When there’s only chaos and panic around, the last thing someone wants to see is yet another ad, right? We’d be tempted to say this, but people shift their attention to what the brands do during times like this more than ever, because they know that some of them can actually help and bring useful pieces of advice to the table. Therefore, let’s see how you can change your strategy into one that is embraced by the community.
1. Rethink the message
In this case, the first step is also the most important one, because apart from the tips & tricks that will follow, it’s essential for the message to be aligned to the context. Now, more than ever, the consumer needs to feel that somebody empathizes with the whole situation everyone is going through and that he is given solutions and pieces of advice.
Even though that “someone” is a brand, now it’s the perfect time to act on the discussion of brand humanity by being close to the community and trying to help it, even just with the right words.
A negative example in this case would be the one of an airline that has recently sent out, apparently by mistake, a newsletter with the subject “Never a better time to fly”, which had been written a couple of months before.
2. Use Inbound Marketing tactics
Inbound Marketing roughly means any Marketing tactic that engages those people who are actually interested in that content and in what that brand has to offer. Among these tactics there are Social Media strategies, search engine optimization, Content Marketing, infographics, podcasts, webinars etc.
Everyone stays home now, thus a message sent out through one of these ways can reach a large number of people in a short amount of time. The supermarket chains, for instance, are very active on Social Media and post about the measures they are taking and how everyone can protect themselves while shopping for essentials. And people willingly follow everything these brands post to find out all they have to say on these matters.
By using these tactics, not only do the users perceive the content as non-intrusive for their online experience, but also, depending on the messages that have been sent out, there may be information they are looking for on purpose. Therefore, the content is relevant and perceived in a positive way. Of course, the only condition is that the messages should be adapted to the needs people have these days.
Moreover, there’s no need for a budget as big as for other Marketing tactics, while the ROI values can be high.
3. Readjust the OOHs
What if there has been some money spent on banners, for example? The ad space has already been rented, but this doesn’t mean that the information can’t be updated. You only need a message that shows that the brand cares about the community, a simple and nice layout and a pinch of mobilization to make things happen as soon as possible. Just like Kaufland did, for instance, urging people to be responsible and to protect themselves and those around through their new OOHs.
4. Adapt the products and services
The ads can be adapted, the messages can be empathetic, but it’s even more important for actions to speak louder. LVMH, for example, the parent company of Louis Vuitton, repurposed 3 of their make-up and perfume factories to produce hand sanitizer. In Romania, Farmec also began to produce hand sanitizer, while a company that usually produces flags has started to make masks. On the other hand, those companies that have an online shopping platform have started to offer free shipping or discounts to encourage people to stay home and order everything online.
All these changes can be announced on the brand’s own platforms, but they can also result in earned media.
5. Focus on CSR
However, there are companies that can’t adapt their products or services. They can help the community through money or food donations, by encouraging people to donate to NGOs that will buy everything that’s needed for both patients and medical staff, by encouraging people to be safe by paying with their cards, social distancing or by having an adequate hygiene. A list of such actions can be seen here.
In conclusion, when we talk about a global crisis, survival should be more important to a company than market domination. And if a brand can give back to the community, either physically or just with the right words, then, at the end of the crisis, that brand will remain positively engraved in everyone’s minds.