Recently we sat down with Kieran S-Lawler, Head of Content and Social Media at Hallam, about the changing dynamics of Marketing in a Covid-19 environment and what you should do as a business to adapt.
What we are seeing now
Many businesses have rightly dropped their sales message over the past few months in favour for ‘Targeted social good’. Here brands leverage authentic and ‘human’ content to promote a message of social awareness, guiding and in some instances giving back to a broader community.
Research indicates these strategies are likely to be successful not just now, but during the long-term as creating authenticity and generating an emotional connection with your consumers is likely to make your brand more memorable during the long-term.
Whilst this is an obvious strategy for many brands during the pandemic, what happens after?
No ‘on and off switch’
Moving forwards it is important to remember that there is no ‘on and off switch’ which returns you to the previous normal. Whilst Covid-19 may be on the downturn, economic uncertainty is likely to be on the rise. Additionally, consumer confidence is likely to fall due to increased redundancies and uncertainties in the job market, meaning it will be harder to market your products or services in the same way as a pre-recession environment.
The biggest emotion on most consumers minds currently is uncertainty. Ideally, brands need to start addressing this issue as soon as possible in order to attract consumers and gain their confidence.
With consumers now more likely to be turning off from Coronavirus messages, now is the ideal moment to address the future and provide some light at the end of the tunnel.
Don’t panic! Consumers don’t need to know your full business plan. Providing them with insight that you are considering making changes to the current situation is likely to be enough to control the uncertain emotions. For instance, if you are a physical store, perhaps consider telling your customers that you are considering ways to re-open with their safety in mind. This reassures them that you have their best interests at heart and also provides some much needed insight as to when they can return to their favourite store.
Maintain brand equity
Your brand over the next few weeks and months may very well be the lifeline of your business. Don’t throw away all of the hard work undertaken during the early months of the pandemic just to return to business as usual.
Instead try to continually keep an eye on your consumer markets and what they are doing. Considering factors like their emotional pain points and addressing these through targeted marketing communications consistent with your brand message and vision is likely to be more effective than a continued sales message. With incomes and spending power likely to be reduced, consider ways to make your brand standout from competitors to attract frugal groups, this may be through ‘Targeted social good’ or other brand building activities.
For a more in-depth insight, you can listen to our podcast where we discuss what is meant by ‘targeted social good’, the importance of brand authenticity and how businesses should adapt moving forwards.