Monday Morning Coffee: Lessons from a Pandemic


If you’ve ever walked out of a dark movie theater into bright afternoon sunshine, the feeling of emerging from a Covid-19 shelter-at-home order wasn’t completely new. You’re a little surprised to find that the world is still out there. In both cases, you’ve probably indulged in a little too much sitting and a few too many snacks.

Now that your eyes have adjusted to the light, it’s time to think about how your marketing strategy weathered the crisis and whether you can take some of those insights forward for better results. Here are a few things you may be contemplating about how flexibility in a crisis helps you keep moving forward:

The Need for Flexibility Brings Out Creativity: You learned that you work best with the reassuring sounds of 80s music in the background. Or maybe you found out that you get some of your best ideas late at night or when you are working outside.

Flexibility Means Survival: The ability to quickly shift your messaging in a crisis and communicate empathy and support for your audience was a game-changing skill during Covid-19. Brands that are seen as putting out their same old messaging or who hit the wrong note with what was perceived as opportunism may suffer the loss of some previously-loyal customers.

Those who are accustomed to running agile, flexible campaigns were able to quickly connect with audiences to say, “We know this is hard. We’re having a hard time, too. Let’s see if we can help each other out.”

At the same time, it’s been important not to get stuck on a particular message. While your target audience may have been feeling a little blue and a little afraid for a while, it’s critical that marketing teams be ready to shift gears when their customers are ready to move forward. If your audience is moving into a “let’s tackle this!” mindset or you’re seeing a big shift to community service, for instance, you need to be ready to shift with them.

Shifting Your Marketing Budget: A third way smart marketers used flexibility to make the best of the situation was by shifting dollars around to meet customers where they were hanging out. That means you may have canceled a new billboard and, instead, funneled more money into social media and videos.

The most important thing was not making the mistake of cutting your marketing budget. While it’s tempting to put the brakes on when a crisis happens, it’s a huge opportunity for brands if their competitors suddenly go quiet.

If you need some guidance in creating flexibility in your marketing strategy, contact us at SJC Marketing.

We’d love to learn more about you.