23 Mar Marketing and Communications During COVID-19
There’s no question that we are in an unprecedented time of worldwide uncertainty with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the situation continues to evolve and news continues to unfold, businesses and individuals all over the world are being impacted in some form. Over the past few weeks, marketing and communication professionals, like everyone else, have been quickly adapting their strategies to the evolving needs of brands and consumers. Although we’re still learning as we go, here are a few recommendations from MCG to help guide you and your customers through this period of uncertainty.
Be proactive and maintain transparency.
Your clients want information, and staying silent will only cause rumors and worry to surface. In the absence of authoritative information from you, your clients may make up their own minds about what’s true. Keep your customers informed of your current business operating hours as well as any changes being made regarding communication between your customers, suppliers, and staff members. Continue to monitor the situation on a daily or even hourly basis and adjust your strategic marketing plan accordingly.
Ensure that business contact information is frequently updated and fully functioning.
To ensure that no effort to reach out “falls through the cracks,” make sure that all communication channels are open and functional on your website, social accounts, etc. (e.g. links to email contacts, text, call links, contact forms, etc.).
Revisit and revise currently scheduled media/content if necessary.
This one is very important. Ensure that your messaging stays consistent and relevant, especially if it has already been scheduled to be published. Be mindful of marketing messaging, especially ones that are promotional. In addition, it may be necessary to adjust the tone of your marketing to focus more on the facts that you can control. Messaging that is overly “salesy” may not be received very well during this time. Think about how you would receive the same kind of message as a consumer. Overly self-promotional messages will be tuned out, or worse, could damage your brand’s reputation as insensitive.
Focus on personalized communication.
Ensure that your marketing during this time is intentional. Chances are, subscribers and customers will be receiving emails from dozens of businesses regarding each of their responses to the evolving situation. We’ve seen messages from brands that are virtually identical. However, personalizing your email will not only make it more sincere and authentic, but it will also make the email more conversational and personable, helping to convey your brand’s message.
Implement strong social listening practices.
If you have access to a social listening service, set up keyword terms for “COVID-19″ or “coronavirus” mentions in your community (you can also set up Google alerts for free). Take time to monitor and read what people are saying, and share this information with the rest of your team, as well as with customers when appropriate. This can help with monitoring social media accounts as well to ensure that your content is continuing to stay relevant and respectful of the current news. Nothing is worse than your brand being seen as cavalier in the face of a global crisis.
Hopefully, these tips will help you as you navigate the evolving developments of COVID-19 and work to employ effective marketing and communication strategies. For the most accurate and updated information on the spread of COVID-19, refer to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVID-19 Dashboard.
“In a perfect world, every brand, business, corporation and human being would live by ethical and compassionate core values. Sadly, we do not live in a perfect world. There’s hope though, that those putting their money where their mouths are and embracing collaboration will come out on top when all this is over – and consumers will remember brands that did the right thing.” –CampaignUS …and Morris Creative Group would add, “…and the ones that didn’t.”
As always, if we can be of any help to you or your business, please reach out. We’re here for you.
THE MCG TEAM