4 Simple Yet Effective Ways For Marketing After Covid-19.
June 23, 2020
There is a blanket of discouragement over the business impact of COVID, especially so in the advertising and marketing industries. Due to stringent lockdowns that were imposed, the demand side, especially people’s spending on non-essential goods dropped. Some businesses stopped spending on their marketing efforts and even laid off marketing people.
But it is rightly said by Henry Ford that ‘a man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.’
Covid-19 is that unwanted evil and tough time where inactivity is not an option. Businesses are opening and are on the track of getting back to normal but are people ready to spend on their services? Considering the present scenario, questions on how to plan a marketing strategy arises. If one wants to stay in a business they can’t sit idle for long, one needs to balance financial responsibility with the need to keep customers engaged and informed in this tough time. Here are some of the course action which brands should take in mind while making their marketing plans.
1) Empathize and Acknowledge
Empathy is a Marketers most important trait. For a customer, Empathy translates to trust, and in times like these, showing a brand that cares goes a long way in the customer’s mind.
It doesn’t matter if your brand is big or small, now is the time to empathize with your customers, employees, suppliers and, the ecosystem as a whole. You don’t have to do anything big, it can be paying your employees a full salary, giving special COVID Discounts, allowing time to customers to pay their dues etc.
Companies like Coca-Cola encouraged people to social-distance in its Times Square ad, Budweiser redirected its sports and entertainment spend towards NGO’s. Various companies acknowledged the frontline workers through creative campaigns, acknowledgment videos, etc.
It’s interesting to note that 75% of the consumers believe that brands should address COVID-19 and show their social responsibility.
Doing these things will make a positive impact on your brand. It will not only support the brand value but will also make your customers, your fans for a lifetime…
2) Sense and Serve
Amid this downtime, many small and big brands have shown resilience in the face of adversity. They have sensed the opportunity to show care and make a difference through their performance.
Say, for instance, this is a golden opportunity for e-learning platforms to provide free or cheap courses to students and to all those willing to learn. As educational institutions are shut, many brands can start online tutorials of the services they provide. These brands with the right content, right tie-ups, reasonable charges and, overall customer experiences will not only have an opportunity to serve people in this tough time but will also have a chance to turn them into their long-term customers.
Harvard business review has made its coronavirus related content free and available to all. Shaw Academy has made many of its courses free for people as a marketing strategy. Fashion giants like Prada, Gucci have made masks and served people. 56% of consumers are interested in knowing brands’ COVID initiative and keen to know their initiative to fight against the virus.
3) Be Aware and Advertise
Brands of all categories (including FMCG) should consider COVID-19 relevant public service advertising which will serve both the brands and their stakeholders.
This is a time where most of the organizations have put a cut on their spending for print media and TV advertising. Although advertising in these times is not possible for all the brands (tourism, cars, etc) but with the right message everybody has a chance to prove their brand’s worth.
Nike has made a famous campaign with a tagline #playinside and #playfortheworld, Netflix has also launched its witty advertisement urging people to stay home, or it will fill billboards near crowded places with popular show spoilers. Thus, everyone should come up with relevant advertisements to highlight their brand in the world’s eye.
4) Align to new normal and research
We all know that uncertainty is the outcome of this dark time and no one knows the upcoming trends and customer behaviour. What would be their buying patterns, spending patterns, behavioural changes while shopping? Will they rely on online shopping? Will they avoid spend on non-essential goods? Will they visit malls and restaurants?
The answer to all these questions calls for deep market research and its current trends. Everyone is hit hard by this time and all your competitors are also on the same page as yours. Thus, spending on marketing research will prepare you for the upcoming time and can save you from utter loss of hope.
Restaurants should provide drive-through and home delivery options with zero contact assurance. Apparel stores should consider launching their online stores. Looking at the present times, spending on marketing research will seem an undesirable expenditure but as its well said not to wait for rains for building a bridge.
Spending on research will give you an edge over your competitors and will prepare you for the dark and uncertain times like this.
The bottom line is fresh data and logical insights have never become more important. Relying solely on instincts alone is not going to help. Enabling your team to understand your customers and act based on timely insights is key to navigating your way through this crisis both for your marketing team and your company. If you haven’t reached your customers yet, now is the time to do so!