Within the span of a few short months, regular life seems to have ground to a halt all across the world. Because of the spread of novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, countries around the world have instituted lockdowns and quarantine measures in order to “flatten the curve” and reduce the strain on health systems. These lockdowns have resulted in an economic slowdown, which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently described as a global recession.
This has led to several issues for businesses in both the short and long term. Companies have had to quickly learn how to institute telecommute and work-from-home systems while dealing with declines in sales and productivity. Interruptions in the supply chain and other elements could lead to far-reaching effects, many of which will only surface in the next months or even years. In the midst of a global crisis, how can businesses approach their marketing? Here are a few tips.
This kind of global crisis is unprecedented, at least as far as modern lifestyles go. While the world has faced pandemics before, the landscape of business and consumerism has changed so much that companies are now left scrambling with regard to how to approach the crisis. Adweek claims that people expect the challenges of the pandemic to be handled not just by the government, but by brands and private entities as well. Thus, brands should ensure that their messaging is compassionate and facts-based, and should expect that the public will scrutinize their responses. Any approach that can be perceived as self-serving is likely to go over badly, which is why messaging will be more important than ever.
Remain Socially Relevant
At a time like this, customers will be expecting companies to step up to the plate in terms of community outreach and socially relevant action. In addition to selling a product or service, businesses will have to take steps to ensure that they’re providing a service to the community. Previously, we’ve written about how Google has released a set of tools to enable journalists to fact-check information on the current crisis. Initiatives such as these will not only be useful for frontline workers but will also help reassure the wider public that your company is doing its part.
Focus on Effective Digital Marketing
With most people stuck at home, this may be the best time for your business to flex its digital marketing muscles. Screen time is likely to increase as people begin working and studying from home, and your business will most likely need to rely on an online presence for the next few weeks or even months. A mobile marketing post by Triadex Services includes making sure your ad is smartphone friendly, using SEO, and connecting with your target audience. Putting together timely, effective digital marketing campaigns will be necessary in order to keep your business relevant in customer’s minds during this crisis.
Don’t Overwhelm Your Lists
Finally, the most important thing you should keep in mind is not to overwhelm your customers. People may be feeling anxious about the state of their health, the health of their loved ones, and their work. They might be dealing with concerns over the change in lifestyle and fears about their futures. These fears mean that now may not be the time to approach your marketing campaigns as business as usual. Harvard Business Review states that the impressions left by service providers in periods of stress or anxiety can be long-lasting, If your campaign is seen as too pushy or irrelevant, it may turn away both old and potential customers. Pare emails and updates down to what’s relevant, and remember that for now, your customers may be focused on survival.