V Formation guest blogger and award-winning MBA graduate, Mecia Petersen shares her thoughts on how marketing can help brands to survive and thrive in a pandemic-impacted business world.
Toward the beginning of the pandemic, staying in touch to build trust emerged as one of the key strategies successful brands followed. Saying nothing was possibly the worst thing to do. Successful marketers used the opportunity to consider the most effective marketing channels and revisit content strategies. Building trust and spreading positivity were two key brand messages clients looked out for.
Almost ten months on, we continue to navigate the ‘new normal’ and traditional approaches are continually evolving, with clear trends emerging.
1. Empathetic Marketing
During a time of crisis, what we say and how we say it matters more than ever. People are emotionally charged by their experiences, and this emotion can prove valuable for marketers.
The key is placing yourself in your customers’ shoes. And by this we mean, really placing yourself into their emotions. Imagine what your customers may be thinking, feeling, what is most important to them right now.
Ask yourself what your customers truly value, rather than what you are selling.
Building a content marketing strategy around these answers will go a long way. By really understanding your customers, you will succeed in evoking emotion and building a brand relationship based on trust.
The Dove courage is beautiful campaign is a great example of empathetic marketing, gone viral.
Dove successfully placed themselves in not only customers’, but everyone’s shoes during this time of crisis. The campaign evokes emotion and thanks those in the line of duty. Dove has followed through on its brand promise by donating products from each of its beauty lines to Covid-19-related causes.
2. Listen to Your Customers
This cardinal marketing rule cannot be more important than in a period following a market shake-up.
Customers’ priorities have shifted. Their needs have changed and, in this instance, their focus is likely placed on their families’ health and safety above all else. Whilst your product or service may still be required, it has likely moved down the food chain of priority.
During this time, engaging meaningfully with your customers to get authentic feedback is key.
Utilise the opportunity to find out what matters most to your customers. Leveraging engagement opportunities born out of a successful empathetic content marketing strategy would be a win-win situation.
While it may seem counterintuitive to send out Covid-19-related questions, a recent article by Gartner indicates that many marketers who undertook surveys regarding Covid-19’s impact on customer experience benefited from actionable results.
3. Re-evaluate Your Online Presence
The Covid-19 world has altered the way people spend their time, both personally and professionally. It may well have impacted where and how your audience is spending their time online.
It is now more crucial than ever for brands to (re) evaluate their online marketing strategies – both in terms of brand presence and customer engagement.
While email marketing may previously have been the most effective channel for your audience, does it still ring true in a work-from-home reality where a break from email may be as welcome as ice-cream on a summer’s day?
Likewise, with many parents now intermittently home-schooling their children, are they spending the same amount of time on traditionally used advertising platforms, or are they leaning more towards social platforms instead?