[Masters of Marketing] Marketing During the COVID-19 Crisis
Masters of Marketing is a weekly video series featuring senior marketers from brands, tech companies and agencies sharing their ideas, industry trends, best practices and tips.
The crisis we are currently in the middle of has a lot of implications for us — as humans first, but also as professionals. Marketeers are grappling with many questions these days such as:
Should brands behave like nothing happened and carry on?
Should we stop branding activities and only do performance marketing?
Or do we completely stop all marketing spend?
Munmun Nath, Managing Director Marketing of MoneyMax.PH, shares how brands can market with empathy, reassure customers and help to solve their problems during this period.
Take a step back and remind ourselves what Marketing is: Meeting the needs of the customer. Right now, what has happened is that need has changed.
Putting ourselves in the shoes of our customers we can see that perhaps we are trying to live our lives as normally as possible, but the uncertainty surrounding Covid does occupy a lot of our mind space.
Brands must strike a balance between maintaining "business as usual" and meeting this hunger for information and reassurance that exists out there.
How do we do that? E.R.S.
Empathize - Show that you care.
Reassure - Show that you are going to help them make the best decisions in these uncertain times.
Solve - The priorities of our customer have changed. How can we address their current needs?
How do we put E.R.S. into practice?
Millions of searches were made related to COVID-19 in the month of March alone. Data shows that consumers were most interested in information related to:
Stocking up and ordering food and drink
Searching for options on online entertainment
Technology that helps them work from home
You could align your content marketing strategy to address some of these information needs, even if it does not directly connect with your products, but helps your customers.
This is not the time slapstick humour or graphics that show interactions like handshakes, hugs, and high-fives. If you are running any campaign with influencers, ensure they empathise and express solidarity, else they might be perceived as tone-deaf.
There is a lot of information out there on COVID-19 these days. One way to help your customers could be to aggregate and simplify different sources of information. Use a tone that is lighthearted, uplifting, and encouraging
Running promos on products that customers might deem non-essential might come across as shallow. Their priorities have changed, and their intent to buy your products might not exist or low on priority. If you are running ads, answer these questions through your copy
How will your products help them in the current situation?
Why would investing their money on your products be a good decision?
If you are a digital service provider, then this is the time to double down on that message in your ads.
Customer relationship management
Communication with your existing customers is perhaps the most important part of your marketing today. Set realistic expectations about your service levels and share your plan for business continuity and how they might be affected. All this will reassure your customers that you are in it together and here to help.
To sum up, this is the time when your brand has the chance to show why it’s relevant and that you can give back more than you ask. So keep all your marketing communication channels open and contribute meaningfully to the conversation with Empathy, Reassurance and Solution.
If you are an experienced senior marketer from a brand, agency or tech company willing to share your marketing secrets and would like to contribute to the Masters of Marketing series, click here to get in touch.