History shows: Don’t stop advertising!
Smart businesses excel in a crisis. From the Great Depression to September 11th, companies have found ways to thrive during tough times. As your competitors stop spending on advertising and your consumers spend more time consuming media, now is the time to put yourself out there.
During recessions, consumer confidence drops, but demand does not. Find out ways to alter the way you do business right now, and avoid being lost to history.
Data shows that businesses want to maintain or increase ad spending
Local businesses with greater experience in marketing plan to spend more on advertising during the COVID-19 pandemic. Media consumption rises by 60% when people are asked to stay at home. This includes both entertainment and news consumption. During this time, you have a larger audience and less ad clutter to compete against.
Consumers are seeking credibility
Consumers are paying more attention to local media right now, in an effort to confirm what they hear elsewhere. Advice and ideas for advertising to these consumers can help get your message communicated clearly and empathetically. Messages from non-essential and at-risk businesses have to be creative.
100% of customers need to be communicated with right now. People need to know the status of their surrounding businesses and how they are operating.
There are 3 main opportunities to consider. You can: sell new products to old customers, sell old products to new customers, or sell new products to new customers. Find out which is best for you and communicate that to everyone.
This is not the time to get your messaging wrong, find a marketing resource to help you find the right way to communicate.
Examples of effective messaging
From American Airlines and Uhaul to local dermatology doctors, businesses are thinking differently about their operations and messaging. Address the short term and long term. Advertise both what you’re doing to stay in business now, and what you can do to keep your customers spending when life returns to normal. Discounts and future offers are great for this.
Adapt your messaging to the unique environment of the world right now. Lean into the fact that people are working from home. Professional attire companies found a creative way to market clothes that keep you “looking sharp from the waist up” for a video conference.
You also need to be careful with your messaging. Companies should not make light of the situation or lean into the wrong aspect of this crisis. For example, a restaurant shouldn’t be offering free toilet paper with their delivery meals. That creates a bad look and might push away customers, even though it is timely and comes from a good intention.
Don’t assume your business is useless right now
Find ways to reframe your business or shift services. For example, a dog kennel service might appear useless right now with everyone staying home. But a smart way to shift this would be to deliver dog food or give out tips for taking care of your dog.
As another example, real estate professionals should be working harder to reach customers right now. This might be a tough time for people financially, but at the same time some people are being displaced or looking for a cheaper living situation.
Bring your product or service to the consumer. Don’t wait for the buyers to come back to you months from now, when we can leave our homes. Give people a reason to think about what you do and how you fit into the current environment.