The COVID-19 pandemic took the business world by surprise, and it significantly impacted the way companies looked at their marketing initiatives. Many brands chose to stop marketing or substantially reduced their marketing budget. As shelter-in-place orders are currently being lifted, brands might be contemplating how to get back to business as usual. Here are a five things brands should consider as they plan their marketing strategies moving forward:
- Determine a goal – What does your brand want to get out of marketing moving forward? Are you opening your doors and wanting customers to come to your store? Are you hoping for online orders? Determining your comeback goals will help you craft your messaging, select media placements and develop your call to action. Take a look at your pre-COVID marketing plan and see which of those goals are still achievable, and perhaps modify them to the current climate.
- Create appropriate messaging – There is a lot going on in the world right now. The threat of the virus is still present, and people have gone through months of quarantine. Your customer may have lost their job, or they or their family members may have even gotten the virus. The economy is in upheaval and no one really knows what business is going to look like in the near future. Make sure that the tone of content of your communication is appropriate for this time. That doesn’t mean that it has to be morose, but your messaging and tone should absolutely be reviewed for appropriateness before any new marketing launch.
- Set expectations – Customers want to know that they will be safe interacting with your brand. Alert them to any changes in policy or in-store practices. Part of your messaging could just be how you plan to get back to business. Let them know if your staff will be wearing PPE. Help customers understand any new procedures.
- Be authentic – Customers will appreciate honest communication at this time. Marketing is coming under a microscope, as companies are being called out for being insensitive or capitalizing on the situation. In order to get through unscathed, it’s essential that all communications be authentic to the brand and connect with customers on a personal level.
The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely caused economic hardship. As marketers look ahead and start planning their comebacks, it’s important that their efforts are well planned so that they are received by customers in a positive light. By following the five strategies listed above, brands will ensure that their marketing communications make the best of a tough situation, supporting both their customers and their business objectives.