For the most part, consumers are receptive to some marketing during a crisis or economic uncertainty. A recent study from the 4A’s found that 43% of consumers find it reassuring to hear from brands, and 56% like learning how brands are helping their communities during this time. Only 15% said they’d rather not hear from companies.
That said, marketing during these times requires sensitivity to what’s going on in people’s lives and the flexibility to keep up with the changes that are happening every day. That’s why we’re bringing you five actionable tips for effective marketing in a COVID-19 world.
1. Conduct Market Research
In a rapidly changing environment, consumer research and gaining insights into our audiences are of heightened importance. Definite truths that we knew about our audiences, campaigns, and methodologies have shifted dramatically over the last couple of months.
These changes mean we must rely heavily on the latest research studies and our audiences’ patterns, behaviours, concerns, and aspirations in order to better understand the new normal and effectively lead future efforts from a new starting point.
Consumer surveys, for example, are hugely valuable right now in gaining a real-time view of current and evolving attitudes. If you are a global brand, government requirements will vary from country to country. This means that tailored and sensitive approaches are necessary to suit the needs of individual audiences.
2: Make It About Them
Understandably, customers are not spending as much as they used to before Covid-19. Many are still stuck at home worried about loved ones and uncertain about the future. It’s important to keep this in mind when you’re crafting your content.
Rather than focusing on selling, make it about serving your customers instead. People are looking towards brands to provide them with information, solutions, and support during this time.
What resources can you offer that will help your target audience and make a lasting impression beyond this crisis?
3: Maintain Marketing Spend
However, cuts for short-term benefits can have a long-term negative impact. Maintaining marketing spend may be the only way to survive. With advertising costs lower and the share of voice higher, it’s an opportunity to get ahead and gain market share from more cautious competitors.
Research has shown that aggressive advertising and wise spending during tough economic times works. For example, during the 2008 financial crisis, Audi increased its marketing spend while other carmakers were more cautious, elevating the carmaker from a niche brand to a global leader.
4: Deep Dive Into Your Data
SEO is the front and centre of digital marketing strategies. It is a rich source of business and consumer intelligence and has become the most accurate representation of the “voice of the consumer” for organisations globally.
As demand shifts and consumer behaviour changes, SEO and data analytics will not only help brands to respond in the most effective ways possible but also plan for post-pandemic success. Those taking advantage of these valuable insights and the evolving needs of consumers are best positioned to recover and make gains, both during and post COVID-19.
5: Optimise Your Paid Search
To stay relevant during this turbulent time, marketers need to adjust their paid search strategy to suit the current landscape. As you know, paid search is not one-size-fits-all. It is important to be flexible and agile, and closely monitor what’s working or not working.
Many brands have reacted to this crisis by cutting their marketing budgets. This means it is a great opportunity for other brands to reach more people at the top of the funnel. Our advice is to keep investing in your brand and branded keywords. If you don’t, you leave the organisation open to competitors monetising on branded search results.
For more tips and inspiration, check out our list of the best marketing podcasts to listen to in 2020.