In everything your brand does, context matters. Beyond the most basic actions taken to help protect businesses and employees during crisis situations, brands will either help or hinder the collective experience. When a cultural moment occurs and dramatically affects the world, as it has during the COVID-19 pandemic, it's crucial that brands address this issue with a sense of tact, mindful marketing, and empathy.
With that in mind, when it comes to existing and planned campaigns, modern marketing teams face unique and often unplanned challenges during the Crisis. Even though it is still early during the quarantine process, many businesses are already adjusting the way they communicate with clients and customers. With that in mind, you can find some general guidelines here for marketing your business in this unusual situation.
Adjust Scheduled Content Timelines and Marketing Campaigns
There are many brands that can create fast-turn campaigns designed for a specific moment. An example of this was Ford when vehicle ads were swapped for a campaign focused on the Coronavirus response. While these are impressive, there are some prohibitive risks that make this type of war-room action unachievable and unrealistic for most businesses.
The first step for a brand to consider is what is currently running or in the pipeline, including pre-scheduled content that is set to launch soon. During this audit, consider the following:
· Determine what to pause right now
· Consider what to pivot or prioritize
The good news is that taking a break from content may provide an advantage after things get back to normal. Right now, it's a good idea for you to prepare for upcoming cultural moments (i.e., post-quarantine) and figure out what content will be most impactful and relevant then.
Evaluate the Language and Imagery Being Used
There's no question that visual communication is powerful, along with the words that are used. It's crucial to think about what type of message your brand is conveying. Some things to look at and consider changing include:
· Remove or avoid the use of visuals where people or crowds are touching
· Reframe your marketing language that may describe a close interaction with others
· Swap out your visuals if needed
Take some time to see what changes you can make that would be beneficial to the Crisis right now.
Don't Try to Capitalize on the Crisis
This is applicable to any crisis or tragedy, but it is especially important to remember in the existing climate where fear and worry are top of mind. While it's a good idea to keep people informed about how the Crisis is affecting the business, make sure you aren't spread panic or become an alarmist.
When it comes to marketing through this Crisis, keeping the tips and information here in mind can be invaluable. Being informed is the best way to ensure you are able to make it through this Crisis unscathed and that your customers see your efforts during this difficult time.