Marketing in a Pandemic

Living during a pandemic is hard. Working during a pandemic is challenging. Knowing the best way to market your business during, and after, a pandemic is a perilous journey at best.

Catastrophes happen. Storms bring floods and high winds. Fires sweep through mountains and plains. Plagues and pandemics spread across land and seas. No matter the cause, when a city, region, or country is confronted with a catastrophic event everyone feels the ripple effects.

The economy is affected, business can be interrupted, some families will suffer the loss of jobs and homes, and often children can’t go to school. But eventually, order is restored. People persevere and rebuild their lives, governments provide assistance, businesses work to resume production, employees return to work, and society begins the process of building, repairing and bringing life back to ‘normal.’ 

During an economic slow-down, some companies and industries will suffer more than others. Some industries may even thrive as a result of needs and services brought forth as a result of the crisis. Whatever the case, commercial endeavors and industrial growth will continue — and the need for sales and marketing will, too. Knowing how, when and where is the million dollar question. And millions are riding on it.

Just as business to consumer marketing campaigns, channels and content will need to be re-evaluated, so will B2B endeavors. Sensitivities are high, norms are altered and times are tough — and yesterday’s campaign theme can be tomorrow’s social media disaster.

Marketing is Paramount. Every Time.

Without sales there’s no income. No income, no business, no jobs, and no need for employees. So, how do you adjust previous plans, develop a smart marketing approach, create sensitive content and continue to promote your services and increase your return on investment?

Everyone knows there’s a world-wide pandemic sweeping the planet and wreaking havoc on lives and economies. Businesses and consumers are being negatively affected by the COVID-19 crisis each day. Each industry, and all companies, must maintain sales, retain attention, convey their products, market their services, and promote their benefits — now more than ever. This is especially true for purpose-driven, community serving organizations and nonprofits that are already operating on razor-thin budgets. In order to achieve these goals, marketing, advertising and PR programs must be adjusted, their positions maintained and efforts increased to heighten their results. Every business will not survive by increasing their marketing, bolstering their PR, propping up their social media channels and boosting their branding. But businesses will fail without smart leadership, strong sales, and effective marketing — every time.

The American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A) surveyed 1,000 consumers about brand communication during the pandemic and learned how COVID-19 is changing people’s daily routines. 43% said it’s reassuring to hear from brands they know and trust. 40% want to hear what brands are doing in response to the pandemic. Thus showing consumers have positive attitudes towards brand communication during the pandemic.

Consumer Sentiment Towards Brands During COVID-19, 4A’s Research

So what’s the solution? The same as it ever was — only more so. Think smart. Wade carefully. Speak honestly. Exceed expectations. Be empathetic of your audience and aware of the challenges they are dealing with as well. Your consumer is as tired as you are. Your audience is as overwhelmed by life, the economy, and stress as you are. The constant stream of negative news cycles is exhausting. If you are thinking about challenges, dealing with stressors, or juggling responsibilities, chances are your clients are as well. 

At CauseLabs, our approach to business, and marketing, is built upon the basic tenets of human-centered design. This approach to business, innovation, design and development seeks to best integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and to then identify the ideal solutions for every challenge. By focusing on people, this process allows us to  bring together what is technologically feasible, economically viable, and most desirable for meeting the real needs of our end users.

Fortunately, the economy is resilient. Consumers will continue to consume. Businesses are still operating and supply chains are becoming stronger and more efficient. Someone is going to step up to the front and be the solution who meets the need. Some smart businesses will survive the crisis, thrive during the recovery, and continue to grow and succeed. So go ahead, step up, enhance your marketing, announce your presence, and promote your solutions for a better tomorrow. 

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