You’ve pulled off the impossible to pivot your short-term marketing plan for COVID-19. But what about the long-term? Creatives On Call has tips for getting your marketing back on track and why you must do it as well as a broad range of professionals who can be ready to get your new marketing-thinking done fast.
COVID-19 Has Disrupted Marketing Efforts
The coronavirus has business owners and marketers challenging the status quo of how they reach customers and market their goods and services. Businesses have already had to make adjustments in their marketing plans.
In a survey by Advertising Perceptions, 48% of advertisers surveyed have adjusted the type of media they use or shifted their budget to another form of media in response to COVID-19.
The economic fallout from COVID-19 will affect businesses, consumers, and marketing. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects the world is about to face the worst recession since the Great Depression. The IMF has projected global growth to fall by -3%.
In a recession or crisis such as 9/11 or the 2008 Great Recession, it’s tempting for businesses to play it safe and cut back on marketing efforts. But this is the wrong move and here’s why.
Marketing has an important role in getting the economy moving. The U.S. spends $250 Billion a year on advertising. Marketing and advertising is a huge industry that provides jobs and generates revenue as consumers respond to it and make purchases.
Companies that do lean into advertising during a recession, get the advantages of staying top of the consumers’ mind, cheaper rates, and standing out from the competition.
This isn’t the time to cut back on marketing. It’s time to get creative and adapt your marketing plans despite COVID-19 disrupting everything. Your business will get back on track if you use this challenge to innovate your marketing efforts.
Businesses need to consider how the coronavirus has changed consumer behavior. COVID-19 has left millions of Americans unemployed. And while states have loosened their restrictions on stay-at-home-orders, a majority of the U.S. is still under partial lockdown.
According to Google, people are consuming more online content and searching for critical information to meet their needs. During the lockdown, consumers have increased the amount of time they spend on social media, streaming platforms, electronic devices, and gaming.
As people spend more time in their homes instead of shopping in stores, businesses should consider delivery aspects of their business and direct-to-consumer models to meet customers where they are.
Large brands like PepsiCo have reacted to the changes brought on by COVID-19 by launching sites to deliver directly to consumers' doors.
It’s predicted that these changes in consumer behavior are here to stay. Businesses need to throw out the rule book and any prior data. The best way to move forward with marketing is to use current data and insights and adjust plans to meet new consumer behaviors.
How Can Businesses Get Their Marketing Back on Track?
Go Back to the 4Ps
The first step to getting your marketing on track is evaluating your marketing plan. Re-visit the 4Ps of marketing; product, price, promotion, and place, to understand how your business needs to change for the current environment.
Ask questions like “how can we adjust pricing for consumers who are more cautious to buy right now? And “how can we safely get customers the products and services they need?”.Take a hard look at your current marketing plan, challenge your assumptions, and make revisions as you go.
Prioritize Relevant Products
Look at your products and services and see if there are changes in demand within your brand portfolio. You may need to reallocate the budget to support changes in product demands. It’s fact that the uncertainty of the times has in fact impacted retail behavior greatly.
For instance, with people working from home and using less make-up, cosmetic companies are seeing a shift in sales from make-up lines to skin-care. Reallocate your budget for shifts in demand and focus on your core offering or relevant products and services right now.
Shift from Offline to Online
Businesses can react to an increase in online usage, by transitioning away from offline marketing such as live events and billboards to online deals, fresh content, and paid ads. Research from Neil Patel indicates that paid online ads have had a 71% increase in ROI due to COVID-19.
The key is to have a pulse on what’s going on, how consumers are feeling, and what they need right now. Mckinsey & Co suggests that companies refocus their brand to be relevant to consumers and empathic in their messaging.
Unique Ways to Market
Companies are coming up with unique ways to market in response to the Coronavirus, and one of those is through giving. Zappos, opened up its customer service to help customers with more than shoes. Customers can ask anything from where to get takeout to what are the best virtual workouts.
Companies such as Nike, are dropping subscription fees and giving free trials. Wendy’s offered gift cards to customers in a cyber search treasure hunt. Marketers are dreaming up creative ways to interact with consumers and promote their brand through this crisis while giving back. Check out our recent blog about the impact COVID-19 has had on our view of companies here.
E-learning and other online activities are a way companies can stay top of mind and educate consumers. There has been an uptick in online classes, events, fundraisers, and virtual experiences.
Offering a free online course or event can be used as a way to increase leads and generate business during and post-Coronavirus. It’s an inexpensive way to show others that you are a thought-leader in your industry and give them an experience with your brand.
Businesses with storefronts have been thinking up ways to use their parking lots for drive-thru samples and “kids-free zones” for parents.
A children’s store came up with a new way to sell clothes. Customers can call the store with a child’s gender, size, and the type of clothing requested, and workers will pre-select a box of items for pick-up.
The sky's the limit to how brands can market right now, as long as their message is empathic and their offerings helpful.
COVID-19 has disrupted the world and 2020 marketing plans. The coronavirus isn’t going away soon, plan for the long-term. Businesses that can maintain their marketing budgets by relocating them will have the best chance of survival.
This is a time for marketers to step up to the challenge and get creative in meeting current demands and behavior changes. Creatives On Call call support your business through this. Contact us here. We have Marketing professionals ready to start in areas including:
• Strategy & Advisory
• Design and Production
• Content Creation & Management
• Customer Engagement & Experience
• Learning & Knowledge Management
• Digital Technology & Transformation