This pandemic has huge economic consequences on all businesses.
And it will change the direction of your marketing and advertising.
Our article on “How to Market Successfully During Times of Fear and Turmoil,” gives some fundamental information on what every company needs to be prepared for. You can read that article again here.
But right now, I want to concentrate on 7 concepts as they specifically relate to COVID-19 …
#1: Your prospects’ behavior and buying will change.
The pandemic has many unknowns. But what we do know is that the government has shut down the ability to do business for now.
Whether its overreaction or not, the fact is that COVID-19 is very real. It’s more deadly than the flu. And it’s a disease that will be with us not just this year but beyond.
Fear and panic have consumers emptying store shelves of toilet paper, wipes, and other essentials. Federal and state government officials are scrambling to show that they are in control and spinning the message to their favor.
Regulations, population control, and government actions have created dramatic changes in people’s behavior … and business.
This requires taking a fresh look at your marketing and advertising strategy … and metrics based on your specific target audience.
#2: Adapt to Accommodate Those Fears and Changing Behaviors.
If you’re marketing to consumers and driving them to retail outlets, conferences, concerts, anything that would involve human interaction, you need to adjust to the current call for social distancing … and then adjust again once people are back to work.
Above all, be sensitive to your prospects’ fears.
And understand that, life as we know it is literally changing before our eyes for a short period of time.
For some, there will be a long-term shift in consumer behavior and business.
Adapt to the new normal for your industry.
Consider how you can redeploy your business assets into something marketable in this environment. Concert organizers could offer virtual events, for example … or Facetime events. Technology allows us so many alternatives. Now is the time to take advantage. It may even open a new stream of business when this mess is cleaned up.
But know this …
#3: The pandemic fear will come to an end.
People will return to a new normal … eventually.
When they do, make sure you’re there, ready for them. This might mean embracing new technologies … reconsidering public gatherings, of which people will remain anxious for some time.
As such, make sure that …
#4: Your marketing and advertising budget directly addresses normal concerns your prospect would have.
If they are going to be visiting your store or attending your event – once all orders and restrictions have been lifted – know that, for some, fear will still influence their decision to participate. This fear will linger for a time. So be transparent about what precautionary steps you’ll taking.
#5: Talk about the elephant in the room.
If it’s appropriate to mention the Coronavirus regarding your product or service, do so. It will increase response.
#6: Your digital, electronic, and direct mail budget needs to reflect the reality that there has been a change in market perspective and consumer sentiment.
Response rates will change. Some will go up. Some will go down.
You need to do a complete analysis of what you’re doing and what to expect so you can effectively market in this type of climate.
Depending upon your product or service you may want to cut down on your marketing now knowing that the market will eventually return, confidence will return, fear will dissipate, and response rates will return to normal.
It will happen, and it will happen quicker than people realize.
It’s likely most of the country will be open again by mid April, with big cities still under restrictions.
#7: Take bold and aggressive action steps now … starting with these FOUR:
Step #1: Your marketing and advertising message must change NOW … and again when the pandemic restrictions are over. I’m talking all your digital assets and direct mail – TV, video, landing pages, Facebook ads, Google ads, websites, all of it. We can help you get it done quickly and right. Call Johnny now at 615.933.4647.
Step #2: Prepare your plans now to market hard when the marketplace starts to recover. Don’t be late. This will likely require new creative and new media plans. Again, we can help. If you want to position yourself for growth and market dominance, you must act now and be prepared for what’s next – a coming boom.
Step #3: Don’t overreact and cut your budget. For your competition, the first thing to go during a crisis will be their advertising and marketing budget. Don’t make that mistake. If you keep on marketing, you will dominate your market when the crisis ends. Those who stop lose market share.
Other steps to take during this time include …
- Test media and creative.
- Hold everything accountable and measurable. Know what’s working and what’s not based upon results. Make sure that you have that system in place.
- Try new creative and new approaches.
- Try new media to see how well it will work.
- Use a multichannel integrated approach.
Above all, while adjusting, don’t give up. There is light at the end of this tunnel, and if you want to enjoy the sunshine after the clouds part, keep pushing forward and evolving.
We’re here to help.
Call Jonny at 615.933.4647 for a free consultation and we’ll send you a free copy of my new book, The New Multichannel Integrated Marketing: 29 Trends for Creating a Multichannel, Integrated Campaign to Boost Your Profits Now.