All things being considered, there has never been a better or more important time to be real, authentic, and human as a brand – empathy, and authority are the currency of all the brands that stand out right now. Your brand needs to be considerate about what and how you are communicating to customers, partners, and stakeholders. Are you genuinely aiming to help or are you pushing product/services or another agenda? Now is not the time to deviate, as businesses, we need to stay true to our brand and our overarching mission during uncertain times – ultimately this is what really counts and what people will remember us by. Speaking of being authentic – authenticity demands vulnerability (Brené Brown would agree) and imperfection. Right now, there may not be such a thing as ‘the perfect move’, so why not target the things that make you proud of yourself, your brand, your people, and the work you do. Here’s an example: Cadbury is no longer running its planned Easter ad campaign showing a grandfather setting up an Easter hunt for his grandchildren because it simply isn’t safe for these two age groups to mix right now.
It’s not the rule, but brand campaigns during times like these can convert poorly, but realistically, they are not meant specifically to convert (and this shouldn’t be considered the only metric). They build trust and confidence, which is what is essential right now. It will reassure those who can’t buy now but will buy again later – and attract more of those who can or need to buy now but are being hard-pitched by everyone else in your industry. So be careful, now is not the time to take your brand for granted and cut your budget.
For the last few weeks, it’s no surprise that any search queries around “Coronavirus Marketing” have gone up 100%. With the COVID-19 situation changing almost hourly, it’s difficult for businesses to know how to respond in the middle of all the uncertainty. Uncertainty breeds volatility, anxiety, risk and ultimately opportunity, but here is the perfect time to channel the more human side of your brand by being empathetic instead of opportunistic.
Let’s face it. Everyone is worried. Most individuals and business owners are looking at the bottom line and finding what expenses they can cut in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, and all for good reason. Here’s one thing you think is dispensable but is probably the most important part of your toolkit as a small business owner during these times, Marketing. If sales and traffic are slow or non-existent, the last thing you should be doing is ignoring the one tool that’s going to help boost sales outside of your traditional sales model. We’re all stuck in a period of uncertainty when people are grasping for any sense of normalcy, now is not the time to fade into the background. More than ever before, you need to be creating and presenting great content for your customers and keeping them constantly updated on what your business is doing during this crisis and how you’re anticipating and serving their needs. You need to tell your customers how you’ve pivoting and what new or different ways you’ve created for them to enjoy your products/ services. Here are the things you should be communicating: Is your business still open? Are you an essential service provider? Do you deliver? Do you offer a contactless service? Can customers shop online? Are you selling gift cards? Do you have a new, or discounted offer?
Here is a great example
Keep your social media posts constant. Keep sending out e-blasts and writing blogs. Just our take, but avoid sharing bad news about COVID-19, there’s enough out there. The fear is real people, so give your customers great content that can distract them, even for just a little while. For most of us, we’ve never experienced anything even remotely close to this in our lives, so communication needs to take on a new level of intentionality, empathy, and authority.
At Office Guardians we believe that Marketing is a relationship and people buy from people they trust, and they trust people that they are in relationship with. Give people a reason to trust that you provide a product, service, solution or experience that they need. We encourage you to spend some time away from the day-to-day grind of your business to work on elevating your business. You might feel powerless at this time, but there’s actually more you can control than you think. Remember, if there’s one thing you can control in this chaos, it’s your message – so it’s imperative that you communicate well.
Make no mistake, effective communication is a skill; if you or your team need support to get the right message out, and tell your story, or give updates, we can help with that. Whether it’s updating your website, editing details on your ‘Google My Business’ account, writing blogs, sending e-blasts, social media management, signage or store update posters, or even digital ads, we can support your team by doing all of those. And honestly, we’d like to see all small businesses survive this chaos, but the reality is some cannot, if we can do anything to help your company challenge and thrive in this environment, we’ll add the best of what we do to make that a reality.
We know some teams have had to downsize and some have had to go into survival mode and this leaves you exposed. We’re a Full-Service Strategic, Creative Marketing Agency and we’d be honored to support you through this chaos and to be your #QuaranTeam
Stay safe & stay healthy. Stay physically distant but socially connected, my friends.
Remember, we’re all in this together, and it’s together we’ll get through this.