The Power of Positive Thinking During the Coronavirus
How to market your business without seeming insensitive
When tragedy and chaos strike on a global level, it is more important than ever to practice positive thinking - not only in your personal life, but also regarding your business. History shows that during times of recession, it is not beneficial to decrease your advertising efforts. Now what? How do you shift marketing and advertising strategies to stay relevant during a crisis?
Before we unpack this crisis marketing strategy, we must begin viewing the current market as a cup half-full, despite the underlying situation. We acknowledge that we are experiencing a health crisis like no other. However, the US economy was healthy and strong prior to this outbreak, and it will return when social distancing concludes. Is important to stay relevant and prepare your return strategy.
Data shows that people consume more media during a crisis.
At The Post and Courier, traffic analytics including visitors + session length have tripled. As some businesses unfortunately are forced or decide to cut advertising and/or marketing spending, opportunity is present for surviving businesses to get in front of a large audience, with less competing ads.
Crisis is not a time to decrease communication.
Alternatively, companies should actually be communicating more with customers. However, instead of an advertising approach, the conversation should transition into positive communication.
Keep the goal of your communication in-line with the company's new marketing goals. Stay relevant with clients without seeming “pushy” or “sales-y” by being a helpful resource during this time. Whether this is a small-scale effort by emailing helpful articles (like this one) you've found over coffee in the morning to clients, or building a resource online with free & useful business information for consumers to visit like our Charleston-area Takeout & Delivery Guide. Share your knowledge about a topic as a free resource via a virtual platform, like this Crisis Marketing Webinar.
The tone of communication should be empathetic, with a message that conveys a sense of togetherness.
The goal is to position the company to be useful during this unprecedented time. Retaining current customers is key - their support will be needed throughout! This is also a great time to offer a hand to the community and clients, and gain new customers along the way through your thoughtful crisis message.
Credit Karma founder Ken Lin recently shared the importance of choosing your customers when faced with doing the right thing for your customers vs increasing your bottom line.
“This is an unprecedented time and all Americans are being impacted — some more severely than others. ... As a business owner, your customers and their trust are paramount. You need to be willing to sacrifice short term profit gains to protect your customer,"
From a marketing perspective, now is the time to get creative.
Remember: What a person decides to spend their money on should never be assumed. What should shift in the business's strategy is how to innovate existing + future marketing efforts to adapt to the current situation. Take a look at your current campaigns from the perspective of the new normal. Is this messaging still relevant?
Brainstorm and implement creative promotional campaigns and strategize going forward based on your results.
Don’t be afraid to use some tasteful humor to relate - it is okay! Creative and relatable advertising takes businesses to a new level during times of crisis and recession. It is more important now in 2020 than ever before to be relatable with your approach.
Unsure of how to do this in a helpful way? Your company could decide to launch a fun contest and in turn gain followers and capture email leads. Or, capture email addresses of customers who’d like to be communicated with regarding company updates, new hours, promotions, re-open information, etc. Include business information in FREE resources like The Post and Courier Business Guide. Submit your business listing for our COVID-19 Business Guide for free here.
If business is currently closed or experiencing a decrease in sales, utilize this downtime to prepare a strategy for when social distancing ends. That marketing or rebranding initiative you’ve always wanted to start but haven’t? Now is the time to. Have an innovative business idea? Work hard and don’t be afraid to implement it. Many successful startup companies began amidst the 2008 recession including companies like Slack, whose innovation has landed them financial success again during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whether your company is temporarily closed or ramping up advertising efforts, we are here for you. Continue to communicate and engage with your customers using empathy first. Shift your strategy to, “how can I be useful to my clients?” Keep in mind that your customers are generally stressed and will remember how your messaging made them feel during this crisis. Lend a helping hand, and prepare for the return. We will make it through this together.