Many companies are wondering exactly how a worldwide pandemic will affect their marketing approach — whether they should move forward with business as usual or halt their marketing efforts altogether. The answer is neither.
Marketing is more important than ever while in-person communication is limited, but to proceed as if nothing is wrong would be tone deaf to this worldwide crisis. Make adjustments and tailor your marketing efforts for this unique moment in time with these tips.
This is a time of uncertainty and fear, and you need to do what you can to help remove both by overcommunicating with your clients. Are you taking steps to keep your customers safe? Tell them. Are you working adjusted hours? Make sure everything is clearly communicated. Don’t just rely on your sales team to communicate vital information to your customers; they need to hear it from company leaders.
Overcommunicating should also extend to your employees. Let them know what steps you’re taking to keep them safe and how the business is adjusting to the changes going on around them. Listen to their concerns and address them in internal communications.
Consider your audience
Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What are they doing? Do they have free time on their hands? Are they just as busy as ever? Are they working in an abnormal situation, or is it business as usual? Take a look at your buyer personas and modify them based on the current situation. Stay in close contact with your sales team during this time to find out what they’re observing so that your adjustments are based in fact, not assumption.
Don’t just consider your audience’s physical circumstances. Think about how they are doing mentally and emotionally, too, and how that will affect your messaging and your campaigns. Be sympathetic.
Trust me, I know reading the news is no one’s favorite thing to do right now. But with the situation changing so rapidly, you have to be in the know about what’s happening to market knowledgeably.
You also need to be in tune with all your current campaigns so that when the situation changes — and it will change — you can quickly evaluate whether your messaging needs to shift, which leads naturally to my next point.
Because we’re in an unprecedented situation, it’s difficult to predict what changes might arise within the next week, much less the next month. We can make plans based only on what we know right now and must be prepared to adjust as necessary. In the B2B realm, it can often take a little longer to assemble, review and approve marketing items. Consider that you may no longer have that extra time available when circumstances are changing so quickly. Speed up your approval process, and be understanding when things need to shift.
Utilize social media
Social media is so, so important right now. Early surveys are showing that people are spending more time on social media during these work-from-home and quarantine days. So they’re more likely to start there when looking for your brand. Make sure your messaging is on point and that your presence is known.
Social media is also the best place to quickly communicate any situational changes and is likely where your followers will go to find out the latest information about your brand.
Be a helper
Continuing your marketing presence doesn’t mean continuing your pre-pandemic marketing messages. You’ll want to position your brand as a helpful resource during this time. Pushing products in a salesy manner could come across as callous. There’s never been a better time to deploy some thought leadership content, for example. Demonstrate your brand’s personality and generosity and leave the sales talk for when this is all over.
Social distancing doesn’t mean you have to be out of touch. Adjust your marketing strategy, stay healthy and wash your hands.
What adjustments have you made to your marketing during the pandemic? Let me know in the comments.