Over the last month, our lives have frenzied to epic proportions. The global economy, lives and humanity are shaken because of the coronavirus having descended upon us as an economic and social sledgehammer.
Businesses have realized and accepted COVID-19 as a seismic force upending every aspect of their customers and society. There is hardly any business that hasn’t faced the brunt of this pandemic.
With everything turned upside down by the pandemic, it is all the more critical to keep the marketing of your brand going strong. The customers need to know that things will eventually bounce back to normal, so the way you market your products and services is important.
In an attempt to save your business’s bottom line, you must remain extra careful while planning and executing your marketing strategies. Here are 7 do’s and don’t’s of marketing during COVID-19 that will help build trust and empathy with your audience and customers in these difficult times.
|Instill empathy in your communication||Don’t sell on the urgency|
|Offer free trials and resources||Don’t capitalize on the crisis|
|Continue the lead generation||Don’t just focus on conversion|
|Double down on content marketing||Don’t stop the efforts|
|Proactive communication||Don’t just talk|
|Proactive listening||Don’t Ignore negative feedback|
|Empathize in the proposals||Don’t miss any chance|
Let’s dig deeper into the fundamentals of marketing during these turbulent times, along with the 7 tips and what-not-to-do, backed by examples.
1. Instill empathy in your communication
With staying indoors becoming the new normal, people are spending more time on social media platforms. One tiny mistake, and it will spread like wildfire, so you need to be extra careful while dealing with customers. Whether you are replying to their emails or posting on social media, there is no room for insensitivity. Your marketing efforts have to be backed by the fact that this pandemic has taken lives and devastated families. Hence, you have to empathize with your customers even if you are delivering the basic utility items.
Dunzo, an Indian company that does hyperlocal deliveries, is steering towards action and empathy-driven communication to build a brand that users love and trust.
In cases where the product is technical in nature, ensure that the marketing team undergoes product enablement to train them for successfully communicating with the customers.
Refrain from selling on urgency or carrying out flash sales. It will take you down the lane so bad that climbing the ladder up would remain a distant possibility even when everything will bounce back to normal.
2. Offer free trials and resources
Offering valuable free trials and discounts to the customers is the most persuasive and effective way of marketing during these testing times. Customers will be motivated to try out only those products or services that add value to their experience.
SocialPilot, a social media scheduling and analytics tool offers a wide range of discounts to existing and new users.
A thoughtful free trial or discount offered in the current times can prove to be a great upsell or cross-selling opportunity in the near future. Be cautious not to capitalize on the crisis with your offerings.
3. Continue with lead generation
Although it is not recommended to initiate new selling strategies, continuing with lead generation doesn’t harm. If your focus is just on conversion, you may not find any motivation to work on it. Rather, think of the future, and you will know how rewarding it is to have a pool of leads for conversion once the situation normalizes.
Potential customers are reading the content and are ready to go through the sales funnel before making their final decision. So why not take them through the funnel while they are indoors and let them take the final call when they are ready. This could be a great opportunity to converting your loyal customers into brand ambassadors and expanding your audience. Remember to keep your approach gentle all the time.
Nextiva, a phone system for small businesses and enterprises, helps customers understand the current market with their latest communications report. The powerful insights and data can be accessed by entering your email address to download the report.
Lead generation is about helping your customers before asking them for something in return.
4. Double down on content marketing
If you are a seasoned marketer, you would know that people across the globe are consuming content more than ever before. As a result, don’t halt your content creation.
Remember that people are scanning everything with a sharp lens because they have more time at their disposal. You also need to adopt a neutral approach in your content while you express concern towards your audience. Why? Because content is going to last a long time in the search results.
In order to help their customers succeed, Monday.com, a project management tool, has created a “remote work resource hub” wherein they share tips, templates, and product updates to support companies overcome the challenges of working from home.
Don’t refrain from adding credible resources to the information you share with your customers. You can tweak your ongoing offers according to the geographical location of your customers based on the situation of the pandemic in their place. Double-check to ensure there are no grammatical errors and create a gripping content for the people locked indoors to stay hooked.
5. Proactive communication
It will be underrated to say that communication with customers is important; in fact, the reality is that customers are looking for proactive communication loaded with empathy and comfort. Analyze and estimate the situation of the customers, their browsing patterns, and predict their needs. If you reach out to them before they express their concern, then you multiply your chances of being their favourite.
This ad by Surf Excel communicates the values of charity at the time of Ramadan, during COVID-19.
Customers need someone to talk to them and reassure them that everything will be okay, and you are with them. Now is the time to prove that you are a brand who cares.
6. Proactive listening
A negative review does more harm than having no review. Social proof is a deciding factor when it comes to purchasing a service or product online. While it is inevitable to receive negative customer feedback, learn to deal with it positively through reputation management, instilling that your brand empathizes and apologies for the mistake.
This isn’t the time when you can sit back and ignore the negative aspect of marketing. Instead, take focussed steps to work on the cause of the complaint. Resolve customer complaints and pave the way for a positive future.
The CEO of Walmart USA, John Furner, walks the viewers through their Alabama store, showing them the safety standards Walmart stores are following in the wake of COVID-19.
7. Empathize in the proposals
While some businesses out there are doing well, none of us will emerge unscathed. If you have a chance of sealing the deal with a customer or a client, what would you do? As the workforce is operating from home, you can’t afford to create a proposal with errors. Conduct online meetings involving all the team members responsible for creating the proposal. You can use proposal management software to save time while conveying the desired message.
We wished COVID-19 had never happened. But now that it is here, let’s humanize our marketing to focus on what truly matters. And wait for the magic to emerge. Before all of that, wash your hands.
Great article! Agree with you, being empathetic should be on the top of the list during pandemic. Some whiskey distilleries in New Zealand decided to manufacture hand sanitizers during the pandemic. This gave their image a massive boost.