The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the country into a state of crisis. In times of adversity such as these, it can be hard for businesses and marketers to know how or where to begin when it comes to keeping their current operations afloat. With social distancing keeping many at home, the economy is seeing significant shifts in consumer behaviors. Despite remote working and learning, there remains a need for physical goods that is placing pressure on new product and service delivery channels, namely, e-commerce. Those who choose to venture out to stores for essentials are often met with frustration due to inconsistent or even non-existent supplies. Also, health and safety concerns are driving more customers and businesses towards contactless payment (and shopping) models allowing for the use of mobile phones to do just about everything.
While some of these changes may be temporary, many may be more permanent. As consumers move beyond the current survival model, the current momentum behind online and curbside shopping is unlikely to reverse as people, forced by circumstances to try new things, become attached to the convenience. With so many changes taking place during these difficult times, what actions can businesses take to serve and grow their customer base, mitigate risk, and take care of their communities?
Remain Transparent and Empathetic
People feel vulnerable right now. For this reason, empathy is critical. During this time, brands must keep their voice delicate. Those who use these times to be commercially exploitative of the current state of the economy will not fare well. At this point, it is better to acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers, and we need to remain patient and open until we find them. If a business makes pledges or guarantees, especially during these uncertain times, they must be able to deliver on what they say.
Use Media in More Agile Ways
The ever-changing environment of COVID-19 requires businesses and marketers to pivot and alter their messages as circumstances often change quickly. Marketers are wise to create rapid response operating models both internally and with external marketing agencies such as Bianca Frank Design in Anchorage. Access to remote production and additional creative capacity for marketing and advertising will become particularly important as the crisis continues to evolve.
Beyond the creative elements of branding campaigns and marketing, the mix of media platforms used by consumers continues to change quickly as well. Consequently, marketers should consider modifying the media mix they use. For example, with digital entertainment spiking, marketers may want to intensify their use of ad-supported video streaming and mobile gaming.
Associate the Business Brand with Good
For better or for worse, people remember brands for what they do during times of crisis. The COVID19 pandemic is not an exception to this rule. Consumers will remember brands for their good deeds during these times of adversity, specifically if those acts are done with generosity. Acts of generosity from a business could include things such as donating to food banks, providing free products or medical personnel, or continuing to pay employees while the companies doors are closed. For real-world examples of this, one can look to Adobe, who immediately made creative cloud available to K -12 institutions, or when Ford, GE, and 3M partnered to repurpose their manufacturing capacity and put people back to work making respirators and ventilators to fight coronavirus. Alcohol companies have also repurposed their manufacturing capabilities to produce hand sanitizer to alleviate short supplies nationwide.
Similar feel-good content and work help alleviate anxiety and promote positive messages that go a long way to enhance the brand in consumers’ eyes. However, it is essential for companies to show (and prove) that their actions are material and not solely for perceived commercial benefit. Consumers will recognize authenticity and the true purpose of a company’s efforts.
Track Trends and Build Scenarios
Human behavioral trends are excellent indicators of real-time business data. Frequent tracking of these behaviors can help businesses gain insight into their consumers’ habits. Marketers will want to measure business analytics such as consumption trends on a regular basis to better adapt their messages across social media platforms, community sites, and e-commerce product pages. Monitoring these business elements can help a business look for potential opportunities and identify looming business pitfalls more quickly. Companies should consider utilizing SEO (search engine optimization) and internet data analytics to ensure accurate consumer traffic and interest measurements. Not sure what SEO is or struggling with procuring and reading data analytics? Turn to a professional web design service in Anchorage, Alaska, like Bianca Frank Design.
Adapt to The New Normal to Keep Delivering
The speed with which many companies were able to transition to remote working arrangements or online shopping platforms speaks volumes to businesses’ capabilities to adapt and change during times of crisis. Businesses leaders must do their best to shift each element of their operating model – from marketing to sales and service- to this new normal. For businesses to maintain ongoing success, they must continue to adapt and shift as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change how consumers shop and consume.
Despite the pandemic approaching its eighth month in the United States, we remain in a state of acknowledging and adapting when it comes to Brand Marketing In The Age Of COVID-19. As business marketers navigate what they know, they must continue to work externally to keep their brands and customers as connected as possible. Throughout the duration of the pandemic, businesses will need to continue to adopt digital ways of working and connecting their brands with customers. Despite the eventual end to the pandemic, the effort businesses put into virtual branding today will have lasting effects. Brands must continue to think, operate, and lead in new and often unfamiliar ways during these uncertain and unprecedented times. Now, perhaps more than ever, it is essential for businesses to keep their brand at the forefront of people’s minds while remaining empathetic to the difficulties many consumers are experiencing. If now is the time to work on keeping your brand visible through online commerce, SEO, and data analytics, but you’re not sure where to start, contact Bianca Frank Design for assistance with your business needs.