Now that there are places beginning to emerge from shelter-at-home orders, while still practicing social distancing and caution, you may wonder where your brand messaging fits. Should you even be investing in marketing when the economy is in such a hobbled state?
The answer is yes. While some brands are following their gut reaction to pull back on spending, the smart approach is to instead adapt to new circumstances and push back against an instinct that could leave you forgotten as other brands forge ahead. It’s important for your company to take the opportunity to create a marketing strategy that’s appropriate for the times.
Listen to Customers. Circumstances changed quickly over the past few months, and everything from your demographics (such as income levels and job roles) to customer behaviors (shopping, exercising and socializing almost entirely from home) changed. You’ll need to stop relying on what you’ve always known about your customers and the assumptions that can create faulty messaging.
After weeks at home, people crave connection with other people, but also with the brands they’ve always loved. A recent study by the American Association of Advertising Agencies found that 43% of consumers find that hearing from brands makes them feel reassured. Fifty-six percent said that they enjoy hearing about how brands are helping in their communities. Only 15% said they would prefer not to hear anything from companies.
Be Generous. Is there something you can offer as a gift to your customers? Maybe you even offer a service or product for free that is normally your main source of revenue. In any other circumstances, this may be a bad move for your brand, but in this new reality, consumers are energized by seeing generosity from their favorite brands. If a more widespread giveaway isn’t an option, try building goodwill through a donation to healthcare workers or engaging your employees in a service day.
These kinds of moves can bolster the effects of your marketing strategy, because while they may cost you in the short run, they are incredibly effective at building brand loyalty.
Prioritize Authenticity. This is the time to tell real stories, to emphasize that your brand is really just a group of people. Include testimonials, go live on video and invite your audience in. Authenticity is always a good element to prioritize in your marketing, but it should be at the top of your list for the focus of your strategy.
Embrace Agility: Things changed fast in the spring of 2020. Things may continue to shift quickly, with consumers identifying new needs they didn’t know existed in the weeks prior (who could have predicted that epic scramble for toilet paper?), so be ready to shift with your audiences.
Entrepreneur ran its own survey and found that 86% of Americans believe that the Covid-19 crisis has created a new normal and long-lasting change in society. While it’s unclear exactly how things will shape up, it’s evident that change can happen at a dizzying pace. Your brand needs to be ready to adapt quickly.
If you have questions about how your marketing strategy should change moving forward, we are here to help. We’re happy to guide you through some timely changes to your strategy, all from a solid six feet away if needed.