The economy faces its greatest challenge yet in the Covid-19 pandemic. As the downturn looms near, businesses are scrambling to develop and deploy strategies for weathering the storm.
All of this has placed marketing in an awkward situation. Everyone in the economy is trying to secure their livelihood, which means there is less attention to go around overall. This puts marketing in a tough spot since exploiting attention is one of its core principles.
On the other hand, the lock-down has also seen certain industries flourish like never before. There is a hunger for content, products, and services that you can use safely use from home. Social networks, streaming services, and the e-commerce sector as a whole are struggling to meet this new demand.
What we have is a situation where the total number of potential marketing leads has been massively increased, but the difficulty of making a conversion also went up. In other words, there are marketing gains to be made, but only if you know what you’re doing.
To make the most out of the Covid-19 downturn in terms of marketing, you will have to adjust your strategy accordingly. Get started by reading the rest of our primer on the topic in the paragraphs below.
1. Show Compassion in Your Messaging
During an epidemic, everyone is in a vulnerable state of mind. And the only way to approach a vulnerable person is to treat them with compassion first.
Compassion can take many forms, and you should leverage as many as you can in your marketing to reassure people.
Start by adjusting your content tone. If your content is usually whimsical, add a heartfelt sentence or two to show that your lack of seriousness doesn’t mean a lack of care.
If your business model allows it, give your customers something valuable free of charge. Extend their service subscription for a month at no cost, or give them a free product.
2. Be Flexible With Media Channels
The pandemic has shaken up our media consumption habits in a drastic way. For example, learning about products and services through events or billboards is no longer possible. Conversely, we are more likely to be browsing social media and reading emails.
Our media channel preferences also became more refined. For instance, we might tune in to Twitter to find out about news, whereas we will go to Facebook for a lighthearted content read.
The point here is to maintain a flexible attitude and adjust your marketing approach on the fly. Both the situation and user preferences are developing as we speak, and staying on top requires you to think on your feet.
3. Show How Your Business is Contributing to the Fight
The Covid-19 pandemic is taking its natural course, but the crisis it has caused will have to be surmounted by governments, businesses, and ultimately people. And if you contribute to the fight, you will earn major goodwill from your target audience.
The most straightforward way to help is by donating to causes that work towards alleviating the crisis such as food banks and charities. Giving away your products and services for free for time is another way to ease the corona downturn.
In terms of how you present your contributions, you need to avoid looking like you’re trying to benefit from the situation. If your contributions are not sincere, consumers will quickly catch on to the fact.
4. Prepare Scenarios for a Post-corona World
No one knows for sure when the pandemic will end, but it will eventually run its course. The economy will change in its wake, but it will still be there in the aftermath. And to secure a good starting position, you need to start preparing future scenarios.
Your first step should be to enhance your tracking efforts to build up your customer behaviour profiles. Monitor how your leads are behaving online with social media marketing tools, look for patterns in buying behaviour and analyze the word of mouth surrounding your business.
Once you gather enough data, work on building and testing models, so you have a variety of strategies for marketing your brand during the outbreak.
5. Encourage Marketing Reps to Work Remotely
The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed the workplace. Social distancing rules prevent businesses from operating at full capacity at physical locations. Instead, employees are increasingly performing their work remotely.
Once marketing went digital, it became possible to do it remotely without losing anything in the process. This means that you can run your entire marketing operation remotely, which means you won’t be losing any momentum during the downturn.
Remote work is possible thanks to collaborative software such as conference apps, project management software, cloud-storage services, and messaging services. Learning how to manage a remote team is a new experience for a lot of businesses, and the sooner you start the better prepared you will be.
6. Upgrade Your Marketing Tech Stack
Despite everyone’s best efforts, some of your employees will inevitably get sick and unable to work. Others will have to be fired due to the overall contraction of the economy. Losing employees is a critical moment like this can be devastating for a business, but there is a silver lining.
Thanks to marketing software, you can keep your marketing operation running at some capacity even with a lean staff. CRM software comes to mind here in particular. Tasks such as running email marketing campaigns and gathering customer data can be performed automatically using CRM.
7. Focus on Customer Retention
One of the most reliable ways of getting through a crisis is by sticking with a group of people you trust. In a business context, this means relying on your existing customers instead of trying to attract new ones at all costs.
A retention-focused marketing strategy emphasizes long-term customer nurture. Instead of sending one-off messages, you should focus on creating personalized sequences of content.
If you manage to keep your prospects involved during the epidemic, you will develop a strong foundation for your business once it passes.
Marketing in Times of Pandemic
Marketing in the times of pandemic represents a unique challenge for businesses.
On one hand, the digital nature of modern marketing means that you could be running campaigns throughout the pandemic like its business as usual.
On the other hand, there has been a massive shift in consumer behaviour as a result of the pandemic, so you can’t just use the same tactics as before and expect good results.
The solution lies in developing a marketing strategy with good fundamentals, modified by the limitations of the present situation.