The Impact of Coronavirus on Marketing Activities
Throughout these past few weeks, I’ve heard some really interesting points of view on marketing (or not) in this challenging climate, from webinars I’ve joined and articles I’ve read. The overriding message seems to be that now, when things may be a little quieter, is the perfect time to invest in your brand and strengthen your marketing materials in preparation for when you need to start competing again.
Despite this, a survey carried out by Marketing Week and Econsultancy at the start of lockdown discovered that only 14% of marketing campaigns are going ahead as planned. Working in a marketing agency, you may expect me to stress the importance of marketing during these times, but it really does make sense from a business as well as a marketing perspective.
To collate and share all the key marketing research that has been carried out since the start of the pandemic, MAXX has created an infographic. It is important for us to draw attention to the fundamental shift in marketing behaviour and share this with our network of clients, friends and colleagues.
One of the positives coming out of this strange time is the increase in empathy, generosity and kindness. We are certainly learning to co-operate and one of the articles I read (I think from Gravity Digital) says that now is not the time to “sell, sell sell” but the time to “give, give, give”. This giving doesn’t have to be of practical use, just giving your time could be worth a small fortune to someone else. Marketing Week and Econsultancy report that levels of empathy for co-workers are high at the moment. Maybe you could use this time to invest not only in your customers but also in your suppliers, your staff, your family, your friends - or even, yourself!
Innovation is key!
Maybe you can use this time to explore ways that your business can innovate. I’ve been really impressed by what some organisations have managed to do by just rethinking their business model, whether streaming their services to make them available online, by adapting supply chains or just reusing technology for other purposes.
Some of our clients have used their resources to do their part to help where they can. 137 Gin paused creating its award-winning gin, and used supplies to make hand sanitiser for those who need it most. Additive manufacturing company 3T used its machines to create components for face shields for frontline workers.
Kindness and support wins
Although it's good to give, we need to support our fellow human beings in times of need. There is also some truth in the fact that if people relate to your business now, there is an increased chance that they will buy from you later. There are many, many examples of good deeds being returned and multiplied. I’m a big believer in Maya Angelou’s adage that people may forget what you say and what you do, but they never forget how you make them feel. (And that works for both good and bad feelings, by the way!)
Make use of low cost and free marketing channels
It never fails to astound me how many ‘successful’ businesses cut their marketing budgets in a downturn or even stop marketing altogether! I understand that paying salaries, rent and other bills may have to come first but if there is some budget, it really does make sense to spend a bit on promoting what you do. It doesn’t have to cost a lot - there really is a great deal that can be done on a tight budget or even for free. Engagement metrics on social media have increased since the lockdown period began, meaning people are looking for great content. If you can create it, share it!
For some ideas about what you could be doing, join our weekly advice and collaboration webinar, taking place at 10am on Wednesday mornings. Contact us via [email protected] for a link to access if you would like to join us. We look forward to speaking with you.