March 20, 2020

The Key To Effective Marketing Messaging at This Time? Just Be Human…and Four Other Tips

Look, let’s be honest. Life has changed a lot in the last few weeks. Sick people are trying to get Covid-19 tests, many kids are home from school around the country, hospitals are worried about ventilator shortages and we don’t know how long any of this will last. It’s scary. And it’s okay to say that. Unfortunately, some brands are not getting the memo and there is nothing more jarring than getting a “Great Steals and Deals for Easter” email when you’re wondering when the grocery stores will get eggs and baby wipes back in. This is uncharted territory for everyone physically, financially, mentally and professionally but there are steps that you should take to ensure that you’re offering value and comfort to your customers at this time. 

1.Take a Step Back, Breathe and Assess

What do you currently have on automation? Those canned emails waxing poetic about the beauty of Spring and the great deals that you’re offering? Cancel them. Every piece of content and messaging that goes out should be tactful. Acknowledge what is happening in the world. That’s okay. Let your customers know the steps you are taking to keep your employees safe and offer them products and services that will provide comfort, reduce their risks or provide some sense of safety and belonging.

2.Can You Use Your Brand for Good? Do it.

While the majority of the world around us is trying to figure out what is happening and how to keep the vulnerable safe right now, let your brand help shine light during this dark time. What can you do to make a meaningful difference? If you have a big platform and following, use it to promote positivity and kindness. Is your company still profitable during this time when others are struggling? Then find a way to help those companies that are drowning. Let’s embrace this difficult time together and help navigate a better future for all by promoting good in any and every way we can.

3.Appoint an Internal Research and Response Team

Create a team composed of employees from different departments who can focus on key areas of your business and develop plans on how to communicate to external audiences during this time. There’s probably a lot of uncertainty right now so this team should brainstorm and compile ideas and strategies around navigating Covid-19 tactfully. The goal is to create an action plan that can then be discussed with leadership and implemented quickly.  

4.Build Better Relationships 

Be proactive, instead of reactive. Customers are more stressed than ever right now, so rather than just shutting down or pulling the plug on all marketing efforts, focus on retargeting. For example, don’t pull all your budget from paid search campaigns, instead change your message or campaign to focus on the market change and current needs of the consumer. Use social media as a way to monitor your audience and see how you can help them, instead of using it to sell to your audience. Make your messaging count in order to help build a better relationship with your customers. Come out ahead and help prepare for the future. 

Please just remember, if your communication to your customers isn’t providing true value or comfort, just don’t send it out because it could be ignored or worse: your brand could be chastised on social media and elsewhere for being tone deaf.

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