Tips for Responsible and Smart Marketing During the COVID-19
By Andrea Laura
Covid-19 has taken over the world. Though, not exactly the first pandemic that the human race has ever seen, but definitely one of the largest health issues faced by millennials ever. Apart from the health issue directly, there are several other lifestyle issues looming at large. Countries have shut shop and markets have locked down the world over. The impact is devastating.
- In a world where still a lot of business is done through physical stores, face-to-face; this became a giant issue. Closure of shops led to closure of businesses or shrinking of businesses.
- Millions of people lost their jobs worldwide.
- Governments faced fund shortages as no business meant no taxes. Moreover, they had to offer economy revival packages.
- Travel industry and related businesses like restaurants, took an unprecedented dip, as people were scared to travel or come in contact with others.
- Aviation industry is severely hurt due to travel restrictions
- Depressions and suicides are on an all time high
- User requirements have been altered. For instance: There are next to nil demands for party dresses and a greater demand for loungewear in the women clothing industry.
These are just a few of them. Each or every individual is herein affected by the pandemic in one way or the other. The story of businesses is no different.
But, we are humans and nothing if not adaptable. In line with human tendencies, future envisioning businessmen have started looking out for ways, and strategies that would help them evolve in these challenging times.
Marketing Strategies that Seem to Work in these Challenging Times
Though the overall environment is gloomy these days and markets are continually looking at negative trends, businesses need to function for survival and if possible grow. They thus need step by step marketing plan and strategies that take into consideration the new normals of social distancing, self-isolating and remote work and still are able to connect with the general user sentiment:
- Empathy is the Virtue You Require: Remember that people have been losing their loved ones and are very susceptible in terms of money and sustainability these days. So, try and create marketing strategies that show empathy with your intended customers. Try to develop subdued, mindful campaigns that clearly show respect for them and help them feel that you as a company, genuinely care about their survival. Try and stay away from jarring content. This could help create brand loyalists and show your company in a positive light. For instance: A car manufacturing company like Ford, ended up creating a sympathetic Covid related ad campaign during the situation.
- Online Presence is a Must in These Times: Lockdowns are happening in all sorts and sizes everywhere. As per the pandemic situation and cases, state Governments and Central Governments have been shutting markets on weekends, which is the most prominent time for brick and mortar stores to do business. So, it is necessary for businesses to have a strong online presence in terms of website and mobile applications. Reports suggest that the online and mobile markets have been witnessing a 70 percent increase in viewership in the Covid times. Make this surge in viewership work for you too through digital assets. If you already have them, try and promote them eminently on social media platforms again using respectful tones.
- Self Isolation is a Norm: Avoid using images and phrases that involve a lot of people. Remember, in the Covid times everyone was locked up in their private spaces. So, when you refrain from posting such images, you also refrain from getting negative comments and hurting sentiments of your intended users. Images with ‘namaste’ and people wearing masks at a safe distance could though be a good idea.
- Pricing Models: These are challenging times for the business as well as for its customers. The customers have gone wary and are mostly looking for stuff that they really need. You could thus device an agile pricing strategy that would help in gains even with a lower number of customers.
- Offering user centric discounts would help users find means to buy your products and services. With increase in the number of sales, you could then cover up for the lower margins kept.
- ‘Work From Home’ is not ‘No Work’: Get your marketing guy or marketing team for that matter to work. Engage in extensive meetings with these departments and find newer ways of pushing products and services across customers through direct calls, mails, etc. Ensure that the other teams also engage in marketing requirements in these times. After all, these sales are going to fund their salaries too.
There are two ways a person can look at ‘tough times’; one as an impending issue and the second as an opportunity. We hope that the above stated marketing strategies will help you transform these testing times into opportunities that further help you evolve and stimulate back your businesses growth.
(About the author: Andrea Laura is a creative writer and contributor who loves to share informative news or updates on multiple topics around the technology-enablement space. The views expressed herein are her own)