5 key questions

For Marketers Navigating COVID-19

We’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve seen the word “unprecedented” in the media over the last few weeks. There’s no denying that marketing in this climate is like guiding a ship through uncharted waters. Your clients may be shifting their offerings multiple times in a single week due to new regulations, shortages, or increased demand. You likely have clients dealing with an unmanageable increase in sales or a devastating shortage. In many ways, this pandemic has been polarizing for which industries are thriving and which are struggling to survive. As we seek to partner with our clients, here are five questions we’re asking ourselves to help them navigate marketing through this time of uncertainty. 

 

1. What does our client need right now?

This seems like a no brainer, but the first question every marketer needs to ask themselves in this season is, “What’s the new bottom line?” Don’t keep making creative and media buying decisions based on KPIs that applied two months ago. Keep open, frequent dialogue with your clients so you can adjust strategy for their marketing as necessary.

If your client is having to shift their business model or core offerings, they need to make their audience aware and instill confidence in their ongoing presence. Leaning into campaigns that drive awareness and trust is key.

 

2. What are the most relevant products or offerings this client has and do we need to switch budgets to reflect that?


Your clients’ top sellers may not play well with social distancing regulations right now. Take a step back and determine how you can help them (temporarily) reprioritize their offerings so they stay relevant. Do they need help moving their business online? Driving traffic to a new e-commerce site? With so many competitors moving to fully digital spaces, how can you help your client cut through the noise?

 

3. How can we help our clients connect to their audience through this season?

Think of your clients’ target audience as a community. Every community is affected by this pandemic in different ways, and their felt needs may be unique. How can you help each of your clients connect to their audience in a meaningful way? Start with addressing what they’re experiencing.

It may be commiserating with a group of climbers that they don’t get to be together at the gym, or that the Olympics are postponed the first year that climbing was included. It may be addressing a more serious source of anxiety, like assuring patients with ongoing medical issues that they can still get the care they need without risking coronavirus exposure in an emergency room. Whatever is going on with each community, finding a way to rally around a felt need with positivity is a powerful way to connect.


4. Even though we ran this campaign last month/last week/yesterday, is it still right for the context and moment?

We can’t stress this enough. Continue to be agile and reactive as you navigate this season. The situation is changing rapidly and the political climate is doing the same. An offering that made sense last week may not fit anymore. A temporary restriction may now be lifted. Now is not the time to repurpose past campaigns or content without close scrutiny and careful evaluation.

5. Are all creative elements we’re putting out — tone, copy, visuals, keywords, placements — appropriate and relevant to this new reality? 


In the same vein as reassessing campaigns, help your clients assess all aspects of their branding for relevancy right now. Avoid imagery and logos of shaking hands, groups gathered together, or hugs. Watch out for buzzwords like “viral” or “killer”  that unfortunately have new connotations in this season.  

We suggest taking an approach of sincerity and avoiding slapstick humor or anything that makes light of a situation that is causing so much suffering. Everyone could use a good laugh, but be careful that you don’t come off as tone-deaf in your delivery. 

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As the driving force pushing potential clients through their sales funnel, your clients need you now more than ever. Show up for them by staying informed on the developing situation as it applies to their industry. Be ready to react on their behalf as restrictions come and go and as we weather this storm.

If you’re a business owner and you need someone to help you strategize and market through this season, get in touch with us. We’d love to give you a free consultation to help you make a plan. We’re wishing you well.

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