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Adapting your marketing strategy during a crisis

By

April 16, 2020

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The drastic change in consumer behaviour and purchasing cycles, that few could have predicted a few months ago, means that the need for companies to think on their feet has never been more crucial.  Everyone is adapting to a new ‘normal’ and this includes brands and their online marketing strategies, as they look to stay culturally relevant.

 

With coronavirus being such a sensitive subject, it can be difficult to determine which direction to take with a new marketing strategy, especially when having to form it in such a short space of time. Brands have to think about their tone, messaging, and communicate around values without losing identity or reputation. Naturally, Covid-19 has completely shifted consumer behaviour, which has resulted in a huge rise in digital consumption as we all spend more time inside. However, it is also important to understand how customers’ priorities have also changed and this affects the content they want to see from brands.

 

It’s been fantastic to see many businesses adapting their services. Many restaurants are now not only offering a delivery service, but also ‘make at home’ meal kits so that customers can still enjoy their favourite meals and experience the enjoyment of cooking them too. Many foodservice brands and outlets who can no longer promote their usual service are instead posting recipes and helpful content that is relevant for the home. This is all about finding a solution and providing a service that offers customers a positive message at the same time.

 

As services are adapting, marketing strategies have followed suit. Brands are pushing content that helps people adjust to this new way of life. Recipes, how-to videos and useful tips have never been more popular. In B2b, content that is relevant to the industry, but not revenue focussed helps reassure and support your audience as well as engage with new ones.

 

Don’t stay silent

Sometimes it’s natural to panic and think that staying silent is the best way to avoid offending your audience or risk exploiting customers at a time of uncertainty, but actually this can make your brand vulnerable. This is why changing media, messaging and communications is so important to maintain a presence without damaging your brand. If your campaigns are no longer relevant for example - focus on shopping or eating out of home - it needs to carefully adapted or scrapped altogether. Take the time to plan your next move. A complete change in direction, targets and objectives is daunting and everyone is in the same boat and feeling the pressures of this situation. Suddenly, the message you want to convey is no longer relevant and you need to think about your audience and what is important to them.

 

Positivity goes a long way

No matter how big or small, if your business is doing something to help the cause, and something that helps your customers or supports the wider industry, then why not integrate these updates within your content. Be proactive and think about how your brand’s expertise or services can support and comfort customers at this time, and don’t be afraid to shout about it because it is these small positive impacts that can have the biggest difference collectively.

 

It’s all in the details

Sometimes it’s the smallest mistakes that have the biggest detrimental impact. With many of us now working from home, it means we are unable to communicate with colleagues like we normally would. As such, it is so important to still work together and triple check any copy or content. This can include everything from unfortunate email subject lines to copy that could be misinterpreted during the pandemic.

Content now can drive sales in the future

Brands can use this time as a valuable opportunity to drive growth and build relationships. If you are providing the content that people want to see, they are more likely to stick around once things go back to normal and sales can once again become a priority!

Overall, if you use a reassuring tone, offer a positive perspective, whilst communicating your brand values, you are certainly on the right track.

 

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