Making sense of marketing in a world turned upside down

Melanie Jeffress

During the uncertainty and disruption brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, we’re all facing unprecedented challenges. Of course, the marketing world is no different.

Brands can do a few things…

Freeze. Panic. Act Too Fast. Hard Sell. Stop Spending. Overreact.

It’s all understandable…

But let’s think calmly, strategically. And ask a few questions.

How can we help our customers?

How can we tell optimistic stories about what unites us to relieve people’s anxiety?

How can we lighten the load or help people work better from home?

How can we strengthen our brands to be in a prime position when we emerge?

 

Everyone was online already, but now we’re together in social channels more than ever.

According to QuestMobile, the daily time spent with mobile internet in China rose from 6.1 hours in early January to 7.3 hours, when workers were placed in self-quarantine1. 

WordStream reported 24% less mobile traffic in the last week of March compared to the last week of February, as housebound behaviours render us far more desktop oriented2

And in the last week of March, traffic from Facebook to authoritative news sites increased by 50% compared to the week before, according to the New York Times, owing almost entirely to intense interest in virus-related news and updates3.      

So we’re all now in one place and, potentially, we’re looking at a disruption of 6-12 months.

Which means we could all do with some positive distractions.

Based on analysis from the GFC, the evidence shows that creating engaging and rewarding digital and data-driven experiences helps brands endure during a crisis and recover faster once it recedes. 

In 2020, the key will be spending more wisely and using data to focus on the most appropriate channels.

 

So what can we do now?

Think laterally.

Plan for the long term.

Be courageous.

Be inventive.

Be creative.

 

Showcase human triumph. Describe how businesses are helping each other in new and innovative ways. Tell stories about how we’re collaborating more openly and generously than ever before.

None of us have encountered these circumstances before, and it’s inspiring how businesses are helping others or pivoting in refreshing new ways. At Bang, we’ve started using our intent data tools to help gauge shifting sentiments and show clients where new opportunities may exist to develop new and deeper customer relationships. In some ways, this is an opportunity for us to become more in tune with each other than ever before.   

However you decide your brand should act or communicate, remember the spirit of human generosity, empathy, and cooperation is one of the strongest elements to arise from this crisis and illuminates the path forward with regard to brand, style, and tone.   

As Harvard Medical School genetics professor David Sinclair, put it recently, “I cannot think of another time in the last million years when our species has been united against a common enemy.”4

 

Credits:

1 www.bandt.com.au/how-brands-can-transition-offline-activity-into-digital-experiences-amid-covid-19

2 www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2020/03/23/covid-19-business-trends

3 www.nytimes.com/2020/03/23/technology/coronavirus-facebook-news.html

www.goodnewsnetwork.org/online-conference-april-14-16-using-covid-19-crisis-to-fix-the-world/

During the uncertainty and disruption brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, we’re all facing unprecedented challenges. Of course, the marketing world is no different.


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