As businesses and as individuals, we are having to adapt to rapidly shifting conditions that are affecting every aspect of our lives. Though it’s natural to feel powerless, it is still possible to build meaningful connections with your customers during this pandemic by adapting your marketing strategy to suit changes in sentiment and behaviours.
Try not to panic
Unless you have been forced to for physical or financial reasons, now is not the time to ‘shut-up-shop’. While the health of yourself and any staff is paramount, your business health is also crucial. It might seem shrewd to slash your marketing budget and wait things out, it’s important to keep in front of your customers so you are best placed for market recovery, and front of mind for those that haven’t been adversely impacted financially.
And while the news has been pretty bleak, a recent consumer insights data update from Lightspeed Australian Consumer Research concluded that 53% of Australian consumers have recorded no change in their income during this period, with 8% reporting their income had actually increased during the pandemic.
Be flexible, and open to new ways of doing
Just because you’ve always done things a certain way, doesn’t mean it should be so, particularly now. Equally, some people may be working with reduced budgets, making it more important than ever to strategically consider which service will best achieve your business needs right now.
People are spending a lot more time online at the moment, which is due in part because they are looking for updates in real time, are using social media as a way to keep in touch with friends and family, or simply have an increase of time on their hand.
According to KASPR datahaus, an internet activity and behavioural insights research department based at Monash University, there has been an increase in internet usage of up to 80% in some parts of the country during our period of quarantine.
Rather than getting yourself locked into expensive, long term campaigns look at how you can harness your online channels, which can be much more competitively priced than traditional media such as print, and deliver tangible results in real-time.
You have the power to pull the plug on a campaign that isn’t delivering the results you might like, and you can adapt quickly as information changes that affects your business, particularly around restriction of movement announcements, industry updates and the like.
Pay attention to each of your channels, people get their updates from different sources, so don’t assume your latest mailchimp blast will do all the heavy lifting. You might even find a channel you previously didn’t prioritise could potentially deliver a better return on investment on than some of the traditional methods you’ve always favoured.
Read the room
The world is experiencing a health crisis of a magnitude not seen in our generation. People are experiencing grief, anxiety and uncertainty, and are having to adjust to a rapidly changing world. As such, any communications and campaign materials need to be evaluated through a filter of sensitivity — your tone of voice should be considered, and it should be human, we’re all in this together.
Equally, despite the initial increase in news and media consumption, Australians are reporting ‘news fatigue’ and are increasingly turning away from the 24-hour news cycle, with AdNews reporting that 52% of respondents to a recent survey by the News & Media Research Centre at the University of Canberra saying they were overwhelmed and ‘tired of hearing about it’.
‘The brands that continue to engage with their audiences in a crisis are the ones that tend to recover the fastest.’AdNews, May 2020.
And while we can’t change what is happening around us, we can use this opportunity to listen to and reconnect with our customers and find out what is important to them in a post COVID world.
Since 2016, Plan B Marketing have been collaborating with a range of clients and industries to develop brand positioning campaigns and digital experiences that deliver results with a minimum of fuss.
As a full service creative design and marketing agency, we are on hand to help you develop strategic communications solutions to a range of business challenges and budgets, so don’t be shy. Now’s the time to get in touch for a virtual chat.