This is truly an unprecedented time and it’s okay to be questioning each step moving forward during this crisis. The best way to get answers to those questions? Ask! That’s right, outright ask your audience what they need from you right now.
Use every source you have to listen to what your clients are saying and feeling.Reach out to sales and account managers to gather insight they receive directly from clients, look into your comment sections, see how people are responding to emails, etc. Listening to your customers needs/wants/concerns during this crisis will be the guiding force in developing or altering your marketing plan during these unique times.
Communicate ClearlyPart 1
Now is not the time to be silent. The public is hyper aware of how brands are responding to this crisis. So be sure you’re evaluating the current policies you have set in place and consider if they need to be adjusted to better suit your clients needs for the time being. For example,consider adjusting cancellation or payment policies. Be transparent and communicate any changes regarding product availability or business adjustments you are making. People want to know you’re taking action.
Communicate Clearly Part 2
So you’ve decided to adjust your policies and add extra precautions. Great. Now broadcast those changes to the public. Make it very clear what you’re doing during this crisis and why. People will be anxiously looking to see that companies are making adjustments to protect their customers during this time. So if you don’t communicate very clearly and openly to them that you’re doing just that, they will find another business that is.
Continue to Establish Your Brand as an Expert in Your Industry
So much has changed in our world so fast. Customers most likely aren’t using this time to add more change to their lives by exploring or trying out new brands. Show your current client basewhy they trusted you in the first place by putting out content that reaffirms your expertise.
Avoid Marketing With Fear
Your audience is already going through a collective traumatic experience. Feeding off of that fear and anxiety is neither productive nor helpful for your customers or your brand.
Continue to Add Positivity
Because we all need a little more positivity at a time like this.
Don’t Stop Creating Content
People are looking at their screens now more than ever. Which provides a great opportunity to engage, educate and entertain your audience. The brands that had previously been working on building content libraries are glad they have content to remix and recycle.
Consider the Creative
With that in mind, be sure that the content you’re creating is appropriate to the crisis. That could mean reconsidering any images containing crowds of people, any words that could have a double meaning, and of course avoiding any inappropriate humor regarding the pandemic. People are going to notice small triggers, so be sure to catch any before they go live.
Continue to Build for the Long-Term
One key way that General Mills, among other large brands, are approaching their marketing is “to avoid the temptation of simply driving short-term revenue.” “For us, brand building is a long-term investment. It’s not only what we do this quarter. So, we will continue to build our brands in appropriate ways, because the impact is not only for now, but it’s three months from now, and six months from now,” CEO Jeff Harmening said.
Go with the Flow
What is right for today could be completely wrong by tomorrow. Our current reality is constantly evolving so do your best to remain flexible. Have plans ready formultiple outcomesover the next couple of months and be ready to tweak all of those plans. Right now is all about monitoring the world around you and adjusting as necessary, both individually and professionally.
Take a Deep Breath.
We’re all in this together and working as a team (from a distance of 6 ft apart, of course) is the most productive way to find solutions.
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