration, escapism, and information. As many businesses feel that this is the time to lower their activity, use the many media sources and platforms to create awareness of your brand, spread value and shine in the face of adversity. Shift that OOH budget you saved up for a digital campaign with value. People are constantly refreshing their social feeds and it’s a good time to spark up a conversation with them. Don’t squander this rare opportunity to rise in a space inhabited mostly by prospects and less so by competition.
Some companies choose to avoid any presence in a time like this — as they feel like promoting themselves right now would seem irrelevant. While it can be true from some marketing or sales perspective, it might still be relevant for the brand. Giant brand Coca-cola- has suspended UK advertising, saying “[we] need to re-evaluated things, understanding how they make a difference to our consumers, customers, and communities in the weeks and months ahead”. If you can, especially now during this crisis, try offering free shipping — it can only help sales remain neutral during this difficult time.
It might be time to reshuffle your creative line and adjust to the situation. No, it doesn’t have to paint a bright picture. Obviously, in order to provide authentic value, your content needs to fit situations in which your prospects find themselves. Don’t shy away from harsh realities, let them know that you and your support team are there. Provide feedback to those who have doubts, remember to meet them where they are, not where you think they should be. Displaying the sense that you are in tune with your customers and providing specific messages can strengthen a sense of trust and value that will be long-lasting. Align the message with consumer sentiments and desire for specific products and product attributes. In e-commerce, some product lines might not be relevant and hurt dramatically while other products have remained neutral or slightly increased.
While planning your media campaign, choose to focus on those products and segments that are in demand and highly relevant. Be quick to change, as in the next 14 days you can see scaling in other product lines.
Pay to stay ahead
Organic content that is relevant and valuable will work much better during times of crisis. However, the paid media arena is also cheaper right now and is a great tool to get in front of the right eyes. Paying to spread awareness on different platforms lets you control the communication with the target audience, sending your content to those who can benefit from it the most. With less competition in the market, it’s a big advantage — but only if your product or service is also relevant during this time.
Take advantage of that freemium
Use the free trails all major companies are offering now, There are a lot of companies that offer free access to remote tools during the corona outbreak that can help you to launch, even on a budget.
No, these tools are not just for your personal work — many e-learning, online courses or yoga instructors are using Zoom to meet their clients, trying to keep some of the not so old routine going.
Don’t stop what you were doing, and now more than ever is a time when you can test out many new media and marketing outlets that you didn’t think about before.
For me, I’ll be attending the App promotion summit — WFH addition, as a primary partner to the event, which will all be video-based. An all-digital event, with lots of interesting content such as the growth panel with Zoomd hosting.
The next three to six months will bring many changes that tackle down the marketing plan. Use the best-, worst- and moderate-case scenarios to anticipate possible and likely changes relevant to your business. Marketing strategies exist in times of crisis and prove to be both effective and reasonable in terms of investment.
Stay safe out there.