These are, to say the least, unpredictable times. The sense of calamity many marketers are experiencing will mean some will be aiming simply to limit damage until this storm blows over. Others will aim to capitalize on the chaos to salvage some quick profit. We wanted to share with you some quality articles calling for cool heads and foresight and give you some actionable takeaways we found useful. We hope you’ll find them helpful too.

Hearts and Minds – The importance of your message

In this excellent article, Fernando Polo from GoodRebels.com drives home the message that brands must be careful with their message. They must be seen to be taking steps to improve the lot of their customers. The language and tone must be adequate in order to avoid faux pas like Uber’s with this campaign.

Are there any actions your brand could be taking to make life easier for your customers at this difficult time? 

 

Crisis = danger + opportunity

“Media consumption (including social media or Netflix) and eCommerce usage is expected to rise sharply as more and more people quarantine at home”

Of course, the effects of this crisis are going to be catastrophic for many businesses. But the smart marketers won’t be blind to the opportunities it will also bring.

One of the things Polo urges marketers to do is to “Keep Calm and Carry On”. Normal life will resume in earnest and this shouldn’t take brands by surprise. What can they do during this time, with the crisis at its height?:

“It is the time to focus on branding, awareness, and engagement. Digital content production and interactions matter more than ever.”

Those marketers who focus on the top end of the funnel now, winning the hearts and minds of customers, will do far better in the long run than those who try to capitalise on crisis in exchange for short-term gain.

“This is a good opportunity for brands to do it right and be human-centric. To truly care about people, offer help, stay calm and flatten the curve, while building brand awareness and fostering engagement.”

 

Precedents to the unprecedented

In her article for TheDrum.com, one of the things Charlotte McEleny points out is how lessons can be learned from the way the world came out of the SARS epidemic and the changes that crisis brought about, among which was the rise of e-commerce. So, while this is as VUCA a situation as most brands will ever have been through, there are real cases that can be studied. And real reasons not only to be optimistic, but to actually prepare for the return of the good times

McEleny quotes Chris Stephenson, regional head of strategy and planning, PHD APAC:

“The key lesson for brands across the world is to be consumer-first and keep a sense of optimism, because the recovery will come around and brands need to be ready to thrive.”

 

Will you be ready to thrive?

 

Takeaways

As a marketer I should:
  1. Be keenly aware of the tone my brand is adopting during this crisis
  2. Encourage real action to help people get through the crisis
  3. Push all things digital
  4. Spend differently instead of spending less
  5. Focus on the top end of the funnel
  6. Be people-focused!

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